31 Great Gifts That Keep on Giving

By Jason Topp on 1 December 2011 (Updated 23 November 2013) 12 comments

If you're wondering what kind of gift to buy for the person who already "has it all" this holiday season, you're not alone! It's hard to come up with new and creative ideas for that special someone.

But don't fret. If you're looking to buy a gift this year that won't fade away once the newness wears off, then you've come to the right place. Take a look at these gifts that keep on giving! (See also: 25 Gifts You Can Make Today)

1. Cooking Classes

What gift could give back more than cooking classes? Classes are fun and a great way to either brush up on existing skills or learn new ones.

2. Perennial Flowers

Why not give the gift of beautiful flowers that continue to bloom each year? No worries if you're not much of a green thumb, here's some advice on how to choose perennials.

3. A Charity Donation

If you're looking for something that surely won't get returned or re-gifted, consider giving a donation on someone's behalf to their favorite charity. Two sites that can help you weed through the various charities and decide which to give to this season are Charity Navigator and Just Give.

4. A Costco Membership

Costco memberships are a great way to give a gift that keeps on giving. The savings had at a membership warehouse like Costco can really add up, especially if someone doesn't have to pay the $50 membership fee that first year!

5. Rechargeable Batteries and Charger

It's not the most exciting gift in the world, but for that practical someone on the list, it makes a lot of sense.

6. Photos

Give the gift of a family photo to your spouse, grandparents, or other relatives. Use a site like Snapfish to put them into a memory book, calendar, or any number of other creative ideas.

7. Toms Shoes

Toms Shoes are an excellent gift because they are two gifts in one. When you buy a pair of shoes, Toms donates a pair of shoes to a child in need around the world.

8. Toms Sunglasses

Toms recently starting selling more than just shoes. You can give the gift of eyesight to someone in need around the world with every purchase of a pair of Toms sunglasses.

9. Zoo Membership

A zoo membership is a great gift for a family with children. The membership can be used multiple times throughout the year and usually includes free passes to the dolphin show (my favorite!) and other extras.

10. Sponsorship of an International Child

Through an organization like World Vision, you can provide a child with education for as little as $32. You can also sponsor a child for roughly $35 per month, which provides a child with clean water, nutritious food, healthcare, and education.

11. A Pocket Camcorder

Give the gift of capturing memories with a pocket camcorder. Here are good reviews of pocket camcorders to get you headed in the right direction.

12. A Letter

Give a memorable gift that a loved one can re-read at any time. Hand-written letters are a thing of the past, which makes them even more special.

13. A Famous Family Recipe

Do you make the best pulled pork with your own special BBQ sauce? Or perhaps no one comes close to that perfect chili recipe like you do. Type your "almost" famous recipe and tape it to a new pot, pan, or other cooking utensil.

14. A Vacation

This doesn't have to be a seven-day Mediterranean cruise. It can as small as an overnight stay in the city or a weekend getaway at a bed and breakfast. Memories created on these trips will last a lifetime!

15. Blue Silk Scarves

Looking for a winter accessory to give to your special someone? Take a look at scarves from Blue Silk Scarves. Each purchase sends a donation to help women in Cambodia break free from cycles of poverty by teaching them life skills.

16. (Not Your Average) Greeting Card

If you're just looking for a greeting card for the holiday, be sure to check out the great collection from Tree Nex. Every card purchase you make will plant a tree in a forest for your recipient, and you can even track your tree online.

17. (Not Your Average) Gift Card

If you're looking to give someone a gift card this year, consider giving a card that will allow them to help change the world. The vision for Global Giving is to "unleash the potential of people around the world to make positive change happen." Each card allows your recipient to choose what projects they donate the gift card amount to. Projects include feeding the hungry, educating children, building houses, training men and women with jobs skills, and many others.

18. Your Skills

Are you really good at woodworking? Make something. Have a knack for cooking? Volunteer to teach your skills. Love kids? Offer to babysit once a month to give parents a break. Are you a budding artist? Create an amazing canvas to help decorate someone's home. Use your natural talents, be creative, and have fun.

19. Reusable Gift Bag

If you are wrapping your gift, choose a reusable gift bag so your recipient can use the bag again for someone else. Plus, you'll save some trees as well.

20. A Reusable Water Bottle

Check out these reusable water bottles to help stay away from any potentially hazardous plastics.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

21. A Special Edition iPod

Give the gift of music with a (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition iPod. Apple gives a portion of the purchase price to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.

22. Jewelry With a Purpose

If you're looking to give the gift of jewelry this year, check out 31 Bits. Your gift will also give the gift of fighting poverty for women in Uganda.

23. A Secret Identity

For the wannabe crime fighters in your life, give the gift of living out a superhero identity. The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company has all your needs covered. All proceeds go directly to support the free writing and tutoring programs at 826NYC, a nonprofit that supports students ages 6-18 with their writing skills.

24. A Fresh Herb Keeper

I've never understood why grocery stores sell herbs in huge bunches when recipes usually call for a small amount. Most of the time, we end up throwing our herbs away. Check out this clever fresh herb keeper, which helps avoid wasting money and food.

25. A Fruit and Veggie Saver

Along the same lines, fruit and vegetables can spoil quickly if you're not eating them right away. Check out these fruit and veggie keepers that helps keep produce crisp and fresh.

26. Reusable Vacuum Seal Lids

Help your friends or family go green by getting rid of plastic wrap. Not only will these reusable vacuum food sealers help keep heaps of plastic wrap out of landfills, they will keep food fresher longer.

27. A Good "How To" Book

A book that can teach a new skill or way of doing things could be a gift that gives back tenfold. I really like David Allen's Getting Things Done book. You could also try the 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris.

28. A Coupon Book

An Entertainment Book is a great way to give a gift that keeps on giving, or rather keeps on saving! The book offers coupons, discounts, and savings in multiple categories like restaurants, entertainment, and car maintenance, to name a few.

29. Magazine Subscriptions

To give a gift that lasts all year long, consider a magazine subscription.

30. Netflix Subscriptions

Similarly, for the movie buff on your list, give the gift of limitless blockbusters by offering a subscription to Netflix.

31. Food of the Month Club

Whether the person on your list loves steaks, cheese, pizza, wine, or other foods, you can give the gift of their favorite dish to last them all year long. Check out Club-Offers.com for that perfect fare. Bon Appetit!

What other gifts would you add to this list?

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Don't Quit Your Day Job's picture

Yeah, I like the idea of wine of the month club (and how you called it 'food'!). It definitely facilitates people finding wines that they wouldn't buy in a store - since lots of people shop based on the label alone, haha.

Guest's picture

These are all really great ideas, there's nothing better then receiving a personal gift from a friend or family member that is out of the ordinary and even beneficial to others. A year long magazine subscription is a really good idea, this is something that will make a loved one remember you every month all year long. But my very favorite "gift that keeps on giving" is the idea of giving someone perrenial flowers which they can plant and enjoy every year in their garden. Not only do flowers your home look nice, but they bring inner joy when you see them bloom in the spring. My grandmother used to give perrenial flowers to family members, and now that shes gone we all still get to enjoy them every year and remember her with happy thoughts.

Guest's picture

magazine subscriptions are great and you can sometimes find them for $2 at deal sites.

I like the cooking classes idea!

Guest's picture

Excellent suggestions, especially for giving to worthy causes at the same time. Love the cooking lessons! I like to give a slow cooker along with a recipe book for it. That helps busy people eat at home more often. An indoor herb garden is a nice gift also; they can snip fresh herbs for their cooking!

Andrea Karim's picture

OMG, YES to the Costco membership. Also, and I've probably said this before, but one Christmas, my mom gave me a bunch of car wash gift certificates in my stocking, and I washed my car religiously for a whole year. It's funny, because even though washing your car isn't expensive, it's something that I always avoid doing because I keep thinking "Thirteen BUCKS??!! I could do this at home on the lawn!"

I don't have a lawn, but I don't tell myself that.

Guest's picture
Guest

I am giving a Zoo membership to my three nieces and their mother this Christmas! If they go just twice in the next year, the membership pays for itself (it can be pretty expensive to take three kids to the Zoo!).

For actual Christmas Day, I purchased some Beanie Babies of zoo animals so they could have something tangible to go with their "real" gift.

Guest's picture
Guest

TOMS has a huge anti-gay agenda. I'm sure there are better places to spend your money.

Guest's picture
Guest

Thanks for this article - the global giving gift cards are brilliant.

Guest's picture
Terry

Good article.

My wife and I like to give home made gifts also. We have a tradition of baking breads, cookies, and muffins for gifts. It's not only a nice gift, but it's also rewarding to work together in the kitchen with our two boys to do the baking.

Guest's picture
Martha Candes

Give the gift of growing a TickleMe Plant from seeds. It will change the way you look at plants for ever. The leaves of the Tickleme plant close one by one when Tickled.

Guest's picture
Guest

Go Toms

Guest's picture
PurchaseWisely

Does anyone use pocket camcorders anymore? Even cell phones with cameras and the really inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras come with video. Perhaps you should give an upgraded storage card for their device (assuming storage can be added) instead.

How about proposing a charity swap to someone who would be open to it? You give to a charity they choose on their behalf and they do the same for you. That way the gift goes to charity, but not to a charity you or they wouldn't like, and neither of you get continual requests for more donations from a charity you would prefer not to support. Each individual has preferences, it would be better, in my opinion, to work with those preferences.