9 types of gifts for any person on your holiday shopping list

FARGO - After finalizing your list of whom to shop for during this holiday season, deciding on on what their gift should be is the next hurdle. Etiquette experts highlight nine different gift types that could be given to several people on your list.
Poinsettias are a timeless and affordable gift for an in-law or a coworker. Thinkstock/Special to The Forum.

FARGO – After finalizing your list of whom to shop for during this holiday season, deciding on on what their gift should be is the next hurdle. Etiquette experts highlight nine different gift types that could be given to several people on your list. Click through the slideshow above and start wrapping up your gift-giving tasks.

 

Holiday plants – like poinsettias or wreaths – are a timeless gift option for the holiday party hosts.

Christine Chapweske, an etiquette and business consultant and owner of the Fargo-based business The Etiquette Professionals, says these plants are a suitable gift for the in-laws when the relationship is new or if people don’t enjoy a close relationship with their mother-in-law or father-in-law. They are also an easy, quick gift because these plants are usually found in grocery stores during the holiday season for about $6 to $25.

Are the in-laws avid gardeners as well? Check out Don Kinzler's gifts for gardeners here.

Holiday ornaments are also suitable for the in-laws according to Chapweske. Sharon Schweitzer, a cross-cultural business consultant and international etiquette expert, says coworkers can participate in an ornament gift exchange. Although, they should check if their business has a specific gift policy before deciding to purchase items.

“At our office, we are doing an ornament exchange and we did one last year,” Schweitzer says. “It's so much fun, creative and affordable.”  

Check a how to make DIY ornaments, here.

From braided breads to Christmas cookie exchanges, baked goods are still an acceptable gift for coworkers, friends and family.

“I have participated in a Christmas cookie exchange at work where everyone made recipes relating to heritage,” Schweitzer says. “It was a delicious and inexpensive gift.”

Although baked goods could be a bit labor intensive, they are a simple and thoughtful option for coworkers and family members who don’t enjoy an intimate relationship.

If you want to create intricate, braided breads to gift, then watch a how-to video on braided bread, here.

“Going green” this year doesn’t just refer to home decor. The Center for Disease Control recommends "going green" during the holidays by purchasing items that are durable, energy-efficient or recyclable. This year the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)  is encouraging consumers to buy products that were made with wood harvested from a local forest. Toys, picture frames or home decor made from wood require less processing and energy than plastic. Minnesota’s DNR also highlights that wood is renewable and reusable.  

See a full list of products from Minnesota forests at Mndnr.gov/forestry/wooden-gifts.html.

 

Although not the most original idea, pre-paid gift cards are a safe option when stumped for in-laws or even a close friend. Schweitzer illustrates that if you can find out the interests, hobbies or passions of the person, then a gift card to a specific store may be more suitable.

“If you know the person is trying to pay off loans, then a Visa gift card may be a good option instead of just a gift card to a certain store,” she says.

Beginning on December 15, the Downtown Community Partnership will offer a "Downtown Fargo Gift Card" in amounts ranging from $5 to $500. More information about the special gift card can be found at DowntownFargo.com.

Schweitzer also says gifts cards in small amounts are perfect for your barista, paperboy or hairstylist.

 

State-themed decor and locally-made products are a great option for those who live in your community or friends and family who have moved away. Many choose to showcase their state pride or have a reminder of home on their wall. Grain Designs in Fargo builds tables in the shapes of both North Dakota and Minnesota, in addition to large, wall hanging metal signs. State-themed decor can range from a few dollars up to $165.  Read more about state-themed products, here.

Schweitzer says nonfiction books or large photographic compilations are a safe option for the in-laws or your boss.

“Never purchase a self-help book for any person on your list,” Schweitzer says. “Books like ‘How to lose weight’ could be offensive.”

Instead, find a nonfiction book that relates to a special interest like fashion, photography or a certain period of history.

Gifts can be a conversation piece during an exchange. However, be sure you’re giving the gift during the appropriate time and place. Schweitzer reminds shoppers that gag gifts are never appropriate at work. If you have a close relationship with the person and you understand their sense of humor and interest then an unusual gift like a Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera ($59) or a litographs T-shirt of their favorite novel ($34)  may be appropriate. Lithograph t-shirts create an image with the words used in various novels. The site, Litographs.com, include shirts created from such works as "The Great Gatsby," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Sherlock Holmes."

If you are considering an unusual gift, Schweitzer suggests that a person tries to do some extra research before purchasing.

Possibly the least given but most appreciated gift, time is perfectly acceptable when the present may be unexpected.

“If a neighbor brings over a small gift, like a plate of freshly-baked cookies, then in return it’s fine to invite them in for a cup of coffee and enjoy the present together,” she says.

Other gifts of time could include a “coupon” for a date night or a “certificate” for time spent babysitting for nieces, nephews, grandkids and others.