- Visit an ethnic market and make a custom basket of edible goodies: for example, an assortment of Italian cheeses or Middle Eastern spreads.
- Buy a socially responsible gift from a fair trade retailer such as MayaWorks in Chicago or Ten Thousand Villages. Fair trade shops offer a variety of gift options, from coffee to handmade journals.
- Assemble a fresh fruit basket with seasonal picks from your local produce market. For fun, package it in a reusable shopping tote.
- Buy a handmade gift from a local artist. Don’t know any artists? Scan your local paper for art show listings, or peruse one of the many online art/craft marketplaces.
- Visit a local florist to buy a cheerful houseplant to brighten an office-as well as purify the air. See the list of best air-purifying plants.
- Make your own gift: many art centers offer workshops throughout the year. You can also utilize an online (or local) photo service to make a personalized gift.
- Buy a one-of-a-kind gift while helping out a budding artist or designer; many schools such as Columbia College Chicago have online or retail stores that sell student-designed art, jewelry and wearables.
- Make a donation in the name of the recipient to a local charitable or nonprofit organization. To personalize the gift, choose one related to your recipient’s industry or interests.
- Purchase a boxed set of handcrafted thank you cards. In addition to thanking the recipient, it allows them to show their gratitude to others.
May 26, 2009
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