How to Think Up Thoughtful Gift Ideas

It all begins with this: What does she really love? Example: Her cat. So buy, make or invent something for her cat. Make a kittie photo album. Photoshop it to include all sorts of celebrities, human or cat. Or remove some cat-related annoyance. Like: Clipping its claws. So give her coupons saying you’ll clip Floofoo’s talons, or invent the padded cat hugger/holder/pawcuffing device for extra-safe claw clipping. More ideas: A Collection of Apologies … written in disappearing ink, of course, so she can’t use blackmail you later. She loves some TV show … so get her those Oprah tiToy Superman safe turned into a ckets, which is impossible, so instead simulate the thing, with an Oprah Winfrey Show Party. Create a website where she and her friends can sign up for tickets, then using recorded voices give them all a “personal call” telling them when the show will be. Dress up like possible guests. Or hire an Oprah lookalike to “interview” everybody … or use a lifesize cardboard cutout and play clips. Etc. A couple of gifts I’ve given. My dad and his wife, Carol, love performing music, so a bunch of their kids chipped in to buy studio time so they could cut their own CD. My wife, Anne, and I love our kids, of course, so I had our small collection of little-kid videos put onto family video DVDs, ensuring we’d still have them after VHS goes kaput. Took a bit of doing, arranging it, and getting old photos turned into labels. An example on a smaller scale concerns my hard-to-tame sweeth tooth, which sometimes tempts me to polish off a stash before patient Anne finally goes looking for her share. Oops, it’s kind of gone. But honey, I just ate one or two … or three … or four … at a time. Remedy: One Christmas I bought a “candy safe,” to which only she and our son, Alex, know the combination. Actually, it was just a funny toy Superman safe, whose slogan I changed to “Saving candy is powerful.” (See also the earlier related post, “Gift Idea: Customize a Box of Candy.”)

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