Choosing the perfect holiday gifts for friends and family can be stressful and expensive. Why not start a new gift tradition? Instead of buying multiple gifts, pick a theme to base your giving around. For example, do you and your friends love wine? Exchange one great bottle. Have a thing for chocolate? A great box of sweet confections will hit the spot. Not only are you sharing in the season, but you are also giving your friends something you know they'll love. Here are some more ideas that may turn into new holiday gift traditions for you and the circles you move in:

  • Board Games: Do you and your friends love dueling it out for Park Place? Enjoy coming up with creative descriptions for Taboo? Why not start a board game exchange? Not only will your friends love it, but it also gives you a great excuse to spend the evening together.
  • Cookbooks: If you and your friends love to cook, swap cookbooks! There are literally millions to choose from. You could narrow it down by cuisine or even your favorite chefs. Or, create your own! Put together a binder of all your favorite recipes.
  • Scrapbook Pages:Scrapbooking is a great way to honor your friendship. Gather together photos from different events throughout the year and create a special page for her scrapbook. Ever year you can add a new page!
  • Ornaments: Help deck out your loved one's holiday tree and receive new holiday decorations of your own with an annual ornament exchange. Choose an ornament that fits your friend's personality or interests—make it personal!
  • Gym Passes: Are you and your friends yogis? Buy each other passes to local yoga classes. You can even pair the passes with a new yoga mat or meditation CD.
  • Magazine Subscriptions: Talk about a gift that keeps on giving! Pick a magazine you know your friend would never buy herself. On the night of the exchange, surprise her with a current issue of the magazine wrapped in a bow.
  • DVDs: Add to each other's film library by exchanging great movies. With an endless number options, why not pick a theme? Swap your favorite '80s movie. Or, pick films starring your favorite actor. There's nothing like a little Johnny Depp to make the holidays brighter.
  • Books: Love to read? Gather your bookworm buds and start a holiday book exchange. Narrow down your options by picking a different genre every year. From romance to murder-mystery novels and childhood favorites, you'll never run out of good books to give.


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