Sunday, 27 November 2011

12 Unique Gift Sites and Ideas for Your Christmas Shopping

Do you ever get to that point in your Christmas Shopping where you realize that the only two options you can think of as a gift for your sister/brother/uncle/etc. is a choice between the new Jamie Oliver cookbook (does this guy ever stop cooking?) and a gift certificate?

Gift certificates have risen hugely in popularity exactly because of this problem. Everyone lives near the same stores and buys the exact same stuff. How do you give something unique and different? As a result, most people have resorted to just giving a gift certificate and handing off the problem. No one really likes to do that. It feels so impersonal.

Well! We here at iWishfor want to help you, our dear readers. We have compiled a list of 12 unique sites you can go to when you need to find something different, interesting and more personal than a pair of Rudolph socks for Aunt Fran's stocking.

Bas Bleu: Bas Bleu produces a catalog of books and bookish things. They have a very eclectic range of items that includes books but also items like games, puzzles, paper products and other things. The San Marco Advent Calendar is one of my favorites. A great site for the bookish sort of person.

Alibris Books: If you are looking for something else along the book side of things, how about a neat limited edition or first edition of a favorite book. A couple of years ago, my wife wanted a Richard Scary book she remembered having as a child. Using Alibris, I was able to find a first edition for a reasonable price.

Wallblank Vintage: Wallblank sells interesting and unique vintage photos and posters. Framed and hung, these prints can add a neat style to someone's home. The site states that "All of our prints are either from the public domain or from private collectors (and other sources) who have given us permission to reproduce the pieces. Many are from the Library of Congress. Upon obtaining the high resolution artwork for a photo or print, we spend several hours restoring the piece - adjusting color, removing rips, dust, etc. The pieces you see on our site and ultimately as a print are always excellent quality, oftentimes virtually indistinguishable from the original."

Movie Poster Shop: Along those same lines, a poster from someone's favorite move would make a great and personal gift for someone. I have collected many movie posters over the years and they make great wall hangings in media rooms. Try to find ones that are double sided. That means that they have been printed on both sides of the poster so that when light shines through they display the image without blurring it. It may be a little more but the image does stand out more. You also know that it is an authentic movie poster used in the lightboxes on display at the movie theatres.

Snorgtees and Statattak: I love unique and different t-shirts. With Gap, American Eagle and other chains so dominant, it's nice going out wearing something that helps you stand out. These two sites will definitely help you or others to do that. The Statattak is particularly good for those with a social conscience. It displays stats in graphical form showing different African countries and some of the issues afflicting them.

Wire and Twine: Wire and Twine also has some really interesting shirts to purchase.

Speaking of unique, have you ever seen the ice cube trays where you can make miniature Titanics and icebergs. Definitely a neat gift for someone. The following sites have tons of interesting and unique items you won't be able to find in your local store easily or at all.

World Wide Fred: Has tons of weird, wacky but definitely interesting gifts that are guaranteed to make the recipient smile, laugh and, more importantly, acknowledge you as a gift giver extraordinaire.

Wanelo: Wanelo bills itself as your online link to unique products and stores you've never heard of. Definitely some neat things here including a vintage Clue game. If you want something really personal, why not write them a story? allows you to write beautiful stories using actual artist illustrations to go with your words. They also have a large number of books in their collection to get inspiration from including one that was written to ask someone to marry them. Once your story is done, you can have it printed in a gorgeous book format of your choice. Very personal and, honestly, lots of fun to do as well.

An Animal Alphabet on Storybird

Original Scratch Map: Something I just found today, this would make a great gift for those in your family that love to travel. Using the same idea as a lottery ticket, this map allows you to scratch off the places you have travel to displaying a different colour underneath to show where you have been. Fun and educational! Love it!

Of course, there are those out there who are just tired of all the commercialism that Christmas brings. If that describes you, check out the site, Buy Nothing Christmas, to find some alternatives to buying gifts. Nothing says thinking of others like a homemade gift made by yourself.

Looking for a easy way to share gift ideas with family and friends? Check out our wish list app for saving and sharing gift ideas!!! iWishfor will save you time and pain and help you buy the perfect gift every time!