Just because it isn’t the holiday season, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions happening.  Perhaps you’ve blown your budget on summer travel (or summer sandals), but whatever the case may be– you need to come up with a gift that isn’t going to break the bank.  Rather than plunk down another scented candle or treasure from the closest Duane Reade, why not come up with something clever?

One of THE most thoughtful gifts I ever received was from a dear friend of mine for my 20-somethingth birthday.  This was the type of gift that only a best friend could have come up with.  When I initially opened the gift, I must admit, I was a bit confused.  An urn?  Is she pointing out that I’m getting old?  Au contraire, mon frere!  This shiny vessel had secrets to spill.

Inside my gal pal listed on 52 little pieces of folded paper all the reasons she loved and enjoyed our friendship.  I opened one each week until my next 20-somethingth birthday.  It is quite literally the gift that keeps on giving (without those pesky cold sores)!

Remember about a month ago when I was headed for a destination unknown?  Well, not only was I slightly stumped when packing, but I was also having a tough time coming up with a gift that would express my feelings without costing a billion dollars.  Why is it that guys only want things that we can’t afford?  Since I couldn’t throw down on that Lamborghini Aventador, let alone a Canon EF 70-200 I had to get creative.  How many pairs of underwear does one man really need?  So, I channeled my inner child and wrote a little story to sum up my feelings.

Using a Moleskine and a little bit of help from Crayola, I crafted a thirty page love story (of the kindergarten type).  While it’s no Ferrari, the recipient was equally (if not more) pleased with the work I put into this gift.

These are just two examples of how you getting a little bit crazy and thinking outside of the box (no pun intended) can result in a gift that means much more than money can buy.