10 ways to make gifts special

December 2, 2014

Sometimes, the tiniest twist to a common gift can elevate a common gift to something special.  Here are 10 ways to make gifts special with practical but fun touches the recipient will appreciate:


Cute gifts I received this year.

1. Elevate a gift card…

Everyone loves a gift certificate to a favorite store. This year, add a pretty zippered case that the recipient can use for credit cards or change. Speaking of gift certificates, have you thought of giving a gift card to the movie theatre nearest the recipient’s home? Did you know you can sometimes buy them at a discount from the American Automobile Association?

2. Complete a pair of pajamas with..

…some fuzzy bedroom socks and an eye mask, if it’s for a woman. Both can be found reasonably priced at discount stores like Target, Marshalls and TJMaxx.

3. Add amenities to a lightweight kimono

If you’re giving a lightweight spa robe, add some emollient lotions or even some nice shampoo and conditioner. Small sizes aren’t super-expensive and when given with a robe, make a wonderful spa-like gift.


These ARE a splurge.

4. Upgrade bedroom slippers….

by buying some with warm, fuzzy linings. If you really want to splurge, Uggs offers great slippers for men and women that many people wouldn’t think to buy for themselves.

5. Gift for your overnight pet sitter

Your overnight pet sitter might love having the equivalent of a portable airline amenity kit she can carry with her to jobs: a small toothbrush and toothpaste, eye mask, lotions, warm socks, even shampoo and conditioner in small sizes, all in a nice little bag.

20141121_1517366. Gift for housekeepers, hair stylists, manicurists…

Some of us have regular service providers we like to remember at holiday time. If yours are as dedicated and reliable as ours, you probably give them a little cash at Christmas. Why not insert the cash in a tiny box of candy? Or give a gift card for lunch to a restaurant you know they’ll enjoy?

7. Take a yoga mat to the next level

If you search online you’ll find companies that will customize a yoga mat with your yogi’s name or initials. Or mats with cool designs (like flowers).  A  fun, practical and cute gift for the yogi in your life.

8. Elevate a mani-pedi gift certificate

…by adding a few mini-bottles of nail polish, which can be found at stores like Sephora.



9.  Take cute tea towels to the next level…

…by adding some colorful cheese knives or other kitchen utensils. Find them at stores like Home Goods. (or, give a small cheeseboard and knives. Those are mine, pictured above.)

10. Add to a bottle of wine….

…some gourmet snacks or wrap it in a nifty re-usable wine carrier. Some even come with cooling inserts that you freeze.  Want to make it look festive? You can find cellophane wrap and ribbons at almost any craft store.

I’d love to hear your ideas for taking what seems like a common holiday gift to the next level.


36 comments on “10 ways to make gifts special
  1. Great list! I think gift-giving is almost more fun than gift-receiving. Every December, I make a dozen cheeseballs, freeze them, and give them with a pretty spreader and plate included.

  2. I love all of your gift ideas Carol!

  3. I used to own a gift basket company. It was the most amazing job I ever had. I loved making deliveries, people were always smiling.
    For me it’s all about the presentation. Lots of cellophane, pretty containers, handmade bows and candy.

  4. donna says:

    Several amazing ideas! My hubby added awesome, cozy socks to the plush robe he bought me last year! It made it all the nicer…especially since they “matched”.
    Lotions are a great option as well. I would encourage the purchase of one bottle of quality lotion over a few bottles from an inexpensive source. “Cheap” lotion is just….wrong :0).
    And don’t neglect packaging! A few smaller items placed in a re-usable basket with some colored tissue gives a nice “WOW! You really thought of me” feel <3.
    I will add though….the photo of the knives under the mani-pedi kind of threw me off for a second 0_0…haha.
    Happy Holidays to you!

  5. Ruth Curran says:

    I love the idea for personalizing gifts for regular service providers! I love giving gift certificates to movies, grocery stores, and coffee shops too – especially to young people who deserve and just can’t afford a treat!

  6. A good list and such a bright and happy blog. It cheers me up!

  7. Carolann says:

    Great list of ideas! I love me some Uggs! I have to start shopping soon and bookmarked this for that day 🙂 Thanks much!

  8. What great ideas for adding another personal touch to holiday gifts.

  9. I love these creative ideas! One year I knit scarves for all my son’s teachers (it was a small school) and they loved it. I also knit one for my nephew with his school colors. All the “kids” who I give gifts to are grown and all they want it $$, but I love the idea of being so creative. Plus I love giving gifts at other times of the year when people least expect it. Even a nice note in “snail mail” saying, “Hey, I think you’re special!” is nice.

  10. WendysHat says:

    I love thoughtful gifts. Those are all excellent ideas! I love those little bags you received. So pretty.

  11. Great ideas! I have slippers on my wishlist and movie gift cards are ALWAYS one of my favorites to give and received (my daughters always provide enough for several movies for my husband and me). Thank you for the super suggestions!

  12. Kim Tackett says:

    One of the ways I try to make gifts special is to include a note, or even a letter. They can be read later, but they let the recipient know I really saw and heard them, and I appreciated them.

  13. Toni McCloe says:

    I love all of those ideas. Adding a little something extra makes the gifts seem so special, like personalizing each. I think the recipients will really appreciate the little extra thought and care that goes into these gifts .

  14. All these are wonderful ideas, Carol. What I think I especially love about your post though is how clear it is that you truly enjoy giving–a generous heart that no doubt the recipients are grateful to have in their life.

  15. Oooh, personalizing a yoga mat. That’s good. I actually had such a great yoga mat that my teacher asked me to give it to her when I moved out of the area. Now I need to replace it and personalize it. (Or is that very un-yogic of me to be attached to my sage green yoga mat? It’s been almost 7 years since I “gave” it away.) Thanks for all the suggestions.

  16. Loved these ideas – pinned it!

  17. Such good ideas. I love those little purses you received as gifts – how pretty!

  18. These are all such terrific ideas!

  19. Great list, Carol! Thanks.

  20. Myke Todd says:

    This list is very unique to me, and quite impressive.

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