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For the Friend Who Has Everything - A Consumable Gift

By Aldene Fredenburg

As the holiday seasons approach, most of us switch into gift-giving mode, and start looking for that perfect item for each of our friends and family members. And we all have one or two individuals on the list who are incredibly hard to shop for, not because they don't have interests, but because they already have absolutely everything they could want or need. The newest DVDs? Got 'em. A great cashmere sweater? Closets full of them. The best kitchen gadgets? The top golf or skiing accessories? Tickets to the latest shows? Got 'em, got 'em, got 'em!

So what do you do? You spy, and snoop, and search, until you find out their favorite guilty pleasures - food- and beverage-wise, that is. Maybe they have a yen for the best Swiss chocolates, or the wines of a particular province in France. Or perhaps their gastronomic tastes run to the nostalgic, and the candies and other favorites of their childhood - imported plum pudding, perhaps, or a selection of their favorite, hard to find, childhood candies or cookies.

One nifty thing about consumables is that when you give them as gifts, if you've done your homework properly, the recipients consume them - which means you get to buy the same gift next year.

Another approach is to invite a friend or family member to his or her favorite restaurant, an enjoyable outing during which you also give the gift of your love and attention. This event could actually become a yearly tradition, a ritual anticipated and cherished by you both.

Of course, consumables don't have to be food or beverages. There are many, many magazines and newspapers published in the world, on every possible topic. Imagine a European or Asian immigrant getting a subscription to a newspaper from his or her homeland, in the appropriate native language; or a quilting enthusiast receiving the most popular quilting magazine - from England. Even your loved ones "who have everything" are not likely to have combed the world for the more exotic periodicals.

A doting grandparent would welcome a box of photographs, taken throughout the previous year, of her or his grandkids, along with scrapbooking materials, and perhaps a few instant cameras and prepaid mailing envelopes so they can take even more pictures of the kids.

So for friends and family who have everything, start thinking in terms of consumables when you make out your holiday gift list. You may be amazed at the possibilities that come to mind.

About The Author

Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire and frequently contributes to Tips and Topics. She has published numerous articles in local and regional publications on a wide range of topics, including business, education, the arts, and local events. Her feature articles include an interview with independent documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and a feature on prisoners at the New Hampshire State Prison in Concord. She may be reached at

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