1. Dinner at their favorite restaurant.
2. I give my friends small, silly goody bags and maybe a few other small gifts that center around whatever they're interested in.
3. A disposable digital camera on a day spent together. Takes lots of pictures.
4. A book about something they love.
5. Gift certificate to a spa or iTunes.
6. Antique desk items (stamp holders, lacquered boxes, carved wood boxes for the desk).
7. Home-baked treats packed in a beautiful basket or tray, along with an assortment of organic teas and/or coffees.
8. A tabletop pizza oven, or panini maker, or cappuccino machine. Oven stone for baking crusty bread along with organic ingredients for bread.
9. Subscriptions to something they will like from among a range that I'm willing to support; The New Yorker, The Nation, NY Review of Books, The Guardian (UK), some art and architecture publications. Or a one-year membership to a museum or another cultural institution.
11. Personalized stationary, monogrammed towels, carry-on luggage, windshield scrapers, or mittens.
12. Donation to their favorite charity and your homemade specialty (cookies? fudge?).
13. Books, fabulous jewelry, yummy bath stuff.
14. Something fun and impractical.
15. Jewelry (for women), DVDs or CDs (for guys).
17. Books or a subscription to Audible.com.
18. A gift card to your favorite place to shop together.
19. If you have a particular talent, sharing a handmade gift is the equivalent of sharing something of yourself. I am a knitter and always make small gift items for friends and extended family. I love receiving the fruits of their talents, too. For example, I have a quilter friend who generously shares her talent. My sister has a basket-maker friend who bestows remarkable baskets on her (I have friend envy). If you are not talented, or have limited time, send something that represents your local state or community, preferably something that can only be gotten locally. For example, send chocolate or specialty food from a local producer or music by a truly local band.
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