Advance Gift Suggestions for 2016

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Every year we all face the same tough choices – what gift to buy for the people on your list. Complicating matters is the spectrum of recipients. There are relatives, closed friends, not-so-close friends, acquaintances, everyone else. Well, here’s some good news for you – we have a holiday gift buyer’s guide to make it all simple for you!

Gift Idea #1: CBA Membership
This is the easiest one, right out of the gate. Who on your list, top to bottom, is NOT worth this minor expenditure? It’ll reinforce existing relationships, and elevate casual friendships to the next level. It’s 1000 times better than the Old Spice Gift Pack you’ve been using as you “go-to” gift for years, and it’ll be appreciated by close friends, family and casual acquaintances alike! This article could stop right here, you should be thanking me, and, you’re welcome!
Gift Idea #2: Strings’n’Things
Most every instrument in bluegrass is string-driven, so a gift of strings is always appreciated There is a slight risk involved – if you buy a new set of strings with a .011” E string and the recipient prefers a .012” E string, it may not be fully appreciated. But hey, any recipient who would tell you so is someone to scratch from your gift list for next year!
In this same category are consumables like rosin, or thoughtful tools like capos, or plectrums. Again these items are often subject to specific preferences by the recipient, but it’s also a helpful way to weed out unappreciative “friends” based upon their responses to your largesse. 
Gift Idea #3: Get Serious
If you want to be taken really serious as a gift-giver you may have to dig a little deeper. Possible gift ideas include: a pro-quality airline-rated instrument case. Why quibble about a $600 case to protect an instrument worth $3000? Talk about a gift that will never be forgotten!
For that special guitar-playing pal on your list, what says “I’m thinking about you” like a vintage pre-war Martin guitar. It’s not about the money – what’s a mid-four figures investment compared to the joy you’ll see on that person’s face when they realize what you’ve found for them? And, if they turn their noses up at a ‘42 D18 because they’re committed to pre-war herringbone D28’s? Well, it’s another chance to pare down your gift list next year to more worthy recipients.
Finally, for that super-special friend, nothing says “You mean a lot to me”, like a gift of an authentic Lloyd Loar mandolin. These are friends for whom you’d gladly mortgage your home to afford a truly special gift. Our recommendation here is for you limit gifts on this scale to one or two per year.  
As you can see, the gift notions for the friends and relatives on your list is wide-ranging. Please use this handy guide to ensure all your friends know how much you care about them for this holiday season! 

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