Here in my own little corner of the internet, I thought I'd offer gift ideas that people actually want. There's a definite theme here: None of these things are traditional material items. I believe "experience" gifts are so much more special than mass-produced trinkets...
This is something I've gifted to my parents a few times, and it's always gone over very well. After all, who doesn't love a weekend getaway? Need help finding the perfect location? Check out Bedandbreakfast.com! If you're in or near Nebraska (or even if you're not!), you can't go wrong with an overnight stay at Lied Lodge. Here in Maryland, I'm hugely fond of the many gorgeous B&Bs in Ellicot City, Annapolis and Cumberland!
2. Theater Tickets
If you've got loved ones who love the arts, this is a no-brainer! Here in the DMV area, we are so lucky to have so many amazing live-performance venues, like the Kennedy Center, The Warner Theater and Wolftrap. If a rock concert is more your loved one's style, check out The Black Cat, the 9:30 Club or The Fillmore. If you're looking for something a little more intimate, you can't go wrong with Round House Theater here in Silver Spring or Metro Stage in Alexandria, VA.
A gift certificate to a restaurant and movie tickets are classic gifts that never go out of style. If you want to make this gift extra classic, look no further than Silver Spring's AFI, which regularly shows movies from Hollywood's golden era. Need a local restaurant recommendation? Silver Spring has so many great options, including but not limited to All Set, The Classics, Paccis, Cubanos or Mrs. K's. Want to earn extra brownie points? Chip in to babysit if you're gifting this to loved ones with littles.
4. Jar of Memories
I made this for Cliff years ago when I was a poor college student and to this day, he still talks about how much this gift meant to him. On individual pieces of construction paper, I wrote down hundreds of memories that I cherished from our time together, then tied them up with a string, and collected them in a giant glass jar. Cliff had a new memory to open each day for about a year. The best part? It cost only the price of the jar, crafting materials and my time. Plaza Art has all the crafting supplies you need. And if you want to get extra fancy, enlist help/support/inspiration from the Unofficial Handlettering Society of Silver Spring!
5. Massage or Spa Day
This is for that special someone who's overworked, possibly underpaid and loves being pampered. And with so many options (think manicures, yoga classes, 30-minute chair massages, 2-hour long hot stone massages, facials or day-long spa extravaganzas) there's an option for every budget! Need a recommendation? Some of my favorite area spas include Kibana, Third Space Wellness and Blue Heron Wellness.
6. Sports experience
I'm not a huge sports fan, but many of the people who I love are. More than once I've gifted tickets to football games, basketball games and baseball games. There's also the option to make your loved one more than just a spectator with a gift certificate to a round of golf, go-karting, rock climbing, horseback riding, white water rafting, zip lining... the list is almost endless! If you want to give an extra unique experience, check out Go Adventures for gift certificates in caving, tree climbing or wilderness skills!
7. Family Photos
This one makes me smile, and not just for the obvious reasons. A family or engagement photo session is such a precious gift because, when photos are printed, they can become cherished family heirlooms. If you want to gift something as unique and meaningful as family photos, look no further! I'm happy to help!