I know.. I know.. the last thing most people want to hear about is the holidays and going shopping. I personally never shop for gifts in a store. I always buy things online and have it shipped directly to my family and friends. I can usually get my Christmas shopping done in about an hour online, unless I’m creating the gift, of course.
Holiday Gift Ideas When You Are Far From Home
My favorite gift to give is a personal one. A great standby for personal gift making is Snapfish. I can’t tell you how many times I have used this site to create and send photo gifts. I’ve put together calendars, mousepads, photo books, and mugs for family and friends on numerous occasions. It’s not expensive and I really enjoy doing it. Then you can have it shipped directly to the person.
A new website that I have come across this year is Animoto. This web application allows you to create videos out of your photos, video clips and music without downloading any software. They have 3 levels of membership. The basic membership is free, but it has a 30-second limit on video length. With the basic membership, you can choose to purchase a full length video for $3. The All Access membership is $30/year or $5/month, and offers unlimited full length videos. They also offer a Pro membership that is geared toward businesses and photographers for $249/year or $39/month.
You can either send these videos over email, which is perfect if you are overseas, or you can slap it on a DVD to give as a gift. Picasa also offers movie making capabilities, where you can share your movies by uploading them directly to YouTube. These sites are great for people who don’t already know how to use video making software, and don’t have the time or desire to learn one.
Hallmark’s Recordable Books
I think my favorite gift idea this year is Hallmark’s Recordable Books. This gift is perfect for the little ones in your life. I realize it may be a bit difficult to pull off if you are overseas, but I had to include it because I think it is the coolest thing. Hallmark offers several recordable book options. I purchased the Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star Recordable Book for my nieces and nephews.
I don’t get to see them that often, but I still want to be a big part of their lives. Most kids love story time, and with these books it’s almost like you are there reading the story to them. You can add whatever you want to the story, like their names, or little messages. Scott and I will be recording both our voices, and I can’t wait to hear about their reactions!
Other book choices include:
Another gift idea is to give a donation to your favorite charity in the name of your loved one. This idea may not be for everyone, especially children. However, in my family, we are very fortunate to live comfortably, and we don’t need more useless “clutter” in our lives. I would much rather have somebody give a donation to a charity instead of receiving a gift. If you need suggestions on charities, I recommend either Earth Island Institute or Mercy Corps.
If you tend to surround yourself with like-minded friends, then it’s likely they love travel as much as you do. If this is the case, one of the best gifts you can give is an experience. Whether it be a small donation to their travel fund as a whole, or a specific experience. If you need help with ideas, check out Wise Gifter. You can tell your gift recipient to sign up and choose the adventures they are most interested in, then you will know exactly what to get them. You can sign yourself up too! That way when you get asked what you want, just send them a link!
If you are like my parents and you find that putting money towards a travel experience sounds a little impersonal, then you can always buy the traveler in your life items they need for their travels. For suggestions on some of the best travel gear, take a peek at our Travel Store (store is no longer active).
Do you have any gift ideas for people who are traveling far from home that you would like to add to this list?