Christmas ideas from the heart

We have all received one at some time or another – a well intentioned but unusable Christmas gift, that sits around collecting dust because we don’t have the heart to part with it. This year, surprise that special someone with a gift that not only is from the heart, but also helps keep additional clutter to a minimum.

Ideas for Her:

Beautify and Pamper

No woman would pass up a day of pampering, including a manicure/pedicure, massage, facial, haircut and color! Don’t forget to go the extra mile and include babysitting, if necessary.

Buy or hand make
a “Coupon Book”

These fun little coupons allow your spouse to redeem offers when she feels like it, such as, “breakfast in bed”, “a weekend getaway of her choosing”, “date night, with babysitting for the kids”, “a week off from household chores,” etc. You can personalize the coupons with specific things your special someone likes to do.

A special night on the town

Plan a special date night, either taking her to her favorite restaurant, listening to her favorite band, going to an art exhibit or going to a wine tasting. Plan out the entire night, from babysitting arrangements, to even picking up a new outfit for her to wear for the evening. Don’t forget the flowers!

Gift Certificates

When it comes to gift certificates, don’t just grab any one you see on your way out of the drugstore. Put some thought into it. Think about her favorite places to go. Maybe she loves Borders or Barnes and Noble, or perhaps coffee is her thing. If she is the kind of woman that loves to shop for makeup, perfumes and lotions, surprise her with a Sephora gift card. This specialty store is any woman’s paradise!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

A surprise trip to the conference of her choice

Maybe your special lady loves to go to marriage conferences or women’s conferences through your local church. Set up the whole weekend for her, including conference tickets, hotel, and if it is a woman’s conference, maybe even invite her best gal friend to go along with her.
A letter

This could be either a Love Letter or a Thank You Letter for your wife, mother or friend. Share a happy memory the two of you experienced, list some reasons why you love her and why you appreciate her.

Ideas for Him:

A membership or renewal
to his favorite spots

Pick something that he truly enjoys and that will give him time to forget all the stressors in life.  Perhaps he would like a membership to his favorite gym or local YMCA; think of a nearby country club or range if he enjoys golf, or think outside the box with places such as paintball, indoor soccer, or shooting ranges.

Sign him up for a
local class or seminar

Most men will not take time for themselves. This is a great chance to sign him up to learn a trade or art form, to learn a new type of martial art or other exercise form, or to attend a men’s seminar. If he is more the “Mr. Fix It” type, places such as Lowe’s and Home Depot have classes on a weekly basis to learn how to do specific home improvement projects.

Make him a
“Sports Fan Snack Kit”

You can design this kit specific to your sports fan’s tastes. Pick up his favorite beverage, snacks or candy, and make a coupon that he can redeem for an interruption-free game. Don’t forget to attach the kit to his favorite armchair!

Gift Certificates

Just as with a man buying a woman a gift card, there has to be thought involved in the process. Think about the places he frequents the most. Maybe he is a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts fan.

Many guys prefer gift cards that are redeemable at electronic, computer, hobby or home improvement stores. Another great idea is to find out which restaurant he may frequent while on his lunch break every day and get a gift certificate. He will certainly enjoy a couple of free lunches!

Event tickets

Treating him to a special event is something he won’t soon forget. Whether it is a professional or college sporting event, favorite band, or men’s seminar, this gift will get him out of the house so that he can enjoy something he may not have bought for himself.

Time to enjoy and
unwind coupons

Make that special guy redeemable coupons that are specific to his personality. You can include “time alone” coupons, so he can adjust when he gets home from a long day of work, coupons that have some of his favorite home-cooked meals to select, and even a coupon for him to pick one particular sporting event, where he can invite the guys over and you can offer to make or pick up some of their favorite treats.

Repair or Restore something

Maybe he has an old watch or class ring that needs to be brought to the jeweler so it can be worn again. Perhaps an electric tool or lawn mover needs repair or the car needs its yearly servicing. Pick something that needs fixing, can be taken off his to-do list, and will lift a weight off his shoulders.

Marisa Zeppieri Caruana :