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It can be difficult to think of a gift for someone who already has everything. Surrounded by a world of material goods, perhaps our friend would appreciate something different from the usual gifts, perhaps something that holds the same value as the classic “things” but yet cannot be touched…
The gifts that I propose to you today, besides from being unusual, lead us to rethink the idea behind the gift itself.
With factors such as holiday influences, endless competition between shops, and the idea of do ut des*, choosing a gift can be hard, seeming almost more of a duty which social conventions dictate to us. This can lead us to forget the true meaning of what we are doing causing the gift to inevitably lose some of its value. A gift is in fact, a way to thank someone close to us, it is something spontaneous, something we do when we feel the desire to do so. Whoever said that a £50 wallet was worth more than a dedicated portrait, or a cake made with love and all of your friend’s favourite flavours?!
Here are 5 unusual gift ideas, some experiential, others personalised:
* Do ut des: è una frase latina dal significato letterale “io do affinché tu dia”
1) THE GIFT OF A FASHION SHOW
The Charity Stars website offers you the chance to kill two birds with one stone: give your friend a great experience as well as encourage a good cause. It works like this: choose a category (fashion, travel, sport, theatre…) and then an initiative in particular (attend a fashion show, go to the opera, visit the editorial office of Vanity Fair…). A limited time public auction then takes place and at the end, the winner receives their prize while proceeds of the auction are donated to the association with which the company offering the service has entered into the agreement. They can be NGOs that deal with promoting the work of inmates in prison, foundations that help children with neurological diseases, or projects that support young Italian designers, just to name a few! A different gift both in itself and the ways to do it!
2) DISCOVER YOUR OWN ASCENDENCE
This idea of My Heritage allows us to find out more about ourselves by discovering our origins. Research is carried out in a laboratory using a simple saliva sample. The sample’s DNA is analysed, determining which ethnic groups and geographical regions it belongs to. It is then compared with that of everyone on the database (approx. 107 million individuals), so that relationships can be traced, starting with those which share a high percentage of DNA in common. The center, in addition to research, also has an impressive archive (10 billion historical documents) allowing us to discover traces left by our ancestors in the past. This gift is not only a source of knowledge of our own personal history, full of interesting discoveries, but it also offers the possibility to meet people biologically linked to us.
3) ADOPT AN ANIMAL IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION
Try to think of your friend’s favourite animal. Unless it is a pet cat, dog or hamster, it is very likely that it’s in danger of extinction as a great deal of animals now are. Some of the species that risk disappearing in the next decades are the wolf, brown bear and polar bear, jaguar, seal, whale, panda, and dolphin.
Through the WWF, however, you can make your contribution to prevent this from happening by adopting an animal (symbolic of course) in need of protecting. Different packs are available ranging from a basic pack including a descriptive card of the species and an adoption certificate, to one that also contains a stuffed toy of your chosen animal. Not only will you be giving your friend a soft companion to embrace by doing this but you will also be making a small, yet grand, gesture for the biodiversity. A gift sure to be appreciated!
4) A PORTRAIT
Nowadays we are surrounded by photos, but what about giving your friend the charm of a captured moment on canvas? With “PrimoRitratto” that is exactly what you can do. Just go online, upload the photo you wish to have transformed into a picture and then choose from the following styles: oil, charcoal, watercolour, pencil, pastel, or acrylic. You can check the progress of the portrait and have the oppportunity to make changes before it is complete, if you wish. Other positive points about this are that there is a guaranteed refund if you are not completely satisfied, shipping is free, and products are delivered within 12 days.
5) THE GIFT OF A STAR
Is there anything more exciting and intense than admiring a starry night’s sky? Imagine receiving a star as a gift, knowing that someone wanted to pay homage to us with an almost eternal element, a gift that will look down on us and illuminate every night of our lives. Online Star Register is a site which offers this unique present. OSR gives you the opportunity to choose a star and dedicate both a name and date to it. Several packages are available depending on the occasion, all of which include a star certificate, a constellation sheet, and a code explanation sheet containing further information including the star’s coordinates. You can choose to add a personalised message for the recipient or, if you prefer, this magical gift can be sent anonymously. Your friend will then have access to a personalised page online to track the star, as well as being able to view it in 3D thanks to the Online Star Register app.
A symbolic act with a strong emotional and dreamy meaning!