5 Ways to Avoid "Average" Holiday Gifts

Looking for some unique holiday gift ideas? Here are 5 creative suggestions from the Domestic CEO.

Amanda Thomas
3-minute read

How long is your holiday gift shopping list? If it’s like most people's, it feels endless! And chances are, it's got a few people on it that are challenging to find gifts for.

But if you are stumped year after year about what to get Uncle Joel or your sister-in-law, who both seem to have everything, don't panic. Rather than purchasing the cliché scarf, sweater, or gift card, why not try something clever and creative?

Here are a few of my best ideas:


If your mom has always had a secret desire to learn belly dancing, why not purchase a gift certificate for her to take classes? There are classes available for just about anything, and for any age level, so get resourceful. Fun options might include a writing class, pottery or painting lessons, or even scuba diving lessons. You can also often find these classes at a discount price on websites like Groupon and Yelp.


Buying a yearly membership to a zoo, museum, the gym, or a family recreation center is an awesome gift. Find out what that special someone likes to do, then tailor the membership accordingly. A membership to a local botanical garden is a lovely present for nature lovers - or if there is a National Park near your gift recipient, a yearly pass to that would make a great option, too. Membership ideas for families or children include zoos, aquariums, children’s museums, and indoor play zones.


Magazine subscriptions may seem old school, but everyone looks forward to receiving something in the mail on a regular basis. You can also get magazine subscriptions for a Nook, Kindle, or iPad.  A few more innovative subscription ideas include coffee, wine, fruit or chocolate "of the month" clubs. How fun to give a gift that will show up every month for the next year!

Activity Tickets

I’m not talking boring old movie passes here. Why not give passes for bowling, mini golf, ice skating, horseback riding, a comedy club, or even a concert? Make sure to give enough passes so your gift receiver won’t have to go alone. Better yet, if you can make it a date to spend time together, include yourself in the activity; you can offer to also provide the ride, and dinner afterwards. It’s always fun to plan an activity with someone you care about, and give them a special treat you'll both enjoy.

Food or Drink

Sorry, a restaurant gift certificate is not what I mean here (although I am always a huge fan of receiving one!). If you are getting a gift for someone who loves good wine or beer, find a certificate for a wine tasting or craft beer class. Many local breweries offer this experience, and quite often will include dinner with a class and a tasting. Large liquor stores also offer informational classes to help you expand your knowledge of wine or other spirits. Search carefully and you can even find a mixology class for the amateur bartender. 

If you’ve got a foodie to buy a gift for, look for gourmet cooking classes. Better yet, many caterers will offer an intimate gourmet meal served right in your giftee's own home. What an amazing present to receive!

So, think outside the box this Christmas! Find the perfect, unusual gift for everyone on your list with these creative, original and personalized ideas.

Did I miss something? Share your clever gift ideas with me on the Domestic CEO Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest pages.

Photo of special gift courtesy of Shutterstock.