Throughout the holiday season, we’ll be featuring “Raw Deals” to help you find fun gifts for friends and family members — and for yourself! Unless otherwise noted, “Raw Deals” recommendations are independent of our editorial department.
If you buy something through one of our “Raw Deals,” we may get a small share of the sale. 20% of the profits earned from “Raw Deals” through the end of the holiday season will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.
Everyone makes the New Year’s resolution to lose weight or quit smoking — what a joke! You know most people are off the wagon after 30 days anyway. So, here’s a better idea: encourage your friend or loved one to resolve to teach themselves something new in 2016. Here are some great gift ideas to spark the inspiration:
1. Learn a language with Rosetta Stone
One of the best things you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease is to learn a new language. It makes your brain work in unbelievable ways. Give the gift of brain health and a new language to someone you love.
This is one of the coolest things I secretly want but would never have time for. It’s just the part of the guitar you need to learn the right chords and teach yourself how to play. It connects wirelessly to an app on your iPhone or laptop and it’s got all the programs you need to walk you through the lessons.
3. Learn to cook
Many people can follow a recipe or follow the back of a Hamburger Helper box, but can you look into a nearly empty refrigerator and come up with a meal with just a few ingredients? Spend 2016 teaching yourself how to do just that.
4. Teach yourself to code
If there’s one thing the world needs more of it’s coders and programmers. If you’re ready to make some extra cash, be your own boss or work for people like Google, Apple, Twitter or Facebook some day, this is the place to begin!
5. Appreciate Jazz
Few people get it, but once you do jazz becomes less of a mystery and more the magic of music. Walk through some of the basics, the history and then apply it all to the beauty of the music in some of these box sets.
- Jazz 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Jazz
- What Jazz Is: An Insider’s Guide to Understanding and Listening to Jazz
- Jazz: A Film By Ken Burns
- 100 Best Jazz Tunes of the 1950’s
- The Best of Miles Davis & John Coltrane (1955-1961)
- Perfect Jazz Collection 2 Box set
Great Ladies Of Jazz
6. Learn to knit or crochet
Get started now and by next year your friend will have holiday gifts knitted for everyone you know! This is the gift that keeps on giving!
- Teach Yourself Visually Knitting
- Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes
- Knitting: Learn to Knit Six Great Projects
- Knitting needles
- Premium Yarn Pack – 8x30g Acrylic Rainbow Color Yarn Skeins
7. Become an awesome bartender
Drink up, this is a gift that will not only help when there’s a party but in the event of an unfortunate unemployment having this as a skill is one that will pay the bills for sure.
8. Learn How To Fix Shit
Drop a ring down the sink? Garbage disposal not turning? Want to install your new dishwasher or light fixture yourself? It’s always great to have basic fix-it skills that can get you by so your friend no longer must pay to have it done. The downside of this new skill is once someone finds out your friend is handy, they’re calling asking for help.