I think back to my younger days when I put so much pressure on myself to buy the perfect Christmas gifts. I
Fast forward 10, 15 or 20 something+ years… I’ve come so far. More recently, our Christmas holidays are about spending quality time with loved ones vs. gifts (presence over presents). It’s more about quality (of time) over quantity (of gifts). It’s about less “stuff” (more white space) over gifts (clutter). It’s about creating beautiful memories. Did I change overnight? Absolutely not… it was a very gradual transition but one that I couldn’t be happier with.
So if you’re looking for meaningful gifts that won’t add to someone’s clutter, then you’ve come to the right place. Below is a list of 50 ideas… with my favorites taking the top 10 spots.
My personal favorites:
- The gift of decluttering: This gift is primarily for those loved ones you will leave behind not if, but when, you pass. If you have a lot of clutter in your home, office or life in general, declutter it while you’re still alive. Don’t impose on a loved one to do it after you’ve passed. Not only is it not fair to them, but be forewarned that if you wait, you have limited control over what will happened to your stuff. If left to them, your treasured memories could very well end up in the trash vs. being passed along to your loved one(s) or favorite charity as you had intended.
- The gift of your love: Write a letter letting the recipient know how much they mean to you and why.
- The gift of your gratitude: Write a note telling the recipient how much you appreciate them and why.
- The gift of your time: Spend quality time with them; have fun; laugh; create treasured memories.
- The gift of your treasured possessions: Do you have a treasured item/heirloom that you plan to leave to someone when you pass? Why wait? Give it to them now so you can watch them enjoy it while you’re still alive.
- The gift of your talents: Make a craft; draw a picture, write a song!
- The gift of a treasured photo they don’t already have with details about the memory written on the back.
- The gift of a treasured memory: Make the time to write about a special memory/or record a story to get passed down to future generations.
- Exchange IOU’s: I read the story of a husband who gave his wife a handwritten letter thanking her for ALL the dishes she had washed throughout their marriage and as a thank you, he gave her an IOU that he would do them for the next year. I’m not sure that balances out but it’s the thought that counts! 🙂
- Volunteer: But take it one step further… rather than volunteer alone, volunteer with a loved one. Not one will you accomplish twice as much, you’ll both have that treasured memory that will outlast many store-bought gifts.
- Date Night: This can include a movie gift card, restaurant gift card, etc., and it’s especially great for those on a tight budget.
- Local Museum/Zoo Passes
- Local Pool Passes
- Tickets to a Local Attraction
- Water Park/Amusement Park Tickets Passes
- Gym Membership: Give the gift of fitness, fun and great health exercise!
- Summer Camp: one of their choice
- Pass for a local State Park
- Audible Subscription: for audio books via Amazon
- Digital Books: You can buy Kindle gift cards on Amazon
- Family Board Games
- iTunes or other music-related Gift Cards
- Satellite Radio subscription
- Educational Class: Gift the gift of learning either in-person or online! Check local Continuing Education classes, online, etc.
- Swimming Lessons: This is not only fun but could save a life!
- Music Lessons: Either in-person or online.. for those who show an interest, of course.
- Fill a Need: Think if there is a need you can fulfill. And if you can’t think of one, then simply ask!
- Coupon Book: This could include coupons for a home-cooked meal, dinner out, etc.
- Gas gift card: Perfect for anyone who owns a vehicle.
- Coffee gift cards: For their favorite coffee shop.
- Grocery Store Gift Card: For their favorite store!
- Massage gift card
- Hair Stylist Gift Card
- Manicure/Pedicure, etc. Gift Card
- Amazon Gift Card
- Paid Housekeeping service: Paid for whatever timeframe you can afford (a week? a month?). Can’t afford to hire someone? Then offer to do it yourself.
- Etsy Gift Card
- Subway/Transportation Passes: This is great for someone who uses public transportation, how about gifting them a pass?
- AAA Membership/Renewal: Again, a great gift for someone who drives a car.
- Car Maintenance Gift Card: At their favorite shop for that occasional oil change
- Car Detailing: There’s nothing like slipping into a newly-detailed car!
- Lottery Tickets: A treat… especially if they end up winning!
- Phone Apps: The only space they take up is phone space.
- College Fund Money
- Cross Item off a Bucket List: Many people have a bucket list of things they want to die while on this earth. See if you can help fulfill one of those.
The gift of your time or talents
- Homemade Baked Goods
- Homemade Canned Goods
- FREE “Baby” sitting: For those with young kids, older parents, loved ones, pets, etc. that just can’t be left alone.
- Home-cooked Meals for fridge or freezer
- Donation to the Charity of Their Choice
I hope these suggestions solve your gift-giving dilemmas and at the same time, will prevent lots of unwanted gifts from being exchanged this year!
“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr. ~
Brenda Tringali, Organizing/Productivity Specialist
At Your Fingertips Organizing
Serving Greater Myrtle Beach, SC or “virtually” anywhere (via phone/video)
Brenda Tringali is the owner of At Your Fingertips Organizing. She provides Life/Workplace/Residential Organizing & Productivity services to clients in the Myrtle Beach, SC area & “virtually” anywhere via video, phone, etc. Drawing from her 30 years of Human Resources/Staffing experience, she also helps clients with HR/Staffing/Job Search needs as well. Brenda is an active member of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing professionals). She is also Chair of the NAPOCares Committee which highlights the community outreach efforts of NAPO members, NAPO Chapters, and NAPO Business Partners as they reach out to share the three “T’s” of Social Responsibility: their Time, Treasures, and Talents.