Let's say a friend is about to become a parent. An appreciated idea for your baby gift could be to take care of the announcement.
It always feels like such a big chore to expect of new parents - they've just welcomed a new person into the family, are not getting a lot of sleep, have someone to care for every minute - and now, let's have them pull together a big mailing at the same time!
It could be a fun outing several weeks prior to the baby's homecoming. Go shopping together (even online!) for an announcement they love, have the parents give you their mailing list (well before the baby's arrival, when they have a bit more time/focus) and then you are set. Once the baby arrives (either is born or the adoption process complete), kick into high gear. Get the stats on to the cards, print the labels and you're off to the post office. You will be the hero of the homecoming - well, at least a helpful friend.
(Re-edited from a post originally published 09.07.06)