For natives and newcomers alike, Kansas is known for her broad open spaces and her farmland. To be sure, urban cities have grown up from those wheat fields and now pulse with big city lights and action, but always with a nod to Kansas's rural past. Celebrate that tradition with wheat dolls from the Kansas State Historical Society. The online store offers these historic dolls, that were born in the prairie life of the pioneers, made by Kansas artisans. Also available are books on Kansas history and archaeology, post rock paintings and Lewis and Clark items.
Kansas Originals, located in Wilson, offers a Maltese Cross wheat weaving, quilts and food items. Smokey Hill Winery offers limited wine sales due to legal restrictions, but offers great gift certificates for wine tastings and weekend mysteries at the winery. Also available is a full lineup of grape, wreath and wine-inspired gifts. No article on Kansas gifts can skip the popularity of Kansas State and the University of Kansas merchandise. Kansas State University has clothing, watches, backpacks and all things Wildcat available online. From spatulas to fireplace screens, you will find everything for the Kansas State fan. If your gift recipient is more of a Jayhawk fan, look into the Kansas University bookstore for ideas. Here you will find everything from kitchenware to historical note card sets for the KU couple.
Both the mother of the bride and the groom can offer suggestions for a couple. If the wedding invitation follows a theme such as butterflies or angels, look for gifts which follow that line. Ask for information regarding the honeymoon and offer gift cards for area attractions, restaurants or room service. Consider pooling your resources with other guests to offer more extravagant gifts such as gourmet cooking pans or home entertainment systems. Theater tickets, season passes to minor league baseball games and movie passes can offer new couples a chance to get out during those sometimes lean first years. Consider special treats from your area, such as local wines, handcrafted cutting boards or handwoven table linens.
Wedding gifts don't have to be extravagant and expensive. Two teachers I know treasure the handmade cards made secretly by their elementary students and they proudly display the scrapbook filled with drawings and marriage guidance. "When you fight, say you're sorry, even if you don't mean it," remains some of the best advice they received. Another couple fondly remembered the 12 jars of layered soup ingredients given by his grandmother to fill their pantry. The lack of a single lima bean in any of the jars proved to the bride that her new grandmother truly accepted her. Handmade gifts, crafted with love and respect, can be the most cherished items a couple receives.
Focus on your relationship with the bridal couple for ideas. The most meaningful gifts are those that come from the heart. A truly thoughtful and special gift is one which reflects the personalities of the receiver as well as the giver.