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Gifts from a Starving Artist

If you haven't noticed... Christmas is almost here! If you haven't quite finished your shopping... if you are a creative procrastinator, a busy parent, or a starving artist... this post is for you. My gift to you is a pile of quick, easy, and/or cheap gift ideas to cover anyone left on your Santa list.

1. Vosges chocolates
For: the person who has everything; a relative who lives far away; that picky person who's impossible to shop for (except my strange aunt, who hates chocolate--but everyone else who's picky).

Vosges chocolates are NOT cheap, but the presentation and quality make them a gift worth giving. Vosges chocolate is simply the best I have ever tasted. The experience is indescribable. They make Godiva taste like cardboard and sawdust, if you can imagine. You can have a very impressive, luxuriously wrapped collection sent to your special someone for under $50. This year, we sent a holiday collection of Vosges to my parents-in-law, who enjoy fine pleasures and are in the process of purging stuff from their house to get ready to move. We could have sent them a $50 gift card to the hardware store (yawn), but instead we sent them on a decadent pleasure trip with festive flair.

A bonus of sending a beautifully packaged gift like this is that you don't need to spend any time wrapping or shipping it yourself. The seller does all that for you.

2. The fruits of your own special skills
For: anyone who is into what you do or make.

Are you a world class baker? A photographer? A beautician? A poet? Share some of your skills, whether in the form of goods or services. Just make sure the recipient is in need of or enjoys the particular thing you do. Don't offer Great Uncle Harry a makeover unless he watches RuPaul shows, and don't give Aunt Mabel a chapbook of your poetry unless she's into that sort of thing. But if, say, your mom is an artsy gardener and you are a sculptor, make her an art deco bird bath. If you're a tax attorney, give your cousin who just started his own business a coupon for free tax services this year. You get the idea.

3. Time savers
For: busy people (who isn't?), especially if you have little to no money to spend.

Send a card with a certificate for a certain number of hours of babysitting. Put together a gift basket of rare seeds for an ambitious gardener. Cook and freeze dinners for a relative who isn't able to, or doesn't like to cook. Load a fantastic playlist onto a friend's iPod. Focus on creative ways to save people time.

Still need more ideas? Browse through my Daily Gift ideas from last December. You're sure to find something there that works for you and the recipient. Now relax and enjoy the holiday season!


  1. What great ideas!!! And I love the notion of doing for or creating something for people. Goes along with my idea of getting back to some basics and not going into debt for the holidays!

  2. All fabulous ideas! Now I must gift myself some of those chocolates. It is custom to give all forms of candy a whirl before I hand them out to potential recipients ;D. I am also fond of hand-made gifts for the holidays, I just made burlap stockings and cotton bale stocking holders for everyone this Christmas. I also baked dinner rolls for my neighbors and son's school. I love the giving spirit of Christmas, this post is a gift of ideas, thanks for sharing!

  3. Great ideas, thank you! I'm making candy this year, homemade pecan pralines, almond roca and caramels for gifts. Then, on Jan 1st I'm going on a DIET! :)

    Merry Christmas, that rebel, Olivia

  4. WC: Yeah, that's the idea! We have accrued no debt this year, but what with the baby coming (car seats, safety gates, diapering supplies, oh my!) we have annihilated our savings. Ah, well. Time to sell all the bins of strange collectibles the in-laws mail to us on eBay.

    B. Anna: I love your DIY gift ideas! It's more fun to give things that you've made yourself, isn't it? But those Vosges are fantastic, too. I just received an early gift of the exotic dark collection from Mr. G. Yum!

    Olivia: That sounds DELICIOUS! I am looking forward to not dieting during or after the holidays this year. What fun it is to be pregnant this time of year! :)


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