Presents for people who don't want 'things'

(64 Posts)
iheartdusty Sun 29-Sep-13 21:38:21

I'd love to hear your suggestions, as nearly everyone I buy for is in this category now, mostly adults over 40.

Charity gifts/ goats etc are always a possibility, but please add your other ideas!

So far I have come up with:

Magazine subscription.
( eg this new cycling mag on special offer, 3 issues for £5)

Theatre vouchers
National Art pass
Cookery course
Food foraging course

Tinlegs Sun 29-Sep-13 21:39:27

I read somewhere recently that it is experiences we treasure into old age, not things. A meal out, trip to the theatre, day at the races.....

carolmillen Sun 29-Sep-13 21:42:20

Experiences are best I think but photo books go down well in our family - great for special occasions.

We often make up our own hampers too - home made lemon curd, jams etc.

laughingeyes2013 Sun 29-Sep-13 21:42:51

I'd say an experience day. You used to be able to buy a voucher in Argos or boots from about £50 to £300 depending on the experience. If I remember rightly it varied from one day candle/ jewellery making or art & craft day, to massages or balloon rides or even helicopter/flight lesson etc.

Sorry, but I want experiences even less than I want things, unless you know me very well indeed and preferably have checked with me beforehand - I have more than once past been given vouchers for experiences that I wouldn't want to do and it is really embarrassing to deal with, at least with unwanted objects you can discreetly charity shop them. Magazine subscriptions if agreed in advance, but I don't read many now (send more time on here instead).

Vouchers and edibles all the way here. No to candles and smellies either <ungrateful>

Tinlegs Sun 29-Sep-13 21:50:41

By experiences, I didn't mean those packages you can buy. I meant a promise of something that would be an experience. For example, I have bought my family theatre tickets and we are buying MiL a trip somewhere she has always wanted to go (Barra!). For my DH's 50th, he was given a trip away. I paid, the children agreed we could go, granny babysat.

Another 50th gift he got was a meal out with friends to an amazing restaurant.

These would, clearly, rely on knowing the person well. But then I don't tend to buy Christmas presents for strangers, or acquaintances.

iheartdusty Sun 29-Sep-13 21:52:26

yes, edibles are a good option - but no-one wants sweets or chocolates or biscuits because they are trying not to put on weight. I do buy a lot of bottles of various kinds, oils, fancy vinegars, local wine and champagne, but half the family don't drink, and don't really do much experimental cooking.

everydayaschoolday Sun 29-Sep-13 22:00:21

National Trust annual membership
Leisure centre/Gym membership
if for youngsters: term of swimming lessons, piano, ballet, whatever

Lurleene Sun 29-Sep-13 22:06:13

Cinema gift card?

iheartdusty Sun 29-Sep-13 22:11:16

cinema is a good one for a family

iheartdusty Sun 29-Sep-13 22:41:44

other things I've remembered giving in previous years:

graze box for 3 or 6 months, or a voucher
annual membership to a nearby place, eg Kew Gardens
Time Out guide to restaurants, or pub guides

My family are all keen on edibles, we all love to cook and like a nice bottle of wine or some chocolates for Christmas.

What's a graze box?

everydayaschoolday Sun 29-Sep-13 23:19:14

www.graze.com/uk

not had it myself, but a work colleague subscribes

StupidFlanders Mon 30-Sep-13 00:13:56

Do you have to buy something? I have bluntly told all of my friends that now we have families the presents stop and everyone was relieved.

What we do is go out together for a dessert to "celebrate" christmas.

iheartdusty Mon 30-Sep-13 16:02:01

These are family, mostly BIL and SIls and my aunt, all very lovely people, scattered all over the UK and busy with their own lives and families, so taking them out for a meal (etc) won't really work as a gift, but there is a firmly established tradition of gift giving.

iheartdusty Mon 30-Sep-13 16:04:34

for example SIL and her husband do not want a photo book of our DC because they have their own DC, fond though we are of each other and our respective children, and it is always very enjoyable to get together.

champagnesupernovahg Mon 30-Sep-13 16:07:02

Cinema vouchers good <just seen already done - doh>
Find out who their babysitters are and are arrange a payment and they can set up a date between them?
Trip to the local panto if not too £££
Arrange a meal for the family to get together on a date that isn't xmas?

ZombieBelle Mon 30-Sep-13 16:17:25

how about adopting an animal either with wwf or through a nearby zoo?

the graze boxes are lovely, i get one every week and its a nice treat

iheartdusty Mon 30-Sep-13 16:17:57

I like your ideas Champagnesupernova.

(my SIL's DC are teenagers but it would work well for younger children).

Wine glasses - because who has a full set
Socks - I like comedy ones - it's the thought that counts.(it's now become an expectation)
A nice bread board - so you can go all Jamie Oliver when entertaining.
Or depending how zany your friends are, a massive Nerf gun.

YouHaveAGoodPoint Mon 30-Sep-13 17:59:14

Nice wine or champagne works well for a lot of people. It's a little boring but it is something nearly everybody enjoys.

I like the Arts pass/national trust ideas.

What about tickets to a sporting event?

If they live near a theatre can you pay for priority membership. Eg The National Theatre

Can you suggest not getting each other presents and just doing something nice together when you get to see each other in person?

Thinking about this a bit more, because I know I am in this category and hard to buy for. We are at the stage of being in our 40s and having "everything we need" but we have quite a lot of stuff that is old and could do with replacing. The wineglasses suggestion made me think of this. We actually have lots of those, but would love to replace various old worn out kitchen things - a lot of our house stuff is 15+ years old but because the ones we have are sort of adequate we never seem to get round to it. Why not ask if your relatives have anything they would like replacing with a newer set of? Pans, crockery etc perhaps. Or money towards updating furniture, rugs, curtains etc? Then the old stuff can be charity shopped so no net gain of clutter.

RedRedWyne Mon 30-Sep-13 18:41:37

What about a year's membership for tastecard? Sorry! I'm new and not figured out how to link but it is a card that gives you 50% off certain restaurants in the uk.

iheartdusty Mon 30-Sep-13 20:32:56

these are great ideas, especially the 'replace/upgrade' idea.

On Reastie's excellent bargains thread she has mentioned the spicery which I may well be using this year.

Just as a matter of interest WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes (one of my favourite songs, btw), do you like fancy soaps, hand cream, that sort of thing?

Yes and no! I like bars of soap and handcreams, but bubble baths, liquid soaps and most shower gels aggravate my eczema and I can't use them. Vouchers for Lush, Boots, Body Shop are most welcome so I can buy things I know will be gentle for my skin.

Re the upgrading - need to be careful when offering in case the person thinks you are saying their stuff is scruffy! Definitely don't suggest specific things in case it is their most treasured possession. This would actually work better when you don't seem them regularly as they know you can't be commenting on the state of their crockery!

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