I spent a lot of time stressing out about what to get my boyfriend for Christmas this year (in part because my default gift to everyone is always books, and it didn’t seem to be enough on our first Christmas). Also, he’s a genius gift giver, so it’s also a competition (only on my end). So I’m putting together a list of potential gifts for anyone you love that’s a little outside of the normal sweater, perfume and CD (do people, besides me, give CDs anymore?)
1. Music subscriptions. From Daytrotter to Spotify, music services are the way to go. They provide access to bands and sounds that you might never know of otherwise. Spotify’s premium service lets you access your playlists from anywhere, which is great. But Daytrotter, a longtime champion of small Indie acts - and big Indie acts - offers great downloads and streams and are frankly too adorable for words.
2. Art. We walked into a shop in Silverlake the other day called “Pull My Daisy” which has these amazing tiny canvases of pop culture figures. They are amazing (and a little pricey, but one of a kind). Still, if you can’t afford $125 for a six-inch painting of David Bowie as an Android playing Jared, you can find some amazing art on Etsy, Society6.com, or any of the sites that feature unique creations. If your loved one is a pop culture nerd, you’ve got a wealth of options to choose from. I say this as a thrilled recipient of a snowman Dalek t-shirt from my honey.
3. DIY projects:http://laist.com/2011/12/21/last_minute_diy_holiday_gifts.php
4. Tickets. Experiential stuff is always key for us these days. A museum opening, a concert, a wacky class. Time is more precious than stuff these days, and time gifted to someone you love is undeniably important.
5. Donations. Pay something off, frame something, send $50 to an organization that supports animals, kids, the environment, a college, books, writing, math, science, whatever. Take someone and volunteer at the food bank, the soup kitchen. Very few of us need more stuff. But the people who do need? They really need it. So make that better. And make it a gift that goes through-out the year. Being hungry in July sucks as much as being hungry at Christmas.
6. Books. Everyone needs books. Whether virtual e-books or solid in the hand tomes, books are a great gift. Everyone is into something, and there’s a history, a biography, a how-to or a novel about it. Support your favorite writers, locally or globally. Support your favorite book sellers. Give books!