Tired of gifts being returned or unused? Do gift certificates seem too impersonal? Give these gifts that will be used almost immediately!
1. Homemade preserves: Jams, jellies, pickles and beets — just like Grandma used to make! Dig through family recipes, search online or go to the local market and pick up a few bottles of goodies. Place in a basket or cloth bag, and voila!, the perfect present.
2. Wine: You can purchase wine at the liquor store or from a local winery — or make your own, if you are really ambitious. You can pick up nice, wines for less than $20. They are perfect for office gift-exchanges where you never know who may be receiving. If you are looking for something more high-end, try a bottle of dessert wine or a nice Scotch.
3. Candles: You can buy from local craftspeople or try a candle-making kit. Make each candle one-of-a-kind, and attach a small card. In your own handwriting, describe how unique it is.
4. Meat and cheese: A cheese basket and a stick of cured salami makes not only a nice and tasty gift, but is good for someone who doesn’t have time for Christmas cooking.
5. Charitable donation: Give the gift of giving! This is a nice idea, particularly if the recipient has an attachment to a certain cause. Perhaps a relative supports the local children’s hockey team or they volunteer at the local Boys and Girls Club. A donation on their behalf to something they care about is sure to put a smile on their face.
6. Magazine subscription: This is a great idea for any age. Children love getting their own mail, and magazines encourage reading. It’s also a perfect gift for the avid fisherman or hunter.
7. Day/Night out: It could be something as simple as dinner and a movie. Or how about an afternoon of side-by-side massages, or getting creative at a paint-your-own-pottery place? Better yet, let them choose! The true gift here is the gift of time together, so this is a good gift for someone who you have been meaning to call or someone who hasn’t gotten enough of your attention lately.
8. Homemade nutz n’ boltz: — Make up a big batch of delicious homemade nutz n’ boltz, then divide into mason jars, decorated coffee tins or cellophane bags. Some cereal boxes actually include the recipe on the side, but here is one favourite just in case:

Nutz n’ Boltz

- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cups Cheerios
- 4 cups Corn Chex
- 4 cups Rice Chex
- 4 cups Wheat Chex
- 2 cups cashew or mixed nuts
- 2 cups pretzels

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
1. Melt butter in large baking dish (12 x 17-inch or so) in oven.
2. Stir salt and sauce into melted butter.
3. Add cereals and nuts. Mix well.
4. Bake at 250 degrees F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
5. Put on absorbent paper to cool before storing in airtight container.
6. You may use any combination of the dry ingredients to your own liking; just keep the same ratio of dry ingredients to liquid.

Think outside the box for gift ideas that will create long lasting memories and appreciation from your friends and family. These non-clutter gift ideas are something that anyone can enjoy!

Author's Bio: 

Colette Robicheau is the first professional organizer in Canada and the owner of Organize Anything, a productivity consultation company based in Halifax, NS. She can be found online at www.organizeanything.com