Gift giving truly is an art; not something to be rushed through, not a last minute impulse buy, but something to be carefully weighed and considered with the intended recipient in mind. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had moments when I’ve had to ‘buy on the fly’, but I was always left with a nagging sense of guilt and disappointment in my gift-giving performance.
I tend to shop for gifts year-round, and decided to share some of the most unique items I’ve come across this year. It’s important for me to let you know that these are my picks, uninfluenced by the companies and items listed (I received absolutely no compensation for listing them here), in fact, most of these companies have no idea that I chose their products.
I’ve come up with a list of gifts that are sure to amaze, and make your recipients think that you’ve been planning for ages. Without further adieu, I give you my Twelve Unique Gift picks of 2014:
I came across the Buddha Board via a doctor’s office, when my son was in need of occupation. Designed to help you embrace zen, my son was absolutely enthralled with his creations (and I was happy about mess-free painting). Simply add water to the basin, pick up your brush and begin relaxing while you create beautiful artwork, reminiscent of Rorschach tests. Can you keep a secret? My son is receiving one of these for Christmas this year!
Another doctor’s appointment discovery (who knew doctor’s offices were wonderful places to get gift ideas), EcoSphere miniature closed ecosystems are like the adult version of Sea Monkey fun. My son was taken with this little globe, and loved watching the shrimp make their way around.
People with absolutely no artistic inclination can create beautiful one-of-a-kind artwork with the help of Voice Art Gallery. If you’re looking for a unique baby shower gift, be sure to check out their Babybeats prints, made from your baby’s heartbeat in-utero. I created a special piece for my husband, and shared more about Voice Art Gallery HERE.
Is a foodie on your list? Help your food-oriented gift recipient play with his/her food (literally) with a molecular gastronomy kit from Molecule-R. You never know, you might be on the receiving end with this gift as well!
Be sure to check out my 2015 finds for even more gift ideas!
Handcrafted soaps make great host/ess gifts, but Stargazer Soaps’ unique creations are perfect for that hard to shop for person on your list. Keep your eyes out for Nicole’s Coffee (with grounds included for exfoliation) and Beer soap batches – they go quickly! Learn a little more about Stargazer Soaps’ soapmaking process in this guest post.
I fell in love with this idea when I stumbled across it on Etsy. This would have been perfect when my husband passed down his father’s chili recipe to his brother last year for Christmas, and also makes a great wedding gift idea. Immortalize and pass down your family’s prized recipe with a custom Handwritten Recipe Cutting Board by Damian’s Woodworks.
Mother’s jewelry seems to be a hit, no matter the gift-giving occasion. I’m not a fan of gimmicky jewelry, or wearing birthstones, so I fell in love when I found these stacking initial rings by An Element of Silver on Etsy. Handmade, from recycled silver, each piece is truly one-of-a-kind. I’ll be ordering a set for myself to honor my son and my three angels. Now through the end of November, you can save 15% off of your order with code: ELEMENT15
Perfect for those interested in Geneology, or tracing their heritage, National Geographic’s Geno 2.0 offers more than the standard DNA kit. Those who use the Geno 2.0 kit become participants in National Geographic’s Genographic Project, helping to create a database to fill in the gaps of history.
Years ago, an incredibly talented friend of mine created her own family name art piece, from photos collected over time, which functioned as the focal piece in their living room. I loved this idea so much that I recreated it years later, the perfect wedding gift for an older couple with an established household, building a piece of artwork around their last name. I spent a couple of months, taking my camera with me on hiking trips, in search of the perfect letter formations in nature. The end result was beautiful, and I vowed to make on for myself one day (I’m still working on it, years later). If you’re short on time, or not photographically inclined, you can order a custom piece from Name On Your Wall on Etsy.
Help friends and family realize their resolutions in the New Year with these plantable wish cards from Uncommon Goods. Not only do they make great stocking stuffers, but they are truly a gift that keeps on giving.
As a parent, I can tell you that I would absolutely appreciate receiving a Sparkbox Toys membership for my son. Sparkbox toy rentals take out the guesswork with children’s toy gift giving, and parents are happy to have these toys on a temporary basis.
Okay, I’m still unsure whether I find these stuffed toys cool or creepy, but they are definitely unique. Submit a child’s artwork, and Budsies creates a plush toy from their rendering. Very cool!
Looking for even more unique gift ideas? Take a look at some of my favorite finds in 2015!
What is the most unique gift you’ve ever received? What are your favorite gift picks this year?