Nine Great Alternatives for Generic Holiday Gifts

Photo by: Courtesy of bluehillfarm.com
The Gift: Fruitcake
The Swap: Artisanal Jam

There are so many perishable treats-sugar cookies, eggnog, gingerbread men-floating around this time of year that ... more 
Photo by: Courtesy of bluehillfarm.com
The Gift: Fruitcake
The Swap: Artisanal Jam

There are so many perishable treats-sugar cookies, eggnog, gingerbread men-floating around this time of year that most of it gets thrown away. If you're going the food present route, it's better to give something that stores long term instead, like jam or honey from a local farm or gourmet store. Pretty labels are a must! Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam, $14, bluehillfarm.com
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Fri, Dec 6, 2013 3:59 PM EST
by Alison Syrett Cleary

Paperweights, shrink-wrapped shower products, mall-brand candles-all those generic, extra gift-y gifts-aren't necessary bad presents. People can usually find some use for that sort of stuff. Really, the only problem with giving a standard-issue something is that it seems hurried and impersonal, as if you didn't put any thought into it. Think about it: who unwraps a mini zen garden kit and says, "Wow, they so get me"?

Gift clichés are tricky, there's no way around it-which is why I've included less-expected alternatives for nine generic presents in the slideshow above. Although my picks are all crowd pleasers, you'll find that each one is more special than your average holiday-themed toiletry or office supply, so no one on your list will feel slighted. Click through to kick up your gifting game.

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