Tom and I live in a small space – just 350 square feet – and sometimes people have a hard time deciding what to give us for Christmas or birthdays. This is not a suggestion list for what I want for Christmas, but most of us know someone else living in a small space. Maybe a parent or grandparent who has downsized. A friend living in a tiny apartment. A college student in a dorm room. So here are five good gifts for those who live in a small space.
- An experience with you or a gift of your time. Spending time with someone you love is the very best gift. A visit or an offer of help or being taken out to a play or movie can be a wonderful present for someone in a small space. I have a friend whose birthday is close to mine and for years we gave each other tickets to a show. She would buy one for me and I would buy one for her. Or sometimes we would buy two and go to two different events. I looked forward to the time with her as much as I enjoyed seeing the plays or movies. When my son asks what I want, the first thing I want to tell him is “just some time with you.”
2. Gift Cards. I know, gift cards don’t really feel like a gift. But they are so appreciated and, if you know what the person really likes, they will be used. I have called restaurants in far away cities to get gift cards that aren’t available on the internet or at the neighborhood “gift card rack.” These gift cards can surprise and delight a person, especially if the gift card is for a favorite place that isn’t a chain. But be careful! My parents liked to eat at a small family restaurant in Willard, a small town in Ohio. I looked up the restaurant and found two with the same name in Willard (unlikely). One was a bar and the other more a deli. Knowing my parents, I figured the deli one was the correct restaurant and got them a gift card for the place. Wrong! But they ended up using it and found a new place to eat and enjoy.
3. A digital picture frame with some pictures already scanned and loaded. Having all my pictures scanned means that I can enjoy them anytime. I also have them filed and labeled in a way that makes them easy to find. Whenever I start to get homesick, I spend some time watching my pictures. I view them more now than I ever did when they were neatly put away in a picture album. Most digital picture frames have a USB slot for a travel drive. Put your favorite family pictures on the travel drive and add it to the gift of the picture frame. A grandparent will love it.
4. Something for their hobby. What does the person you are shopping for like to do in their spare time? If you can get a gift that adds to that hobby, it will certainly be appreciated. Last year my wonderful daughter-in-law gave me a gift card to a yarn shop. Then (the best part of the gift) she went with me while I shopped for yarn. She doesn’t knit and was probably bored – because I can spend a lot of time in a yarn shop! – but the gift of her time was very precious to me. I enjoyed picking out my yarn and using the gift card. And I enjoyed her company while I did it. Two gifts in one! Most hobbies have appropriate gifts in any price range. And the person you give it to will appreciate that you knew them well enough to find something in their line of interest.
5. Food. No matter how small the space – an RV, an apartment, a dorm room – food is always an appropriate gift. A favorite candy, a box of assorted soups, some high end hot chocolate mix, a small basket of fruit: any of these can be wonderful gifts for someone in a small space. And the advantage of buying for someone in a small space is that just a few of whatever will be appreciated. They don’t have room for a Costco supply! Take them something homemade. Or take them out for a meal. Any of these can be much appreciated.
So there you have it. A short list of five good gifts for people in a small space. Who is the person in your life who lives in a small space? How have you gotten creative with their presents? What do you think is the best gift for someone in a small space? I’d love to hear from you and maybe I’ll use your ideas in a future post.