Yes, it’s the thought that counts. But what about those gifts that are, well, thoughtless?
I know—I feel like a jerk even saying it! But we’re probably all guilty of settling for a last-minute present that doesn’t exactly epitomize thoughtfulness. Instead of purchasing a sweater (I don’t know about you, but it makes me uncomfortable when others buy me clothes), a box of cherry cordials or the ultra-safe department store gift card, consider some of the gift packages below. Not only are these gifts unique and interactive, but many of them support innovative and charitable causes.
Be part of Buffalo’s booming brewery scene with this gift package that caters to the craft beer connoisseur.
Make a monetary pledge to Community Beer Works in someone’s name, and then hand over the awesome swag to the gift recipient. For as little as $10, you can contribute to a cause that pairs high-quality beer with community advocacy. Donate through CBW’s Kickstarter page to help this budding brewery establish itself in Buffalo. Make a pledge by Dec. 14 to ensure the project gets funded.
Top off this gift with a growler filled with the gift recipient’s favorite seasonal brew from Pearl Street Grill and Brewery. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to enjoy a pint of it.
And if the recipient of this gift is a beer history buff, surprise him/her with an Iroquois Brewery shirt from the Gift Loft for just $10.
Have an animal-lover or curious kid in your family? Instead of dropping serious cash on a stack of animal books, opt to support a local organization that brings the world’s exotic animals right to our Buffalo backyard.
Adopt a Buffalo Zoo animal in someone else’s name (“adoption” rates are $25 and up), and pick up a set of tickets to the zoo’s breakfast with Santa event. If you want to sweeten the surprise, make it easier for your loved-one to visit his/her newly adopted serval by purchasing a membership in his/her name. Individual memberships are $40, but there are special family and combo rates. Visit the membership page for details.
If you’re buying for an adult, swap the breakfast with Santa for tickets to February’s Polar Bites, a night of dining and drinking that benefits the zoo.
It takes a certain kind of person to truly appreciate a cookbook for Christmas, so you have to be sure you’re presenting your favorite foodie with a creative cooking-dining package.
Local food guru Christa Glennie Seychew’s Nickel City Chef cookbook offers a behind-the-scenes look at the popular Buffalo-based cooking challenge series. For just under $25, snag a copy of this book-DVD combo that features recipes from Western New York’s best chefs.
Let that inspiration simmer before handing over to your beloved foodie the next part of the gift package—cooking lessons at Delish! on Elmwood.
For added flavor, throw in a $20 set of Buffalo Dining Cards, which contains 52 cards that each offer $10 discounts at Western New York’s finest restaurants. Throughout the year, your gift recipient will be enjoying memorable meals at a discounted rate.
The gift of knowledge is unparalleled. Keep your loved one in the loop with the ultimate gift package for the newshound in your life.
Pick up a gift subscription to The Buffalo News—and feel free to customize that subscription to be delivered on certain days of the week. Subscriptions can last a few weeks or the whole year. It’s entirely up to you to decide how much local news, entertainment info, coupons, editorial content—and so much more—you want delivered to your gift recipient’s door.
Don’t want to show up empty-handed to the gift exchange? Sure, the newspaper subscription is awesome enough, but feel free to add on a framed historical Buffalo News photo—perhaps a black-and-white shot from the blizzard of ‘77, Buffalo’s skyline at dusk, or a witty comic by your favorite editorial artist—available at the Buffalo News Store. It’s always nice to have something under the tree waiting to be unwrapped.
It’s a Small World
If you’re going to opt for a scarf or a holiday tree ornament, as least be sure it’s one-of-a-kind. At El Buen Amigo, 114 Elmwood Ave., find handcrafted gifts from around Latin America. Items in the shop are fair-trade, which means the artists who made them are all being paid a fair wage for the work they put into making that particular gift. From intricate Peruvian mirrors to Honduran nativity scenes, there’s no shortage of unique gift options. Take solace in the fact that your gift is meaningful, and it was created in proper working conditions.
For the Latin American culture enthusiast, think about enrolling him/her in Spanish language lessons or Latin dance classes. The Latin American Institute, located across the street from El Buen Amigo, offers a variety of arts, language and cultural courses throughout the year.