I celebrated my 40th birthday last week and received many thoughtful gifts from family, friends and co-workers--gift cards, cash, a new purse, and a beautiful painting from my daughter! I was totally thrilled with each gift, but everyone told me that I am the hardest person to shop for since I'm gluten free. It is so hard for me to understand why having to eliminate one tiny protein from my diet has made me difficult to shop for. My boss, a regular reader of my blog, told me that my next post had to offer gift suggestions to the friends and family of gluten free people. Since it was a direct order from the boss, here goes!
The Gift of Food
If you listen to your gf friends, they will probably be talking about fabulous new gluten free finds ALL THE TIME!! Pay attention to what they bring for snacks and stalk their social media accounts to see what they "Like" or are raving about. I would TOTALLY love a gift bag or basket filled with gf snacks like chocolate covered pretzels, chocolates, crackers, cookies and my favorite beverage (I love Dasani Sparkling Water with lime).
If you don't love shopping or have no idea where to start to select items your gf friend may enjoy, you could always buy a prepackaged box. I recently learned about AmericanGlutenFree.com, a gluten free box subscription service, that offers a pre-selected box full of gf meal items, baking mixes, and snacks that is delivered each month. A monthly subscription to this service, or even a one-time gift box, would be an awesome gift! I can't wait to try this service! (Grandparents, this would be a great gift to buy for a gluten-free grandchild. You could give them the first box on their birthday and they would receive a new one each month with all new gf products to try.)
Speaking of subscriptions, I think a subscription to a gluten free magazine would be a thoughtful gift. There are many great gf magazines out there. Gluten Free Living, Delight Gluten Free and Gluten Free & More are a few of the ones I enjoy reading to learn about new products and services, get ideas and encouragement, and find new recipes. It is the gift that keeps on giving! If you need to shop last minute, you could stop by the bookstore or grocery store, buy a gf magazine and a gf snack, put it in a gift bag, and you'll have an easy, inexpensive, but thoughtful gift!
Gift Cards or Take Me Out To Lunch
Restaurants can be tricky! I am scared to eat at most places--even if they have a gluten free menu--for fear of cross contamination. I've been "glutened" on more than one occasion, I've had good luck at Mellow Mushroom, Lyfe Kitchen and Texas de Brazil and I post about my great experiences on social media (this is where stalking is a good thing). A gift card to one of my safe places would be greatly appreciated! To save money, I suggest buying Texas de Brazil gift cards at Sam's Club to save about 20 percent. If you can find a dedicated gluten free restaurant in your city, a gift card would almost always be a hit! You could also take your gf friend out to one of their safe places and buy their lunch! They would love it!
Office Birthday Parties
Okay, this is tough because everyone likes to celebrate milestone birthdays (like 40), but no one wants to be left out of the office birthday party or potluck. Gluten free cakes are hard to find in my area and I'd be too scared to eat a cake baked by a well-meaning friend who doesn't have a gf kitchen. Cupcakes are usually easier to find in the freezer section of some grocery stores. In lieu of birthday cake, I would prefer a breakfast party since gf donuts, muffins, fruit, etc. are easier to find. Most of these items can be found at almost any grocery store including Kroger, Target and Walmart.
Please make sure everything offered is gluten free to prevent cross contamination. There's nothing like watching a co-worker cut gluten free items with the same knife she cut the gluten containing items that will suddenly make you feel not so hungry. If the gf birthday girl sees everything in sealed packages, she will be more likely to eat.
Other Gift Ideas
If you're looking for other gift ideas for your gf someone special you could always buy flowers, personalized stationery, a gift certificate for a pedicure, a new gf book or diamonds--all gluten free!
See, I'm not difficult to shop for at all!
Do you have a gift idea you'd like to share? Please comment so we can add to the list!
Also, remember to enter my Celiac Disease Awareness Month GIVEAWAY! You could win a FREE GF Mom Certified E-Cookbook, but you have to enter before May 12! Click here to enter!
If you'd like to go ahead and order GF Mom Certified's amazing gluten free cookbooks, you can save 22% on orders of $30+ by using my special coupon code: gfgenius (all lowercase). Please share this contest and coupon code with everyone! There are so many families that can benefit from these cookbooks!