Since email, Internet, and social media have taken over our worlds and let’s face it, we all have tons of “stuff,” I really love to gift experiences or make donations to organizations that could really use our help. Sometimes I’ll add a little material “something” to the experience package to sweeten the deal, but a membership to a fabulous museum, for example, provides a lasting gift to your recipient all year while supporting the museum simultaneously. I like that. A lot.
For that creative person in my life (and I have many!), a gift membership to the Whitney Museum of American Art always excites. Perhaps I will accompany the gift card with the catalogue of the Richard Artschwager retrospective that is showing now.
Richard Artschwager artwork
One of the organizations that I have the utmost respect for is God’s Love We Deliver. God’s Love creates delicious meals for people that are too ill to cook for themselves, made by loving hands and delivered right to the patients’ homes – that’s thousands and thousands of meals a week! I have had the good fortune of volunteering in the kitchen several times, chopping vegetables right alongside others who have inspiringly done so for up to 15 years and running! The commitment is astounding. Make a donation in lieu of a material gift and you and your recipient will feel awesome.
For the aspiring foodie, a gift certificate to the Miette Culinary Studio in the West Village of New York is a GREAT idea. They offer all kinds of cooking classes – from classic French cuisine to sushi tutorials, and if you don’t live in NYC, do a Google search on cooking classes in your own area. Lots of great ideas will turn up!
I’m in love with the food and table settings at ABC Kitchen and would happily give a gift certificate from there for a wonderful evening out. Pick any restaurant you love and have been meaning to try. Just about any restaurant will be happy to create a gift certificate for you. I wrap mine up in a box instead of just giving an envelope and pick wrapping paper and ribbon to make the discovery even more festive.
As an uncle with an ever growing population of nieces and nephews who have toys coming out of their ears, an activity is more lasting and exciting to me than giving another stuffed animal. I am all for inventiveness and the Inventgenuity Workshops at the Beam Center are creating radical afterschool programs for kids that range from music video creation to laptop tear down and rebuilding. Gifts certificates are available across the board of their cutting edge programs.
For the wine enthusiast, any number of classes at the Brooklyn Winery would make a fantastic gift. It’s a cool spot where you can tour the facilities where wine is actually made, taste some yummy varietals, eat great food, and learn a whole lot about a subject that is often really intimidating. Their instructors do a great job demystifying the world of wine.