There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but here on land, the plenty of people we encounter and exist alongside aren’t necessarily destined to be part of our lives. To extend the comparison further, some folks are a bit fishy. Be grateful for the good ones you have in your life and give them a gift just because…
Mother Teresa said, “The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved,” which is why it is important to recognize the people who mean the most. If anyone knew what poverty was, it was Mother Teresa, so let’s spread some love to try to eliminate the poverty of loneliness.
Friendships can be difficult to start and even harder to maintain. Family consists of people with whom our lives are entwined from birth, so family can be the best friends that you may have previously overlooked or taken for granted.
We live in a time where our friends are listed in bold print, their names clearly displayed on the screens of our devices. With social media, we have never been more connected to other people, and advancements in technology removed the natural barriers that were once created and maintained by physical distance.
We are now able to catch small glimpses of the lives of our family and friends without seeing them in person or even having them send us photos in the mail on special occasions.
However, as we scroll through the names listed on our social media, are these people we can trust? Are these people we can contact in times of need or distress? Although these people and their pictures are shown directly under the word “Friends,” are they really friends?
People with a long list of friends and even people with large families can feel lonely. As Charles Bukowski wrote, “Being alone never felt right. Sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.”
Whether we choose to acknowledge it, we are social creatures, and a life online is not as rich as the genuine exchanges we have when we meet with friends face-to-face. Your friends and family add depth and meaning to life, so take the time to be with them in person.
Little gestures to show someone you care are easy to accomplish with a small amount of effort. The little effort is worth it in the long run because tiny tokens of affection are incredibly meaningful for the one who receives them and will often be cherished and remembered.
A small gift can be a source of light during times of darkness. Since we never fully understand what other people are going through, your gift can mean even more than you may realize.
Once you decide to get someone a gift, it can be difficult to come up with ideas. A good place to start is to think about the moments that person savors, the small pleasures that allow a person to temporarily abandon worries or concerns.
A Gift for the Taste Buds
Does your family member or friend drink coffee? Perhaps he or she drinks tea? Consider a cute mug with a personal touch. There are plenty of online options for customizable mugs where you can even use a photo. Some of the mugs change color when the liquid is added. The mug starts off plain black, but when warm liquid is added, the photo appears like magic! This is a nice unexpected gift that is also something your special person can use often.
If your special person drinks tea, there are wonderful, very inventive and fun infusers. They can be found in shapes of animals like sloths, squirrels, dolphins, manatees and even the Loch Ness Monster.
A Gift that Fuels Life
Another useful item that is a simple and affordable gift is a water bottle. We all really need to drink more water. Up to 60 percent of our bodies are comprised of water! Don’t let your loved one get dehydrated. Just like coffee mugs, there are personalized options or even hilarious water bottles like one that reads, “I like my water like I like my emotions – Bottled.” You are not only fueling their life; you are saving the earth with a reusable bottle.
A Gift that Glitters
If your special someone likes jewelry, you are in luck as there are plenty of options to suit every taste and lend a personal touch. If you like to visit local shops, boutiques would probably love to have your business, and it feels good to support local.
If you plan to purchase jewelry online, there are many options that can be touching tributes to family and friends. There are necklaces designed to convey the sentiment, “Thank You for Your Part in My Journey,” with lapis and charms. For the woman you want to cheer on, there are necklaces with shattered glass to represent the special woman you know shattering the glass ceiling.
Another cute idea for a necklace is one with a T-Rex charm. The significance is explained with a card that reads, “T-Rex has short arms so that everything it holds is close to its heart.”
For people who like to know and celebrate their place in the world, there are customizable keepsake map lockets and state pendant necklaces. For those who like to be a little out-of-this-world, a space dust necklace might be a far-out gift they will love.
There are spirit animal necklaces and origami-shaped charms. There are stash necklaces and lockets in many different shapes and sizes that could also give you the opportunity to give your special person something to hold close to his or her heart.
Enamel pins are cute and a great way to dress up an old sweater. There are special enamel pins called “Pin Pals” in tons of different shapes, including a delightful sloth holding a book.
A Gift for Men
Although they often won’t admit it, men can be the most difficult people when it comes to gift-giving. For dudes who like to fix things, there are multi tool bracelets! What could be better than inspiring a guy in your life to fix things? These bracelets look cool, and with one click, they have a handy tool consisting of a multi-functional knife and flat head screwdriver.
Even city-dwelling, hipster guys often want to view themselves as rugged survivalists. For a dude who wants to be prepared, consider getting him a survival kit. Inexpensive but still cool, survival kits can include a flashlight, compass, survival knife, tool cards, fire-starters and other tools.
Compasses, even though we don’t use them very often anymore, are interesting keepsakes that can also be personalized. There are even nautical compasses inscribed with the poem by E.E. Cummings, “I Carry Your Heart.”
A Gift for the Outdoors
For family or friends who like to get outdoors or even if you just want to inspire a couch potato to go outside, a hiking daypack may be just the ticket and lead to fun adventures you can have together.
There are craft kits, including kits for assembling bird calls. These kits come with activities, games and projects. Bird feeders and butterfly feeders are a fun way to inspire someone to actively participate in the wild world that surrounds us.
A little nature never hurt anyone and can be a thoughtful gift. There are Baby Groot planters that come with sprout and vine seeds. For those with a bit less of a green thumb, there are hanging glass terrariums containing succulents and air plants that only require a moderate temperature to thrive.
If your loved one enjoys growing flowers, there are birth month grow kits that grow and change every day, just like we all do. Also, Aloe Vera plants are easy to grow and have many uses. Aloe contains powerful antioxidants that can inhibit the growth of bacteria. It can treat burns and accelerate the healing process. Aloe Vera can even reduce constipation, heal canker sores, and as a mouthwash, it can reduce plaque buildup.
For friends with no gardening mojo, consider letting our florists at Flowerama Waterloo in Waterloo, IA put together a stunning bouquet that is sure to let someone special know how much you care. We have bouquets and gifts to suit every taste.
A Gift for the Musically Inclined
If your friend is musical or just likes to aggravate people with bothersome sounds, there are some amazing and unusual musical instruments out there just waiting to be appreciated. The Otamatone is a Japanese electronic musical instrument with a little mouth that will sing. Another wacky instrument is a Wood Frog Guiro Rasp that sounds and looks like a frog. You use a wooden stick to rake up the frog’s back or lightly tap his nose for different sounds.
A Gift for the Forgetful
If you have a friend or relative who is always searching for something he or she has lost, get a helpful gift. There is a great item called the “Habit Rabbit” that comes with a lucky glass bunny you can strategically place next to whatever is important. It also comes with a tiny rabbit charm you can put in your pocket or purse to bring with you as a reminder.
Anyone wearing glasses would probably find an eyeglass holder they can place by their bedside helpful to prevent them from losing or damaging their eyeglasses. These come in a wide range of shapes and colors.
A Gift for a Dreamer
If these gifts seem boring, you can always get that special someone a souvenir piece of land in Scotland. Also, if you purchase one square foot of land, you can make the landowner a lord or lady. The purchase of the souvenir plots aids in conservation efforts to restore the areas to their once lush existence and to replenish the areas with the vegetation and wildlife that once called these locations home.
If your friend or loved one is a reader, there are great literary posters featuring artwork about heroic girls in books and notable animals in books and even a 100 Iconic Books Scratch Off poster with everything from classics to contemporary literature.
A Gift for the Bob Ross Fan
Is your friend or loved one peace-loving and laid back or could they use a lesson in how to chill? He may not be here on earth with a paintbrush anymore, but Bob Ross’s popularity is experiencing a renaissance, and why not? With messages like, “The secret to doing anything is believing you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe,” Bob Ross is a great example of the power of positivity.
Bob Ross taught everyone that mistakes are happy accidents. If you really want someone to be happy, a little Bob Ross might be just the ticket. Whether they might like a paint set, a chia pet or a toaster that will create Bob Ross’s image on toast, some happy little paints, plants and sandwiches could inspire someone to smile and maybe even make friends with a tree.
A bag of knickknacks can be a boredom buster for a friend or relative who might find themselves with downtime. A fun tote bag with a coloring book, crayons, a journal and pencils and pens can give someone a good excuse to put down his or her phone and create something. If the person has a favorite book you know, add it to the bag because favorite books are like old friends we can enjoy catching up with.
These are just a few ideas for ways to brighten the day of someone who brightens yours. These gifts are affordable and easy. Most can be found online. There is no reason not to give someone a reason to smile.
Aside from little gifts and small tokens of affection, the best gift you can give someone is your time and undivided attention. We are all lacking in genuine human interaction. Social media may be a fun distraction, but if it is distracting you from your life and the people in your life, it may not be doing you much good.
Take a break from social media for the sake of your actual social life. Sit down with the ones you love and exchange some stories, hold hands and hug. Be giving and have gratitude. This is life, and it is a gift, so give someone you love a gift just because.