Tag Archives: Gift Ideas

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Gifts for People Who Are Hard to Shop For

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A closeup of a blue box wrapped in a dark blue velvet piece of cloth and tied wih a medium blue ribbon. It’s been a fun year with all of you as always! Thank you for being such an interesting group of people to talk to each week.

Here are my ideas for gifts for people who are hard to shop for:

1) Experiences

For example, you could give a gift certificate for their favourite restaurant, a massage from a professional massage therapist, or tickets to a play, concert, sporting event, museum, or some other event that suits their tastes.

2) Donation to a Charity They Like

I have relatives who sometimes buy a goat or chicken for each other through certain charities in lieu of giving physical gifts for the holidays because they honestly already have everything they need.

(That is to say, you give the charity X number of dollars, and they use that money to buy a goat or chicken for a family living in a developing country who can use that animal as a recurring source of food and/or income. If your budget is huge, you could even buy someone an entire cow.)

If I were going to do this one, I’d be tempted to buy a little plastic or cloth chicken or goat to include with the certificate that says what sort of animal you’ve donated in that person’s name.

3) Time 

You decide how you give the time. Think a night of free babysitting so parents of little ones can have a break;  doing home or car repairs for them; deep cleaning the homes of those who can’t physically do all of that lifting, bending, and scrubbing anymore for whatever reason; organizing photos (and noting who is in each photo, roughly what year the photo was taken, and how everyone knows each other!); researching genealogical records for their family tree; sitting down to record stories from their life for future generations; or whatever else it is they’d appreciate that you have the time and energy to do.


4) Gourmet Food and Beverages

You could bake them some fancy homemade cupcakes, share your top secret family recipe for a dish they love, pick up a nice bottle of locally-produced maple syrup or wine (or whatever delicious food or drink your region is known for), or surprise them with favourite candies from other countries that are hard to find where you live.

I’ve done this one a lot. It’s a very economical way to give a physical gift that, allergies and medical issues aside, just about everyone loves.


5) Teaching Skills 

Not everyone knows how to crochet, troubleshoot a malfunctioning computer, run a professional social media account, create a thriving garden, speak multiple languages, fix a car, or do any other number of useful things. If they’re interested in learning and you know how to do X, this could be a great gift that also gives you a fabulous excuse to spend some quality time together.


6) Hobby Supplies

This is one of those cases where asking exactly what they want is an excellent idea, but you could give all sorts of things that people use up while doing various hobbies: yarn, paint, coloured pencils, canvases, ballet slippers/tap shoes, sports or hiking gear, tools, empty notebooks, heirloom seeds, a cutting or seedling from a plant you’ve grown that they’ve admired, fancy pens, shelf-stable baking supplies,  rolls of film (for traditional photographers), a higher quality or limited edition version of X that you know they would never splurge on themselves, etc.


See you all in January!


Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Best Non-Book Gifts for Readers

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

As you might soon notice, I prefer to give and receive practical gifts.

Replacement Batteries for E-Readers

Depending on the type of e-reader one uses and how often one uses it, the batteries for them may only last a couple of months. It’s always a good idea to have a spare battery or two in case a device cuts out.

Waterproof Cases

Reading in the bathtub is one of my favourite self-care activities after a hard day. This is a much more relaxing activity if your phone, e-reader, or other device won’t be ruined if you accidentally drop it in the tub!

Three clear glass teacups stacked on top of each other. Each one contains a small amount of tea, and they're sitting next to a clear glass teapot that is half full of tea.Tea

I feel like I talk about tea every time the topic of bookish gifts comes up!

This is a great idea because it is a consumable present and fits all sorts of dietary restrictions.


When I read paper books, I sometimes need to scrounge around for things like old receipts to use as bookmarks. Actual bookmarks tend to be much nicer to look at!



Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Books That Would Make Great Gifts

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

This final topic of the year was a little tricky for me because of how many different types of books and readers are out there. Some people love romance, while others think of themselves as the world’s biggest fans of the horror, mystery, or science fiction genres (among many others). There are also readers who joyfully jump around from one genre to the next!

My answers to this prompt are an attempt to recommend books that will appeal to as many sorts of people as possible.

Close-up image of pen resting on a sudoku puzzle

Sudoku, Crossword, Word Search and Other Puzzle Books

Puzzle books are such a broad category that the right selection of them can be found for nearly age group or ability level.

Blank Books

They can be used as diaries, bullet journals, sketchbooks, places to collect favourite poems, quotes, or cheerful messages from friends, and so much more.

Some are so small they can fit into the palm of your hand, while others are large enough to use as a sketchbook.

close-up photo of a colouring book for adults with coloured pencing resting on one of its opened pagesAdult Colouring Books

Colouring isn’t only for kids!

This is a wonderful, calming activity for winter or at other times when staying at home is your best bet.

The subject matter of them varies from floral garden patterns to Lord of the Rings pictures and everything inbetween.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Christmas presents wrapped in red, green, and brown paper and tied with twineIf you enjoyed the film version of this story, definitely do check out the book.

It’s written to appeal to everyone: kids, teens, adults, and senior citizens. Not many stories can say that!

A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver was one of those poets who know how to speak both to poetry fanatics as well as to those of us who generally aren’t interested in that genre.

Her work spoke about things that all humans experience, from grief to enjoying a quiet moment in nature to the relief of seeing the sun after a long, dark night.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

No one is ever too old or too young for a story filled with puns, other types of wordplay, and literary jokes in general.


On one final note, it’s been a lot of fun participating in the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge in 2020. Thank you all for reading my responses to it and writing your own!


Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope to Find Under My Tree

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Santa's red bag overflowing with presentsThis week’s topic was a little tricky for me because the list of books that I want to read but haven’t already purchased as e-books or requested from the library is honestly pretty small. When you add my minimalistic lifestyle on top of that, I’ll admit that I can be a difficult person to buy presents for.

What I ended up doing with this prompt was coming up with a list of titles that my library doesn’t carry and that were hard to find in e-book form the last time I looked for them.

It’s quite possible that one or both of these things have changed for any of these titles. Maybe I’ll do more searches for them after Christmas ends? Or maybe it’s best to keep these as ideas for people who want to buy me stuff and are totally stumped by what to get? What do you all think?

Book cover for The Witch Under the Mountain by Audrey N. Allison

1. The Witch Under the Mountain by Audrey N. Allison 

Why I Want to Read It: A friend of mine gave it a great review a few months ago. Witches and ghosts are also things I enjoy reading about in general, so combining the two is automatically going to make me perk up.

2. Interference (Semiosis Duology #2) by Sue Burke

Why I Want to Read It: I was a huge fan of the first book! It’s surprising to me that my library doesn’t have it yet considering how popular Semiosis was.

Book cover for Defying Doomsday by Tsana Dolchva.

3. Defying Doomsday by Tsana Dolchva

Why I Want to Read It: It’s still disappointingly rare for characters who have disabilities or chronic illnesses to be main characters in science fiction stories. I’ve been yearning to read this book ever since stumbling across a reference to it on a blog earlier this year.

4. The Deep by Rivers Solomon 

Why I Want to Read It: I’ve heard amazing things about this book from other bloggers. The premise of it makes me think of a horrifying scene in the 1970s Roots mini-series that showed Africans being thrown off slave ships to drown in the middle of the ocean. I love the fact that Ms. Solomon decided to create a world where these people not only survived but thrived.


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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: 10 Gifts for People Who Love Minimalism

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Last week I had trouble commenting on some of the WWBC participants whose sites are hosted on Blogger. I will try to comment on your posts again this week! Here’s hoping that issue was solved.

So what do you buy for someone who already has everything they need and isn’t interested in collecting more gadgets? I’m writing this post from the perspective of someone who fits this description. While I’m always appreciative of the gifts people give to me, the truth of the matter is that there aren’t too many physical possessions out there that I need but haven’t already acquired somehow.

Here’s a list of things you could buy, make, or otherwise give to folks like me depending on their tastes. I mostly stuck to food-based stock photos to illustrate my point because apparently there isn’t a lot of demand out there for stock photos about slippery emotions like compliments. Ha!

1. Baked Goods

I’m an average baker, but I certainly wouldn’t know how to make anything that looks like it was made by a professional. It’s always a thrill when someone surprises me with some nicely decorated cupcakes or other treats.

2. Tickets to Artsy Stuff

To give an expensive example, the Hamilton musical is coming to Toronto next year. The tickets for it are far too rich for my tastes, but this would be the sort of thing I’d squeal over if I had a fabulously wealthy fairy godparent.

On a much more economical note, I’d also be thrilled with a general admission ticket to a museum, art gallery, comedy set, concert, or other similar event. I love the feeling of seeing or hearing things that I don’t normally experience in my daily life.

3. A Massage

My parents bought me a one-hour full body massage once or twice when I was in college. It was the nicest thing they could have given me. There’s nothing like the relief of having tense, sore muscles gently relaxed after all of those long months of studying.

It could be a massage from someone I’m really close to or a gift certificate for a professional masseuse. Either one is wonderful in my opinion.

4. Stories, Photos, and Memories

Obviously, this one depends on how well you know the person, but I love it when the older generations in my family pass down new information they’ve discovered about our ancestors or pieces of their childhoods that they haven’t shared yet. There are relatives who died before I was born that I feel like I’ve met because of how much of their lives has been recorded in our oral histories.

It’s also cool when friends randomly share an old photo or funny story from our past.

5. A Personalized Book Recommendation

It always makes me happy when someone tailors their recommendations. That’s not an easy thing to do, but it sure is lovely to receive.

Assorted chocolate and fruit pralines6. Vegan Chocolates

I’m always on the lookout for new types of vegan chocolates or pralines, especially if they’re flavoured with mint, fruit, nuts, or other mix-ins.

7. Herbal Tea

Is it possible to have too much herbal tea or even tea in general? I doubt it.

8. Random, Genuine Compliments

Being surprised with something someone honestly appreciates about you almost feels like the emotional version of a massage. They both make me feel incredibly happy and appreciated.

In order to make this more gift-like, the compliments could be compiled in an email or written on little scraps of paper and put into a fancy jar. Yes, I somehow came up with a physical item that I couldn’t eat but would still enjoy owning. I’d probably use it to store chocolate and other treats in after I’d savoured all of the compliments.

9. Shopping Advice and Support

Fashion isn’t one of those things I spend much time thinking about, but I do admire people who know how to put together an eye-catching wardrobe. It would be super cool to spend a day going through my clothes and shopping with someone who genuinely enjoyed putting nice outfits together.

10. Stargazing

I love astronomy.

This past autumn, I had the chance to do a little stargazing at a local university. The event was put on by faculty and students there, so we got to hear some interesting facts about the stuff we were looking at.

I would be so excited to do this occasionally with someone who was really knowledgable on this topic.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.


Filed under Blog Hops