Saying goodbye to a friend is hard. As a neighbor said just before I moved, "It's just as hard for me, the one left behind." I've belonged to a special club for years and one of our members is moving away. We want to give her a gift, something to remember us and our group. You may be in a similar situation.
Whatever you choose, your gift should be meaningful. I would eliminate a coffee mug because most of us have too many of them. Joke gifts are dicey because they may or may not be funny. Consider these gift ideas instead.
- My new hometown. Compile a notebook of information about the person's destination town or city: brochures, a city magazine if there is one, transportation information, brochures about concerts and exhibits, etc. Start early because gathering these things takes time.
- Photo montage. Ask friends, members or co-workers for photos of themselves. Pair these individual photos with action shots of the group. Using special photo glue, arrange the photos in a montage, and insert it to a frame. You can find inexpensive frames at craft and discount stores.
- Cuttings from the garden. If your friend or colleague is not moving far away, give him or her an ivy stem or cutting from a flowering plant in a plastic glass. Include growing instructions for the cutting.
- Flower delivery. After your friend or colleague is settled, arrange for the delivery of a bouquet of flowers, growing plant, or dish garden. This gift will brighten their home and foster thoughts of you and / or your group.
- Custom cook book. If the person likes to cook, he or she will love a collection of recipes from group members. Type the recipes, put them in page protectors, and insert in a three-ring binder. Include a group photo with the recipes.
- I remember photo. Take a photo of your friend's home or a close-up of the front door. Buy an inexpensive frame with mat and insert the close-up photo in it.
- Champagne or wine celebration. Give your friend or colleague a bottle of champagne or wine to enjoy after he or she is settled. Agree to toast each other at a specific time on a specific day.
- Special book. Your friend or colleague will enjoy a book about his or her former city. The public library will be able to give you title suggestions. Check with local bookstores too. Have group members sign the front page of the book.
- Save the date. Set a date and time to visit your friend. Circle the date on your calendar, and write it on a card. Add a short message such as, "I can hardly wait to see you." Visiting your friend or colleague will boost their spirits and yours as well.
As for our friend, club members are getting her a gift card and making a memory cookbook for her, containing recipes for foods served at meetings. We think she will enjoy both of these meaningful gifts.
Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson