Ideas for unusual gifts

Written by debra pachucki
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Ideas for unusual gifts
Planting a tree in someone's honour is a gift of joy. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Instead of sticking with safe gifts that come a dime a dozen, give an unusual gift. The best unusual gifts demonstrate just how special and unique the recipient is and how well you know the recipient.

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For an unusual gift with a big meaning or message, make a monetary donation in someone special's name. If you know an animal lover, for example, who's always volunteering at the shelter or a breast cancer survivor who participates in walks and other fundraising or awareness events, an appropriate donation will be a unique and memorable gift. Choose a charity or non-profit organisation relevant to the person's passion or dedication, and make a donation of £16 or more in that person's name. Donations often come with a certificate, T-shirt, magazine subscription or other thank-you gift that you can wrap and present to the recipient for an extra-special touch.

Gifts of the Natural World

Unique gifts from the natural world make a special present for any nature lover, space enthusiast or science geek that you know. One option is to plant a tree in someone's honour. Projects such as the Nature Conservatory's "Plant a Billion Trees" campaign allow you to plant a tree in Brazil for as little as 60p. Or plant 50 or more trees in someone's honour and receive a fun, personalised gift packet to go along with your present. For an unusual gift for a space enthusiast, name a star after her. Space Services, Inc., allows you to name a star after someone special starting at £12.90. The name is launched into space aboard a rocket, and the recipient will receive a professional photograph of her star along with access to Internet-based astronomy software so she can view her star online at any time. This unusual gift can be a romantic present, as well.

Animated Clothing

Clothing is a standard gift option for people of all ages. You can easily transform a clothing gift from ordinary to extraordinary with light-up or sound-activated T-shirts. Animated shirts are available for any age, size or gender in an array of themes and styles. Light-up and sound-activated shirts generally cost £16, are battery-operated and are easy to clean in the washing machine -- just remove the battery pack. This unusual gift is a great option for anyone with a big personality.

Edible Treats

For a fun and unusual gift for kids or grown-up food lovers, purchase or bake your own giant-sized treats. Cookie shops like Mrs. Fields sell huge, 12-inch, ready-made cookies decorated with any name or message of your choice in icing. Or bake your own colossal brownie using several boxes of brownie mix and a large cake pan. The larger the treat, the more unusual -- and memorable! -- it will be.

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