A lost art of recent decades is creating mix CDs. A few years back I made all of my friends a personalized playlist of about 10 songs as a Christmas present. These gifts were free for me to make, but all of my friends genuinely enjoyed their presents that I am pretty sure are the only CDs my friends have ever played in their cars.
I used to make mixed CDs for my boyfriend every few months after we met each other, but then my first year of college left me no time to randomly surprise him with new music. As I don't have a job or any income I thought throwing it back to my old ways was the perfect idea for our one year anniversary gift.
The most difficult step in the process is the first, which is creating a list of all the songs you would like to include and what order they should go in. Then finding high quality audio versions on YouTube and downloading them onto the computer is the next step. The third step is to put all the files into a preferred music application, mine is iTunes, and create a playlist. The final step is the easiest and takes little effort on your part, just insert a blank audio CD into your computers disc drive and right click on the playlist and burn the songs onto the disc.
While the latest laptops don't have disc drives anymore, most desktops and larger laptops will, or there are USB disc drive available for purchase. It's also important to note that even if you have songs you want to use in your Apple music library or other streaming library, you will not be able to download these onto a CD, I've tried and it doesn't work.
While CDs have lost popularity over the years, I think they are a wonderful physical item you can make friends and family that's not inherently going to be a sucky arts and crafts project. The entire project took me exactly two hours so it is a small time commitment, but if you have the time and skill, you can custom make CD cover art to go inside the case. I have had friends ask me to make them a CD for someone else so I believe that's a pretty good review if you ask me.