December 5, 2013

I Have A Confession To Make ... and 16 DIY Gift Ideas That Don't Suck

I have a confession to make: I hate giftcards.

Now before you write me off as an ungrateful little brat, please let me explain:

Giftcards don't really require too much thought or energy on the gift-givers part ... (giftcards are usually located at the front of the store, right near the register, aren't they?) ... and if it's really "the thought that counts," then what do giftcards say? 

To me, giftcards say that they are impersonal little gifts of obligation. They often leave me feeling incredibly uncomfortable because I know the exact dollar amount that was spent on me, and realistically, how are giving or receiving giftcards any different than giving or receiving a gift that still has the sticky price tag on it? Isn't that considered a socially awkward and tacky thing to do? Yes.

I totally understand the flexibility of giftcards, and obviously I'm appreciative of anyone who takes five seconds to think about me - but I would much rather give and receive a gift that costs pennies but is worth more than gold in time, energy, effort and love.

Now that we've officially entered the holiday season, I hope that you will keep this post in the back of your mind while figuring out what you're gifting your loved ones this year. Gifts aren't something that are given every day, and that's what is supposed to make them so special, right? Right.

Here are a few gift ideas to inspire you - aka:


Decorate a mug for your coffee lover. Gift fudge in a holiday cookie cutter for your favorite sweet tooth. Hot chocolate with Kahlua would be much appreciated by your boozy bud. A letter writing kit filled with stationary is perfect for anyone who appreciates written word. Infused olive oil is a unique idea for anyone who loves to cook. Any jam - specifically this bacon jam! would please anyone. I'd love anyone who gifted me with jar full of dog treats for Brutus. A saucer and tea cup filled with a candle ends up doubling as two gifts in one. Thoughtfully decorated Christmas ornaments are perfect for the occasion. Find a cheap pair of gloves and a hat and bling away. I think I'll be gifting myself with a mason jar herb garden this year. Infused alcohol is a neat treat. I love these hot chocolate pops! Gifting someone with a book of favorite recipes is such a sweet idea. A custom jewelry/ring dish would be a fun surprise. Custom tea bags are such a simple and thoughtful gift for your tea lover.

What do you think about giftcards?
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Will you be DIY'ing any gifts this year?

xo
Kym

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27 comments

  1. I love this! I too am not a fan of gift cards for gifts. From my grandpa, yeah that is fine, but from someone who knows me and wants to give me a gift it should be something more personal. And I love these DIY gifts. They are so cute and would be so easy to make and wrap up as a present.

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  2. I am totally with you sister!! I don't like getting gift cards or straight cash... & I dislike giving them even more!! Love all of these ideas, especially the coffee mugs!!

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  3. I completely agree with you! I like thoughtful gifts and things I can keep from the people I love. While I'm appreciative of any gift, to me, a gift card lacks thought, and like you said, you know how much the person spent.

    One exception would be a gift basket of gift cards. If someone took the time the prepare me a basket/bag of cards from my favorite places so that I could treat myself, that would be nice. However, that would be pretty extravagant.

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  4. I totally agree that giving actual gifts is way more thoughtful… I don't ever give gift cards unless it's part of a bigger gift (like a movie date night or something). At this point in our particular little family's life, we would appreciate gift cards so much because of how tight things are financially! That's just the practical I-would-love-more-cushion-in-our-grocery-budget (and we move so much and we don't need more "stuff" to move) side of me though :) Gosh I don't want that to sound ungrateful at all-- I hope you know what I mean! haha!

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  5. I totally agree! I married into a giftcard family and I hate it! Birthdays are just us exchanging money basically at different times of the year, but it's all they ever want! I refuse to do giftcards at Christmas though.

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  6. I completely agree with you on gift cards. On my dad's side of the family, we used to do a gift exchange kind of like a Secret Santa, but it turned into a gift card swap because we didn't spend enough time with our extended family to actually know what they might want. Now it's completely done away with and that was one of my favorite Christmas traditions! Gift cards just totally overtook it and ultimately ruined the "spirit of giving" on Christmas. Bummer.

    This year, also on my dad's side, we're doing something like a White Elephant just with us kids and our parents, but it's supposed to be something people would actually want. I wish I had spoken up when the idea was presented because since none of us are buying for a specific person, I'm 99% sure it's going to once again be a gift card swap. Kind of bums me out, but I can't talk because I also got a gift card. I'm trying to dress it up with some extras too though.

    Okay, enough babbling...I agree...gift cards suck. I never really thought about how it really is basically the same as leaving a price tag on something. Tacky indeed!

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  7. these all look amazing. although I kind of like gift cards :)

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  8. Bacon jam?! I'd love that as a gift.

    And I agree with Nicole. I love receiving gift cards. :)

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  9. I've been wanting to make those gold polka-dotted mugs!!

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  10. Love the coffee cup idea! I actually decided to do that for my sister because I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for...why not just make it? :))

    xx em
    http://beauty-blether.blogspot.com/

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  11. haha, this is the ONLY gift guide i've read all year (I delete the rest) because of the intro. and personally, i LOVE giftcards... it's like a make-me-go-shopping trip, which is something i never do :) unless i have a giftcard, i don't go shopping. so it's like an experience that they're giving me, too!

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  12. We give them to a lot of my in laws because my husband has 12 brothers and sisters and that is just too overwhelming. haha
    BUT I will say I love all those DIY gifts as well. We usually do a DIY gift for our parents from our daughter, well daughterS now. One year Emma painted a tray and decorated coffee mugs, then another time she painted aprons. It was cute!

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  13. Sometimes I love gift cards that way I am guaranteed to like my gift ;D I get to buy what I want and in the right size.. or I can hang on to it until something catches my eye. Really depends on where the gift card is to.. I mean, if it is to Target then I am super excited!
    I love all of those DIY gift ideas though!!

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  14. I HATE giving giftcards (for the exact reasons you mentioned) but LOVE receiving them. I'm such a picky person about every little thing that I own that it's usually easier for me to get exactly what I want than to try and figure out what I'm going to do with the coasters that don't go with anything else in my house.

    But I love coming up with creative, out of the box and personal items to give to other people. This year I made calendars for my parents with photos of my brother and I through the years and cannot wait to give it to them.

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    1. Was totally going to write the same thing until I glanced up and saw your comment- HATE giving them (for those reasons) but I actually don't mind getting them....UNLESS, like Kym said, it's from someone who knows you sooo good and then they should have lots of little ideas floating around!

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  15. I have always thought the same thing about gift cards!!!

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  16. I adore receiving both gift cards and gifts. My family exchanges gifts and gift cards are all on the list. I have five full time college students in my family and the greatest gift I can give them is an amazon card for textbooks or a gas card.

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  17. those ideas are pure gold! and i've gotta say, i have a love/hate relationship with gift cards. i totally see what you're saying and they are quick and easy and i've never complained getting free money! i love that they're easy and useful for putting money TOWARDS something. let's say someone REALLY wants a new camera, i'm no sugar mama, but i'll buy an amazon gift card to go towards what they want.

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  18. I agree and disagree! I think with a little effort, gift cards can be thoughtful, especially if it is too the person's favorite place, or you know them well enough that they would LOVE a gift card over anything else (i.e., my brother). However, yes, it can be so thoughtless. For example, at my husband's 30th birthday dinner (which should be a nice birthday, right?), his sister gave him a gift of a few gift cards, and they are obviously the ones you get in the checkout line (although I won't say I didn't hate getting that chik fil a card). But, in that situation, she clearly ran into CVS and bought them on the way to dinner. Sorry for the ramble, and I love the DIY ideas!

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  19. I already DIY gifted; it should be there any moment now... ;-)

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  20. Christmas is coming, the latest michael kors bag here, good price quality, introduced to everyone

    http://michaelkors.shoplal.com/

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  21. Those DIY gifts are gorgeous! I have to admit, sometimes I would love to receive gift cards as I can then go and get something I really want rather than something useless!

    Handmade gifts are always the best idea though - just seen a gorgeous Christmas 'popsickle' recipe on another blog using chocolate and a candy cane. Such a good idea!

    Katie <3

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  22. These are great gift ideas and they're so unique! I love the idea of a cute jar of dog treats! And infused olive oil!

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  23. I'm right there with you! I think gift cards are okay in a business/client type of setting. I get my boss a gift card to a restaurant I know he and his wife like... they have 2 little ones and I know they don't go out much, so to me it's like HEY, GO ON A DATE! :) But for family and friends, gift cards are so impersonal. I remember one year in our family gift exchange I did something SO creative and one cousin actually pointed out "Omg, you weren't supposed to put that much time/thought into this!" and cracked up!!! Ugh.

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  24. I totally agree! I mean, for family, I'll be honest, I find gift cards are the best options, especially if they're really hard to shop for. But for someone special, it just seems lazy to me. If I got a gift card from my parents, I would be perfectly happy with it, but from my boyfriend? No way.

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  25. I love all these gift ideas! I totally understand your point on gift cards.

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I love reading your thoughts and opinions and I do try to answer all comments and questions. If you would like to contact me directly feel free to email me at ourfoxtales@gmail.com or find me on Instagram @ourfoxtales.

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