questionswho needs gift ideas?

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Yes please, although not for kids.
I'm always stumped by my brother-in-law. And it doesn't help that his birthday is 30 December.
By profession, he's a computer guy but he's moved up into management/director level working mostly with information/network security. He mostly works from home and seems to spend most of his days in teleconferences. He's not into sports or outdoors type stuff. He keeps fish (freshwater) and grows plants (indoors...must be nontoxic to cats), does some amateur photography and recently decided to teach himself how to pick locks. The thing is, he's got most of the gear he needs for his hobbies. And he tends to buy the few things that he does want. We've tried to explain the idea that you put things on the Amazon wishlist and then you DON'T buy them between Thanksgiving and Christmas. He gets the first part...no so much the second part.

So, yeah, any help would be great.

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How about a graduating college student? Girl that majored in social work. She is serious with a several year relationship. She is job hunting. Mom is taking her to the Dominican Republic for graduation. Looking for two nice gifts or one nicer one. She is a bit sassy but overall a good kid. Grandparents are also looking for a gift she would like.

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@pattiq: What about a nice luggage set? That would be helpful on the trip and also for travel later on, particularly if she gets a job away from home and has to fly to visit family. Something like a rolling carryon and matching larger bag to check might be nice.

In a similar vein, I got a nice shoulder bag/briefcase type bag when I graduated from college. I used that as my work bag for a number of years (until I had knee surgery, was on crutches for a while, switched to a backpack and never went back). It was nice to have something professional to take to my first job.

Does she already have a passport? If not, paying for that might be a welcome gift. They're not terribly cheap and would definitely be used.

Is she going to be living in an apartment after she finds a job? What about some nice pots/pans/kitchen gear/plates/silverware/knives/etc? I got a set of nice pans (not top of the line but nice) when I graduated from college. I still use them regularly.

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I'm going crazy with this one. An 8 year old boy (from the hood, seriously) who I only see twice a year. He likes Ben10 but I don't know what else. No more then $50 cause I got him clothes but no biggie gift.

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@gigi889: Most 8 year old boys I know are in the Lego phase of life. For $50 you can get a reasonable size Lego set. The Star Wars ones are popular. There are some cool trucks in the Lego City sets, particularly the mine sets. The Super Heros sets (Avengers and Batman in particular) have some neat sets in that price range. I would stay away from the Hobbit sets. At 8 there's a good chance he's not into The Hobbit yet.

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@gigi889: Yes, most kids like LEGOS. The Ninjago sets are really popular, and a kid who likes Ben 10 will probably like a superhero or Monster Fighter set.

There's two books I saw recently that I would have bought for my niece if she was a boy: The Dude Diary and Doodle Sketchbook: Art Journaling for Boys:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dude-diary-mickey-gill/1017629277

http://www.amazon.com/Doodle-Sketchbook-Art-Journaling-Boys/dp/1423620461/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354505960&sr=1-2&keywords=doodle+boys

I also really like the completely addictive puzzle Perplexus, which challenges users to navigate a small metal ball through a spherical labyrinth.
http://www.amazon.com/Perplexus-Maze-Game-PlaSmart-Inc/dp/B002NPBT50/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354496862&sr=8-1&keywords=perplexus

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@pattiq: I also like the idea of a bag. Not knowing her preference, though, I suggest a really nice, grown-up wallet--think Coach or Kate Spade.

Having been inspired by the idea of bags, I headed over to Zappo's Couture and found some possibilities

Almost any of these:
http://couture.zappos.com/women-travel-accessories/COjWARCT1wEYodcBwAEB4gIEGAECAw.zso

Since she's heading to the Dominican Republic, I'm guessing she already has a passport--but maybe a nice leather passport holder?

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Thanks for your responses~going shopping!

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@gt0163c: I've given some of the Kuhn Rikon printed knives (That are often sold here on Woot! and can be found at TJ Maxx type stores as well as Amazon and Surlatable.com) to two friends just starting out in their new apartments and they have gone over very well. http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Colori-Paring-Damask/dp/B007OTFAB4/ref=sr_1_39?srs=2595054011&ie=UTF8&qid=1354555568&sr=8-39&keywords=kuhn+rikon+knives

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@gt0163c: Your brother-in-law sounds like my brother-in-law: he has pretty much everything he needs.

But everybody needs to eat, yes? Have you considered a bacon-of-the-month or beer-of-the-month or something-by-the month club? They have them for beer, wine, cheese, fruit (of course). Here's one from a very popular mail-order catalog:
http://www.zingermans.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=G-bac-3

If you know a brand of coffee or beer that he likes, a nice supply of that will always be welcome. This year, I went to Whole Foods and told the clerk in the well-curated beer section that I wanted to give a few unique beers to my brother-in-law, a oenophile who is also growing into a beer snob. I explained what he liked and came out with some obscure beers for him to try.

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Something for my fiance with these limitations: Can't be anything big (we're likely moving soon, so we don't want to have to move more things), she's not big into jewelry, we're both relatively thrifty (I'm cheap, she isn't very materialist) but beyond that budget isn't a huge deal if the gift is good.

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@gt0163c and@curli76 Thanks for the ideas. I was wondering if household type stuff would be welcome or oh, gee, thanks. She does have a passport and a good luggage set. She went to college out of state and has been flying on long holidays.

Now that I think about it, I might have a couple nice kitchen things in my extras stash. Going to look...

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@pattiq: If she's definitely planning to move away, kitchen stuff is great. Companies like Kikkerland and Fred and Friends have lots of fun items.

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@hamiltwan: What about an experience, like a cooking class?
I know you said you're not materialistic, but how about a nice, small piece of pottery from an Etsy seller for your new home? Maybe a blue bowl with frogs? http://www.etsy.com/listing/85326779/large-blue-bowl-with-frogs

If she has a sweet tooth, this "mini library" of gourmet chocolate bars from Vosges might be just the thing. I've tried many of these and they are really good. (There is also a dark chocolate set available)
http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/product/Mini-Exotic-Candy-Bar-Library/Vosges-Romantic-Chocolate-Gifts

And since I think you're one of my turntable.fm buddies, I'm going to throw out these awesome coasters made of recycled records.
http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/record-coasters

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I do! My dad and his girlfriend have custody of her soon to be 10 year old great nephew. (Technically I need a birthday and Christmas gift).

I have an idea for one thing that I will probably give him, but I'm not 100% sure about it yet!

I know he's getting an XBox 360 from his grandparents, but I'm not into buying him games that cost that much! He's big into electronic type stuff and gaming like Halo, but I need to keep the budget low (less than $25) as I technically don't have to buy him anything, but feel like a heel if I don't! (He's a good kid considering his life history to date. And, apparently he thinks I'm cool, so I tend to buy him stuff just for this, lol!)

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I am not a video game person, and I'm sure many other people here could give you better advice, but I do know that there are some HALO Megabloks sets and action figures. http://tinyurl.com/crjqynh

There' also an official HALO soundtrack.

Oh, and there's bobbleheads: http://tinyurl.com/c8oe8p2

You can usually find XBOX 360 games in your price range--they may not be the latest and greatest, but they're not "Santa Claus Meets the Smurfs" either--You can get this racing game for under $20. http://tinyurl.com/d983zrf

Finally, I am recommending this Nerf Spider-Man football, because if I was 10, I'd think this was pretty cool. (Actually, I'm 36 and had a similar one, and thought it was pretty cool.) http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12737357

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@curli76: Ohhhh, I personally love the Spiderman football (and I'm the same age as you ironically...and a girl to boot!) but I don't know if he would! Thanks for the ideas though, I didn't realize there was that much Halo related stuff out there! The idea of another game might be a good one too, he's bound to get a bunch from them though, and that's what has me most concerned. I may go with a Halo themed toy though, there are lots of them from what I saw, so I'm bound to find something super cool. Thanks!!!

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soooo I know you posted this question a while ago, but I would like some help as well!

I am looking for something for my mom and dad.
My mom isn't really into much tech stuff. She has a laptop, a new camera, and a kindle (which she barely uses). She likes gardening and hiking, but I am not sure what to do along those lines. She just got a mani/pedi and haircut, so that is out as well. The whole family is into board games, but we have a ton already. I am looking for something thoughtful and useful at the same time that isn't going to cost me a lot of money (I am tight on cash right now). I was thinking of getting her an SD card for her camera so that she can take more pictures... but we aren't going on vacation any time soon.

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My dad has a tech level of 0. I got him a pair of boat shoes for his bday that he likes, but don't want to go down the clothing route with him. He has a ton of suits, shirts, etc already. He likes to read, but sticks to library books. He is a really tough nut to crack.

My idea for them was basically a weekend getaway via Living Social or Groupon to a Spa Resort or something.
Another idea was a couple of Woot! Wines or something along those lines.

They are REALLY hard to shop for.

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For my mom's deal:
I was also thinking of getting her a pair of barstools for our kitchen. We just had it redone and she had been looking for a pair. However, I really can't spend a lot per person... The weekend getaway deal would be less than the pair of barstools + would cover both of them...