When it comes to gift-giving around the holidays, the worst feeling in the world is thinking of a special gift for someone but not having enough time to make it happen. We don’t want that to happen to you! Check our top five favorite thinking-ahead gift ideas…

1. A Piece of Ireland – Nope, not a snow globe with a leprechaun in it. A honest-to-goodness piece of land IN Ireland. Okay, so it’s only 1 square foot of land, and you can’t build on it, but isn’t that an awesome gift? For $49.99 per plot, you can own a piece of the Ireland countryside and help to preserve it for future generations. I did this for Greg our first Christmas and he totally geeked out over it. He’s traveled all over the UK, but he’s never had the chance to go to Ireland! This idea makes it to the “thinking-ahead list” because it takes a few weeks for processing. When you get your packet in the mail, you’ll receive a certificate of ownership, deed of assurance, a photo of your plot (perfect for framing when you give the gift!), as well as directions to your plot if you ever make it to the Emerald Isle.

2. 365 “I Love You”s – This idea is really simple, but it’s something simple that would mean a lot to your special someone. All you need is 365 small pieces of paper, a jar, and a little time. Just write a message on each piece of paper and place them all in a jar. My mom and Aunt did this for my grandparents for their anniversary a few years back. Shortly after, it became a family joke when someone did something for you, they’d say, “Just stick it in the jar!”.

3. A Corner on the World Wide Web – If you have a friend who wants to start their own business or a daughter who is interested in blogging, a domain name is the perfect gift. If you happen to be tech savvy (or know someone who is), you could even go ahead and get them started by setting up a simple website or blog design. If you are looking to do a quick website, we recommend Showit and a template from SiteHouse by Promise Tangeman. Promise is a crazy talented graphic designer, and it shows in her templates. They’re unique, oozing with style, totally customizable, and affordable. For as blog templates, check out The Cutest Blog on the Block or Shabby Blogs.

4. Commissioned Art Piece – For the art-lover in your life, a one-of-a-kind art piece is the ticket! Etsy is full of artists offering commissioned pieces for affordable prices (like the piece above by Kristen Daughtery). To find an artist who will create a custom piece just for you, just put “commissioned art” in the search box on Etsy.

5. DIY – A DIY project might sound like a no-brainer, but for me, Christmas DIY projects always come to mind when the hustle and bustle is well under way and there isn’t much time left for crafting. If you get started now, you can go ahead and start collecting your supplies and maybe even pre-make a few things as well. For a plethora of Christmas projects, just search for “Christmas DIY” over at Pinterest. You’ll be amazed at the amount of high-quality, awesome projects you’ll find – like the Gift Card Snow Globe above. So fun and clever! For more of my “pinned” DIY projects, visit my board here.

Do you have anything to add to the list? Share your ideas with us in the comment section…

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  • Reply
    Kyle T
    July 23, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Great and unique ideas. I especially love the land in Ireland! My dad is part Irish!

  • Reply
    Hailey Grace
    July 23, 2011 at 10:15 am

    The 365 I love youS…I’m so doing that!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Christmas is the perfect time for DIY gifts. A friend of mine knits something for me every year and her gifts are the most appreciated ones.

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 10:26 am

    One Christmas I gave custom travel pillowcases for the little ones in our family. When our family travels everybody takes a pillow so I made bright, fun and personalized pillowcases for each of my nieces and nephews. I also included a set of permanent markers so that every time they go on a trip they can write where they went and the dates. One of my nieces is 15 now and she still won’t travel without it. Great keepsake too!

  • Reply
    Teresa Ward
    July 23, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I am a singer and once made lullaby CDs for my sister’s kids. Fun ideas! I especially love the 365 “I love you”s!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I took my grandparents old family movies and had them transferred to DVDs one Christmas.. On Christmas day we sat around eating and watching the DVDs for hours! It was so great and my grandparents laughed and cried through the whole thing. I will never forget watching them as they watched the movies. It was priceless! Good memories.

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I want to try the gift card snow globe thing. Love your blog.

  • Reply
    Yvonne T.
    July 23, 2011 at 10:53 am

    We always hide one gift for each of the kids in our family and wrap clues on how to find them. One year they found their gifts outside in our trunk, another year they were on top of the sliding board in the backyard and another year they were on the neighbors patio (with the neighbors permission:). The best ever was when my husband hid them in a tree. They had to climb the tree to get them!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I got real brave one Christmas and painted drinking glasses for my sister-in-law one year. She is always entertaining and loves bright colors. I painted flowers on clear stemmed glasses and she loved them! Uses them all the time! I have to admit they turned out really pretty:)

  • Reply
    NARA L
    July 23, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Great suggestions! And I really enjoy your blogs each day. Love your house to!

  • Reply
    Beverly Ford
    July 23, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Our dogs are part of the family in the Ford clan. I’ve made homemade doggy treats several times. You can make them in advance and they keep well. Merry Christmas, Greg and Ashley!

  • Reply
    Vicki S
    July 23, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I’m enjoying the whole Christmas in July thing. You’ve really got me thinking ahead! My goal is to have the shopping done before Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving I’m going to play Christmas music, watch Christmas movies and just enjoy wrapping them:)

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 11:19 am

    We do a “Christmas In July” at my church for our missionaries. Our church collects the gifts, wraps them and has them shipped in August. This is because it takes the crates so long to arrive. This way they have gifts from the states to open on Christmas Day.

  • Reply
    Kathy Mullins
    July 23, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Land in Ireland. Love it! My husband’s brother WILL be getting that for Christmas!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 11:30 am

    My mom makes pajamas for each of the grandkids each year. The kids love it. (Fortunately she’s an excellent seamstress.) Sewing seems to be becoming a lost art though:(

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 11:39 am

    LOVE Promise Tangeman’s work.

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I don’t think there’s anything you CAN’T find on Etsy. I can spend hours looking through there stores.

  • Reply
    AMY J
    July 23, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I love your blog!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 11:48 am

    My dad loves to read so over the years I’ve gotten him several autographed copies of some of his favorite authors. Needless to say these usually have to be purchased weeks in advance.

  • Reply
    Mariah Bevins
    July 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    At Christmas is my friend.

  • Reply
    Juanita M
    July 23, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    One year our family decided we were all going to “make” or give “DIY” gifts for Christmas. It was one of our best Christmases ever! Everyone was so creative and we all had hilarious stories to tell about how our DIYs came to be. Good memories!

  • Reply
    August 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Great blog. I’d love to follow you on Pinterest if you use the site. Only problem… there are like 6000 people with your name on Pinterest.

    • Reply
      August 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      Haha, yeah. When I got married, I definitely inherited a common last name! Here’s the link to my Pinterest page: Happy Pinning!

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