Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gifts for Far Flung Friends

Jamie and I, Halloween 2004, preparing to do superhero deeds like passing out lunches to homeless people and campaigning for a Congress person (she was Super Freak and I was Super-ego)

Because your life is not just about wedding planning, I thought I would share an idea for gift-giving.

My dear friend, Jamie, is celebrating her birthday in California. And I am way far away in Texas.

I decided to find something cool in her city (the Bay Area) and buy her and her family tickets to it. I liked the idea of buying her an experience (and, truth be told, I liked the idea of being able to e-mail her a present rather than sending it in the mail because I didn't start thinking about her present until the post office was already closed for the day--argh!).

I searched and searched and unearthed some really cool stuff (you Bay Area folks are so lucky!). I wanted to buy her a dinner at a local farm but instead came across a group called Frugal Foodies. A different group of 10-15 people meet once a week to cook a mostly organic and entirely vegetarian dinner together (there are locations in Berkeley and San Jose). The total cost per person is a mere $8. Cooking yummy food among new friends? So fun! I quickly ran through my mental list of friends in the Bay Area who might be willing to babysit for Jamie and her partner.

Then I found the Maker Faire: a family-friendly event to MAKE, create, learn, invent, CRAFT, recycle, think, play and be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, science and technology. Perfect! Jamie is way into crafting, and likes family-friendly events.

I put together a PowerPoint presentation to e-mail to Jamie on her birthday:

Voila! Do you have any other ideas for last-minute gifts for far flung friends?

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V. Wetlaufer said...

This is such a great idea. Now that I'm not planning a wedding anymore, I still read your blog for inspiring ideas like this. None of my friends are nearby, and this is a wonderful idea.

I like to collect gifts over the course of the year--if I see some little thing, I will buy it if I can and stash it away for a person I love. They usually end up getting a couple little things and a nice homemade card with letter rather than something large and extravagant, and I think we're all happier that way. I'd still knit gifts if I hadn't already used up my friends' patience for knitted gifts from me. :)

I love the idea of creating an experience, even when you can't share in it.


Sara E. Cotner said...

Loaf! It's good to see you around these parts. I haven't heard your voice in a while! I hope all is well...

Hannah said...

I'm lovin' your costumes! I LOVE halloween and dressing up :D

Carey Griffin said...

Such an awesome idea! The Bay area is full of fun stuff like this :)

Sarah said...

Ahh home, I certainly do miss all the fun stuff that the bay area comes up with...sigh...

Adrianne said...

My mother definitely qualifies as "far-flung". For her last-minute birthday present, my daughter and I made a cake for her birthday. We mixed, baked, washed up and decorated the cake (which had more than a few "finishing touches" from a toddler), documenting the whole thing in pictures. Then we sent my mother a picture of her cake via email, and called to sing her happy birthday. Later, I made her a website documenting the whole birthday cake process. The follow-up is a photo book of her birthday cake. My mother REALLY liked it.

UPrinting.com | Envelope Printing said...

What an excellent idea! Such a thoughtful gesture, I'm sure any friend would appreciate that gift. you could also search their area for caterers and have them set up a nice dinner for the celebrant and her husband.

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