5 Classy Gift Ideas for Any Time of Year
Looking for Thanksgiving hostess or Christmas gift ideas that will be well received? Trying to keep your holiday spending in check? Here are five elegant gift ideas that are suitable throughout the year. All of them can be purchased affordably.
Vases and fruit bowls might be seen as girl-only gifts by many folks, but well chosen photo frames, mantel clocks and spirit decanters in a neutral design (stay away from hearts and flowers) can easily serve as elegant gift ideas for both men and women. Crystal is timeless, elegant, and if you shop at places like Home Goods and Tuesday Morning, darn cheap.
If you don’t happen to be traveling to Indonesia, Thailand, the Middle East, or Africa, check your local import stores like World Market or outdoor markets where travelers bring back goodies from abroad to sell for a small profit. Hand carved wooden display stands provide an affordable yet exquisite backdrop for sacred texts, coffee table books, and photo essay titles. They make a dramatic decorative statement suitable for numerous design styles. Bonus? They aren’t something you can pick up at just any box store on the street, although they are available to those with a little time to look.
My folks bought us two of these a few years ago and we are complimented on them all the time. The trick? Look for some nice hand blown glass ones with metallic accents and skip the tacky primary colored fruit replicas. I’ve also seen some reasonably tasteful wine stoppers done in various metals. These don’t take up a ton of space, so they are easy to ship. They are also suitable for every decorating style and are not holiday specific, making them suitable for year round giving as well as the numerous winter holidays representing multiple faiths and denominations.
The more dramatic, the better. As affordable gifts go, this one is still higher end and probably more appropriate to give a family member. That being said, if you’re wanting to spend more on someone and want something they will use for years regardless of changing tastes, these things are perfect. They can be a bit tough to find, but I’ve seen brass and other decorative metal ones at furniture stores and custom frame shops. Years ago, I saw the perfect one for me and did not go for it — still regretting the missed opportunity, really. A large brass display easel can hold oil paintings in antique frames, enlarged black and white photos for a theme party, a framed dinner menu, program schedule, and much more. If you can’t get your hands on larger museum quality version, go for a medium table top easel with classic decorative elements. The person who receives it will still get miles of use out of it. Trust me.
I’ve suggested this before in last year’s hostess gifts article, but I’m tossing it out again here. Why? Because it’s timeless, unisex, and depending on what you select, uber affordable. Think butterscotch schnapps or coconut rum versus twenty year old single malt. You could also explore this list of ideas for wine pairings if vino is more your speed.
Do you have a favorite standby gift that’s elegant as well as affordable? Sound off below.