By Bernard Freeman
Books give readers the opportunity to forget their worries and get lost in a great story. Supporting your local libraries is a great idea, but sometimes bookworms want a broader reach on available material and the chance to own a classic.
If you have someone in your life who loves the feeling of physically turning the pages and entering a world of fantasy, consider these ideas for gifts.
Monthly Book Clubs
Subscription services are huge in America. From food to razor blades, there aren’t many things you can’t have delivered to your door for a monthly premium and books are no different. Certain clubs let users choose from several options as picked by judges. Others offer a complete surprise by shipping different books based on someone’s interests. Consider how picky your bookworm is when it comes to their literary preferences and deciding which one would make a perfect gift.
Creative Book Storage
Anyone who loves to read also enjoys displaying some of their favorites throughout their home. While traditional bookshelves are useful, they can appear outdated in some modern homes. Instead, look for floating shelves, which make books appear to be standing on a wall, or an abstract shelf that will become a conversation piece. You also could shop for unique bookends that make a statement.
Meet and Greets
Authors typically go on tours to promote their most recent books. Keep an eye out for your loved one’s favorites and buy them tickets. In addition to asking questions, they may get to meet their hero and even get a picture or autograph. Most importantly, they will be able to thank them for providing them with stories they love. It’s a memory they will never forget.
In today’s world, you can put a picture on anything. Create a heartfelt gift that will make the recipient think of you each time they open and close a book. Think of a special image your loved one appreciates like a good time you had together.
The Car Buff
While gifting a new car may not work for many budgets, there are several options available to upgrade a vehicle. From inexpensive to extravagant, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect gift to excite the car buff in your life.
Bluetooth, GPS and touch screens are just the beginning. Modern technology makes it easy to update even older cars into today’s “smart world.” This holiday, give a loved one something that makes a difference to their pride and joy.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find an awesome gift for a car guru. Here are a few affordable ideas for you to consider. If you have a local car wash that offers a membership, an easy and inexpensive gift would be to cover the monthly subscription fee. Car lovers have unlimited access to automatic cleanings to ensure their vehicle looks great at all times.
In most states, it is illegal to talk with your cell phone to your ear. Find an
inexpensive Bluetooth receiver which plays audio calls through a vehicle’s audio system.
The Somewhat Expensive
If a subscription to a car wash doesn’t seem glamorous enough, consider a gift certificate to a local detail shop. Professionals there will go through a vehicle’s interior and exterior with a fine-tooth comb. It will be like they are driving the car in the same condition it came off the lot. You can also hire an expert to upgrade a vehicle’s sound system. Manufacturers offer amazing media centers that offer touchscreen interfaces which work from major smartphone suppliers.
The car buff can set a GPS for real-time directions, play their favorite music and take calls without even touching their phone. Plus, a new media hub will create a modern appearance in a vehicle with a dated system.
If you have someone in your life who has been putting off restoring their classic car, consider taking some of the load off their shoulders.
Scheduling a paint job can be expensive, but a fresh coat can restore the luster a car had when it was brand new. Another extravagant gift is updating the wheels and tires. Your local tire shop will have numerous options and even more available to order.
The Dad Who’s Still a Kid at Heart
When dad was a kid, he probably had a favorite book. Perhaps, it was one his father used to read him or that his grandparents gave him as a gift. There are many resources available to track down these classics. To add an element of surprise and fun for the kiddos, secretly ask his family members about his favorites which included fun activities like, a book of constellations or choose-your-own adventures.
Board games are another way to remind dad of his time as a child. Bring home one he played with his family and encourage a family board game night.
Maybe dad has grown too old for swings and slides, but he will still enjoy outdoor games to entertain guests during barbecues or other get-togethers. Look for pre-packaged games like horseshoes, cornhole or ladder ball and encourage him to hold tournaments with his friends.
Trips to the Ballpark
Is there a better way for dads and children to bond than enjoying a sporting event together? The sportsmanship, delicious food and incredible atmosphere are enough to excite anyone. Gift him tickets to his favorite team and make sure to provide enough for the whole family.
Video games offer everyone from enthusiasts to casual players a great way to unwind and forget about the stresses of their everyday life. Family and friends who live across the world can now compete or team up in real-time from the comfort of their couch.
Most games even offer a chat feature, allowing you to catch up with your loved ones while you play a game of football or travel through an open world completing fun missions.
Some popular gaming consoles require users to pay a premium to access their online community. Consider gifting the gamer in your life with an annual subscription so they will be connected for the entire year.
Using a headphone-microphone combination is important to maintaining a strong chat throughout your gaming session. Consider upgrading the gamer with a reliable set so you can guide each other through missions without losing connection.
A solid internet connection is another necessity while online gaming. If your loved one is having trouble maintaining a signal, you can buy them the tools to hardwire a console to their online network. Usually this only requires an ethernet cable, but make sure it’s long enough to reach their router and remain non-intrusive.
Upgrade their Gaming Room
Give the gamer in your life the gift of an upgrade in their battle station. You can find attractive backlighting frames to add a comfortable ambiance to their television or computer monitor. These soft lights will add the touch of customization they need.
If their preferred way to game is on a computer, you can always upgrade internal components. Consider upgrading their processor’s speed, graphic card or tools like keyboard or mouse to give them a better way to play.
Gaming Room decor
Find small gifts such as statues or pictures with their favorite characters to display in their game room. These are typically affordable and are a fun way to showcase their tastes.
The New Homeowner
Buying a house is one of the biggest achievements for Americans. It can also be a time where they struggle to fill the space of their new home, especially if they made a drastic upgrade in space. Homeowners will appreciate gifts which make their place more comfortable.
Here are some great ideas for gifts.
To discover what the new homeowner is missing, a little detective work is needed.
During get-togethers, pay attention to items they may not have or don’t have enough of. For instance, a new set of fine china is a great idea if they are the type to host dinners or gatherings. They will be excited to break out this gift anytime an event is occurring.
Pots and pans are another item that homeowners may skimp on while they are getting established in their new place. Finding a matching set can change the way they cook and display these tools. With the right area, these attractive sets can make a beautiful display.
If they already seem to have everything they need in the kitchen, stock their fridge. Provide them with a gift card to their local grocer or for grocery delivery. You can never go wrong with providing a new homeowner with meals.
The Living Room
This main room in the home can always benefit from attractive artwork or creative picture frames to display fun moments in their lives. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box when considering a piece of art; many abstract pieces can tie a room together.
For the tech-savvy homeowner, consider a smart thermostat. These advanced units don’t only add a modern feel to a living room, they also set themselves after learning a user’s behaviors. The new homeowner can save a bit of money on their heating and air bill and control the temperature from their smartphone, even when they are away from the home.
Shopping for The Musician
Whether the music lover in your life has the dream of becoming a full-time musician or they just aspire to play tunes for their family and friends, show them your support with an awesome gift this holiday.
Gifts for Progress
Practice makes perfect. Sometimes the easiest way to enhance playing skills is by learning from a professional. Check with the local music shops in your town to learn about gifting someone lessons. Most high-end stores will offer classes which cover several instruments, so they won’t be left out. If the recipient is already a pro at a certain type of instrument, consider gifting lessons for a new one. They may find a passion for a different style of music they didn’t know they had.
Another great way for music lovers to challenge themselves is by learning theories and tackling more advanced pieces. Look for an educational book focusing on the instrument they play so they can progress their skills and gain knowledge at the same time.
Instruments and equipment can be expensive and can sometimes prevent musicians from upgrading. If it is in your budget, consider upgrading their arsenal by buying new or repairing their current gear. For instance, even if someone knows their way around a keyboard, when a piano is out of tune, it will be difficult to learn to play by ear or get the full experience of walking the scales. Hire a professional to come to your loved one’s home and get it in proper pitch. They may even be willing to teach them how to tune it themselves next time.
Strings, cords, picks, pedals. It doesn’t matter what type of instrument is played, without well-working accessories, their performance can be lackluster. Most of the time, upgrades like these are very affordable yet make a huge difference. Consider buying extra accessories so the musician has backups on hand.
There is no greater service than the one provided by men and women who have served the United States in a branch of military. Show the veteran in your life your appreciation by offering them one of these amazing and sometimes emotional gifts.
Many veterans are humble about their time spent in the military, to them it was just their calling and duty. Memorialize their contribution by providing them with a shadow box or display case. Encourage the veteran to showcase their medals, badges or coins.
If you have ever heard servicemen or women discuss their time in the military, you have probably noticed they have a familiarity with the same locations and tools they used during their time served. To non-servicemembers, we can only imagine these places, but to them, the bases and posts where they served were a way of life during their time serving our country. Frame a picture of an aerial shot of the base or their favorite tool or vehicle they used during their terms.
Replacement Dog Tags
Dog tags are issued to every service member as they enter the military. However, the hustle and bustle of everyday life can make it easy to misplace them once they’re back home. Do your veteran a favor by surprising them with a replacement set.
Surprise your veteran with awesome books regarding today’s military as well as the country’s history. Reading up on the changes today’s service men and women are making will be an interesting read and create feelings of understanding and bonding.
Donate in Their Name
Find a charity that supports the military and make a donation in your veteran’s name. Your donation can make a difference in the lives of troops overseas, those recovering back here at home and the families with a member on deployment.
Here are a few charities to consider:
- Wounded Warrior Project
- National Military Family Association
- Support Our Troops