Style

Say 'no' to gift cards this year: 12 ideas for updating classic gifts

Some gift ideas — socks, board games, fruit cakes — are quintessential holiday picks. But just because they’re expected doesn’t make them bad ideas; they just need a little twist to keep them interesting! Try these gift ideas for updating the familiar classics, and making them a joy — and a surprise — to unwrap.

3 Brothers Bakery

Instead of a fruit cake: Pumpecapple Piecake

Fifth generation Houston favorite Three Brothers Bakery offers its famous triple-layered confection that will make the room go silent in awe. The insanely indulgent creation is made up of a pumpkin pie baked inside a spice cake, a pecan pie baked inside a chocolate cake and an apple pie baked in a spice cake, all layered on top of each other and covered in cream cheese icing, pecan pieces, and a caramel drizzle. The whole thing is 24 pounds, and stands 11 inches tall!

Stockpile

Instead of a merchandise gift card: Stockpile gift cards for stock

Give a gift that amounts to an investment — instead of a pile of clutter. Stockpile allows you to personalize your stock gift based on your recipient’s interests. For instance, give stocks of Google, Apple, or Facebook for a tech-obsessed person in your life. Or give Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts stock for the coffee fan on your list.

Etsy

Instead of a welcome mat: Tastemaker mat

This new Etsy shop offers doormats that look like realistic images of food. Think whole pizza or colorful donut. The mats are major conversation starters, and work as gifts for anyone: men, women, or kids.

Jamstik

Instead of a musical instrument: Jamstik+ musical tech tool

The Jamstik+ is a bluetooth-enabled digital guitar with real strings and frets. But unlike a beginner’s guitar you might have given as a holiday gift in the past, this version works with your recipient’s iPad, iPhone, or Mac and an array of music apps, including an interactive guitar lesson app series.

Sugarwish

Instead of a box of chocolates: Sugarwish gift certificate

Send an eCard from Sugarwish and the recipient can select their own favorite candies from a big selection in an online sweet shop. The personalized confections will be delivered soon after, all done up in a blue box and silky red ribbon.

Instead of a massage gift certificate: 10% Happier app

For the stressed-out person on your list, give a gift that provides lasting relief from tension and increased coping abilities. With the 10% Happier app, users are given daily video lessons, guided audio meditations, and a personal coach.

Georgia Perry

Instead of ordinary costume jewelry: Georgia Perry lapel pins

Georgia Perry’s lapel pins are sure to spark up conversation and become favorite pieces for the pop culture fanatic in your life. Pins bear the likenesses of Jay Z, Beyonce, Larry David, Kanye West or other pop cultural icons, and can be added to jackets, purses, and more for a bit of tongue-in-cheek flair.

Instead of a coffee mug: a Cozy Comfort mug set

This pair of large white mugs are all dolled up in their holiday sweaters! Not just cute, the knit overlays serve a dual function: They keep your recipient’s beverage warm and fingers safe and comfortable.

Instead of socks: Stance Holidaze socks

Sure, you could give that multipack of white or black socks you give every year. Or you could give a version of the gift that’s actually fun to open (and to wear!). Stance makes cheeky printed socks, like these with both a holiday motif and a wintertime nod to summer with a flamingo pattern.

Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of the lifestyle blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

TOP