Shop year-round. Store stocks tend to be picked over by December, and deadlines can hamper creativity. Keep your eyes open for gifts all year, and stash them away until the holidays.
Make it personal. When giving someone a relatively generic gift, such as a picture frame, put a photograph inside or “something humorous, an inside joke.” Write a meaningful message on the inside flap of a book. Add a personal touch to robes, towels, and jewelry by having them monogrammed or engraved.
Do your research. When buying a gift in a recipient’s field of expertise, such as a camera for a photography buff, read product reviews and talk extensively to experts at the store.
Consider a yearlong gift. Subscriptions to favorite magazines or food-of-the-month clubs will remind the recipient of you on a
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
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- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- Why America won't have enough money to battle ISIS
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
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