Book versus DVD
In the finals season, with an increased workload, it can be hard to remember that books can be fun. Give your friends timeless gifts they enjoy and can add to their shelves – get them a book.
A well-chosen book can show that even if you weren’t sure what else to get, you cared enough to peruse a multitude of titles to pick one out.
First, it has to at least be a genre they would enjoy. For a friend who doesn’t like reading, try an interesting cookbook or a decorative journal. If they have an obsessive interest, like politics, go for a non-fiction by someone who might share the same views.
Even if it’s not a book they themselves might have chosen and paid for, taking the initiative to guess what might interest them ensures that it will be a gift they appreciate. They have a new item to add to the bookshelf, and hours of reading to do if they choose.
Worst case scenario? Books are easily exchangeable.
Even with the growing popularity of online streaming videos through sites like Netflix, and more people downloading video in electronic form, there’s something nice about getting a physical, wrapped DVD as a gift.
Giving a movie works best if you know the person’s favorite actors, or a genre he or she particularly enjoys. Be careful with fanatics, though – if someone is obsessed with a particular movie series, they might already have the latest release.
If you’re unsure what movie in particular they might like, a popular recent release is a good choice but also risky in case they have it already or watched in the theater and didn’t enjoy it.
Even with the risks involved with picking a good movie for someone, guessing right means that you’ve given a few hours of good, relaxing, non-reading entertainment, perfect for downtime in the holiday season.
Like books, even if it’s not a favorite movie, DVD’s also look nice in a collection on a shelf, and are also easily returnable.
During the holidays, ’tis the time to indulge in tasty treats. Not many people would say no to a good ol’ box of chocolates, but if you want to show that you actually planned a gift ahead of time, there are always specialties to order. Check out these options around D.C., or look up what’s available in your hometown.
Shari’s Berries – wide range of chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate dipped baked goods and gifts, prices vary www.berries.com
Edible Arrangements – wide range of fruit bouquets, chocolate covered fruits and holiday gifts, prices vary www.ediblearrangements.com
Gifts for a cause
Rather than buying another scarf or piece of jewelry that you desperately hope a friend or loved one might like, give them a little piece of a good cause, too. Knowing that a gift is helping others elsewhere in the world is one sure way to spread holiday cheer. Check out these ideas, or find another good cause more suited for you or your gift’s recipient.
One fashionable Scarf – Bezuayhu, two colors: $28.
one.shop.musictoday.com, benefits ONE campaign.
Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and Nine West jewelry: $18 to $48
shop.stjude.org, benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Traditionally, candles are one of those go-to, no-brainer gifts that everyone enjoys. Since they’re not allowed in residence halls, try giving the next best thing – a decorative fragrance dispenser. The variety that are lit with a pattern add a nice touch, and make a nice gift even where candles aren’t forbidden.
Snowflakes Scentlight fragrance diffuser, silver: $24.99
From Yankee Candle, available at other retail stores.