The women in our lives are worth a proper celebration. Regardless of what time of year it is, is it ever a bad time to bestow a loved one with a gift? Thoughtful gifts are one way to show someone how we feel about them, that we pay attention to them, that we value their needs, and honor their wants.
For some, receiving gifts is their love language. For others, gift-giving can be a love language. What a perfect pair that would be.
Sometimes it feels like we’re in a constant cycle of gift-giving: the year ends with Christmas gifts, and then Valentine’s Day creeps up quickly, Mother’s Day is thrown into the mix, and just as soon as it begins, the year winds down for the holiday season. It can be hard to keep up with everything, especially as a birthday gift and an anniversary present are always important to remember.
This list of gift ideas is for those days in between, the times when you may not have a direct event to go along with your gift or a designated theme. What do you get for your mom who just retired? What would a best friend want for her wedding shower? These awesome gifts hit the mark every time and for every event.
Read on for the top recommendations for unique gifts.
Gift Card Conundrum
Not only are gift cards potentially the fastest way to present something with a gift, but they’re incredibly accessible and simple for your loved one to use. Issues concerning time limits on gift cards were partially amended in 2010.
A decade ago, laws banned companies from adding additional fees for gift card purchases made 12 months after the card was bought. Gift cards usually last for five years in most retail stores and restaurants. Private, small businesses may have shorter periods of use.
Problems May Arise
Some of the arguments against gift cards come from their impersonal feel. They can unexpectedly be voided, especially if the store you purchased them from closes before the gift card is used. It is also possible for their value to decrease as inflation grows and store prices fluctuate. This gift can be lost quite easily as well since it usually doesn’t come with a backup.
A 2019 survey found that over 25% of gift cards purchased were never used. Out of those polled, 35% said they never found anything they wanted to purchase with the card, and 58% said they couldn’t get to the store in time to use the card.
Good Intentions Matter
However, if you’re in a pinch, gift cards are a fairly safe bet for gift giving. They allow the recipient to choose exactly what they want. The price is fixed, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally going over budget assembling something, and if your loved one can find good sales at the store, then the value of your gift has the potential to double.
Since many people are unable to get to stores in person, make sure the card can be used to shop online with a simple click. Also, keep the receipt attached if they opt to return it for the monetary value at the store.
Picnic Basket Parties
There is truly nothing better than a thoughtful, handmade gift. It is the perfect contrast to a gift card, which is given out of an abundance of practicality and saved time. If you have a few hours to spare, crafting a homemade picnic basket for a loved one is an incredible gesture. Even if it is winter or you’re in a bout of summer storms, picnics can be thrown in the middle of a living room if need be. This fun gift never goes out of style.
Does the special woman in your life like antiques? Add some mini, decorative birdcage decorations to the basket. Do they love a good candle? Find their favorite scent and incorporate it into the ambiance. Everything, right down to the tablecloth or blanket, can be customized to their likes. The more personalized items you put into the basket, the more elevated the gift becomes.
Tools You Will Need
For a classic picnic, you’ll first need to find a basket. Wicker baskets are quite easy to come by in stores, and you can go the extra mile to paint them a fun color. Think outside of the box and use other types of carriers—hat boxes and old-school lunchboxes lend a lovely vintage feel. For a look that is on-trend, try carrying the picnic in a crossbody tote, which is functional and fun. Whatever you choose, make sure it fits into the larger theme of the picnic.
The food aspect of the basket will come later, but for now, consider what essentials you may use. Among those commonly added to picnic baskets are utensils (plastic is fine, but you could also add a brand new set of cutlery as an additional present), napkins (paper works well, but you can monogram any cloth napkin as well). For drinking, you'll need glasses (wine glasses, mugs, or water bottles depending on the meal planned) and a corkscrew for alcohol.
If you’re planning on packing food that needs to be chilled, consider how you’ll keep them at the desired temperature. Ice packs do the trick most times or bring a small cooler along with the basket for drinks.
Great Gift Idea: Arrangement Additions
In terms of keeping all foods fresh and safe, make sure to pack anything prone to leaking in secure plastic containers. For a fancier look, many grocery stores sell glass containers. This works for items such as salad dressing or toppings.
Fruit, eggs, or any similar content easy to break should be placed on top of more solid foods or containers. This will help avoid any unfortunate accidents and spills.
Snacks To Share
Some quick and easy snacks for picnics include watermelon, feta, and mint cubes on spears; crunchy veggie wraps with chickpeas; peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; and Italian Caprese.
For a professional or home chef, this is a great time to show off the load of recipes you've been working on. From home-baked cookies your kids love to a tiramisu for the coffee lover, picnics are some of the best gift ideas.
Mark Henry Magic
At Mark Henry Jewelry, we are well aware of the importance of finding the perfect gift. As artisan jewelry makers and gemstone specialists, we are uniquely knowledgeable in the field of exotic gems and fine jewelry. We know that everyone has different styles when it comes to jewelry and accessories; no two tastes are alike.
This is why we’ve hand-selected two options from our gift guides that are sure to appease anyone in your life. These pieces combine different exotic and rare stones for an eclectic and luxurious feel.
Our Smiling Sun Pendant necklace has a brilliantly cut 3.30ct moonstone, carved skillfully into a smiling face and set inside the 18kt yellow gold rays of the sun. Diamonds are placed around the moonstone piece for an extra level of high-quality shine.
Moonstone is a very versatile stone that can last a lifetime. The stone was named for Pliny, the Roman natural historian who believed that its shimmers transitioned alongside the different phases of the moon itself. It is famed for its adularescence, layers of minerals (in this case, feldspar) that scatter light and give off white and blue sheens.
Sri Lankan moonstone is some of the most valuable since it is transparent with blue shimmers. The stone is also found in India, Australia, Myanmar, Madagascar, and the United States.
Mix and Match
Our Petite Carved Flora Ring is a perfect combination of some of our favorite stones: pearls and alexandrite. Pearls are known for their milky, white shades and are valued as a symbol of the sea. If your loved one enjoys the beach or has a connection to the ocean, this is a nice option.
The pearl in this ring creates the petals of a beautiful flower, the core made from color-changing green-red alexandrite: one of the rarest gems available. The ring is cast as a ravishing 18kt gold, and the alexandrite inclusion has a weight of 0.07ct.
Jewelry Shopping Considerations
Before purchasing an exotic gem, there are a few things to consider. Do your research before any large purchase, look into the credibility of your seller, and ensure your gem comes with a certificate of authenticity. Find where the gem was mined from and the conditions for the workers. Lastly, see if a GIA or AGL-affiliated gem lab can verify your purchase.
All Mark Henry gems come with full certification from a GIA Graduate Gemologist.
After choosing a gift from our unique gift ideas, it's time to get wrapping. If your gift set isn't easily wrapped, consider a gift box. No matter if you choose from home decor, a skincare subscription set, or jewelry, your gift will be sure to bring comfort and joy.