When you’re trying to pull together a going away gift for a friend, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. How do you know if they like wine, or chocolate or leather-bound books? If they live in the city or on a farm? And with all this pressure, then there’s always the worry that it won’t be perfect and your friend will be offended. But don’t fret! We’ve got fifteen memorable going away gifts that are sure to please.
Snap more memories:
Digital photography and electronics have opened up the world of snapping photos to everyone, and good thing, because a simple photo can say a thousand words. The Real Simple editors have compiled their favorite camera pointers, such as how to use a shutter timer or beat camera shake.
Check out the guide, then hone your skills with Real Simple’s digital photography classes .
Give a gift that will last:
We all want to give gifts that are practical and useful. But when it comes to the going away party, you might want to think bigger! After all, chances are your friend won’t be moving into an apartment any time soon. Get fantastic farewell gifts ideas for your friends and coworkers.
Support their dreams:
If your friend doesn’t know what she wants to do in life, why not buy her something that will help her explore it? Why not give a gift certificate for a full-day sailing lesson or a month of yoga classes? The possibilities are endless.
Make their future easier:
Think back to your college years. How did you invest your money? Did you hold on to it until you earned a significant amount or did you figure out right away how much you needed and just save as much as possible? Well, maybe the future is actually in the past! Give your friend some college wisdom by buying her an investment book .
You hate going away parties:
Don’t feel bad about that! Your friend probably does, too. So why not give them a gift to make the occasion easier? A movie ticket or tickets to the theater can make their going away celebration seem as if they were never leaving.
Offer up hope:
If your friend is worried about growing old alone, don’t let him or her feel hopeless. Help them find ways to meet people through Meetup.com , which offers places where singles can get together and talk about common interests.
A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.
Read aloud to them while they share a bag of popcorn with you, then swap gifts and watch a movie with them.
Put together their favorite foods or make dinner for their family after they return from vacation.
Express your thoughts through pictures: take pictures of each other or places that remind them of key memories and emotions to help express yourself clearly without saying a word.
Make ice cream (or buy it) and watch movies with friends while eating it.Take them out on a dessert date and make a fun night of it.
Take them to a museum, park, or bookstore you know they’ll enjoy.
Give everyone in your group a budget of $50 each to spend on the gifts they really want and can afford. They can pick the gifts at a store or bring home things you’ve found that they’d like. The first person to have their list approved wins!
Organize a scavenger hunt for everyone in your circle of friends. Have them come prepared with lists of places or items related to what they want from you, written down or recorded digitally. You can create an Instagram account for the scavenger hunt (like #friendscav) and get others to post photos from the hunt. Alternatively, you could surprise your friends at their homes or hang out locations. Have them write a note to you saying where they are and what time it is next. You can then visit them in disguise to receive their gifts, package them up and send them off before returning home yourself.
Send your friend on a dream vacation (or better yet, a personal trip) with a friend who works as an airline travel agent. He will work with you beforehand on setting up the entire trip including flights, car rentals and accommodations.
Playing the familiar tunes:
Make a playlist for your friend that features their favorite songs. You can either hand write the playlist or put it on a CD.
Give them music they already have – knowing they’ve already heard their favorite artists and songs is a great way to put the gift to use immediately and preserve some forward momentum of their own enjoyment.
Create a playlist of songs that sum up emotions you want to express or memories you cherish that might help others relate to your situation. Play them music they grew up with, popular back then and now, or something brand new that is special to you both.
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