It’s less than 30 days til the most wonderful time of the year. Do you have all your Christmas gifts together? Or did you wait for Black Friday sale to buy all of them? Well, some of us could not take the Black Friday squeeze because of several reasons.
Then, there are some of us who buy one or two gifts every month to make the holiday hustle less stressful. On the other hand, there are times we tried to plan ahead, but we just don’t know what to give them for Christmas.
After contemplating for so long, you find yourself stuck gift-less with only a little bit of time left before all the stores are packed with last minute shoppers.
What you need to do is find Christmas gift alternatives.
What are they exactly? Well, Christmas gift alternatives are things that aren’t store bought. It can be an act of kindness, an activity or something out of tradition.
Stumped? We were to at one point, but here are some great ideas for Christmas gift alternatives.
1The Gift of Travel
Rather than saving up for new toys, gadgets or material things to give you family this Christmas, why not save for a trip instead? All of you will enjoy a trip somewhere tropical or where it’s a change of climate from where you’re from.
It may cost a tad bit more, but if you plan ahead, you can save on plane tickets and accommodation costs. Also, it eliminates the need to stress about what each member of the family would like to get!
If you are on a tight budget, you can consider buying them a weekend stay in a nice spa drive away from their home. Experiences are often more appreciated and valued than physical gifts.
2The Gift of Food
Food makes a great Christmas gift. If you’re not sure what to give your next-door neighbor or close friends on Christmas, whip up one of your specialties and attach a greeting card. People love food, so you can’t go wrong with that choice! Unless you happen to be a really bad chef!
3The Gift of Time
There’s nothing better than the gift of time, especially on such a busy holiday. For example, you can babysit for a friend for free for several hours so she can go on a date night with her husband or do her own Christmas shopping.
Another way you can give the gift of time is to do volunteer work. Whether if it’s a soup kitchen, feeding the homeless or singing to the sick, as long as you take the time to do it, it’s considered a very valuable gift.
4The Gift of Giving
There’s an international relief response team based in North Carolina called Samaritan’s Purse and they have this drive called Operation Christmas Child. All year long, they have volunteers packing Christmas gift boxes for different ages and these boxes go to the most desolate parts of the world.
This would be one of the greatest Christmas gift alternatives you and your family can do. Ask them if they’d be willing to skip receiving gifts of their own and instead, donate small items to this cause.
I was able to volunteer in the field during one of their trips to a third world country, and I saw Christmas differently since then. I understood the ultimate meaning of Christmas!
5The Gift of Experience
One of the coolest Christmas gift alternatives is best done with a group. Talk to your friends and set up a pooled fund to do something new. You can either rent a cabin in the mountains together and ski. Or go group skydiving. Or hire a personal chef to cook for your Christmas dinner! You can think of anything as long as it’s something most of you has never done!
New experiences are priceless!
6The Gift of Homemade Goodness
Do you have quite a number of friends to give a gift to this Christmas? You can cut down on the expenses and the hassle of specially picking out a gift per person by giving them a homemade gift. For example, you can give them a homemade scented candle, ready to bake cookie mix in a jar or handmade tree ornaments.
It’s better to make them in bulk, so you don’t have to keep on going back and forth to the store to get materials. Set a couple of days just to focus on putting them together.
There’s plenty of ideas on Pinterest for DIY Christmas gifts, so you just have to figure out would work best for you and your recipients.
7An Act of Kindness
Though this may be totally random, it’s one of the most heart-warming Christmas gift alternatives. You can offer to shovel snow off of an elderly neighbor’s driveway, pay for the car behind you at the tollbooth, do a day’s worth of chores for your partner or just a simple random thing that you know would make a person smile.
They won’t expect it which makes it even more of a meaningful surprise emulating the spirit of Christmas.
8The Gift of a Favorite Thing
Think of a favorite item that’s hard for you to let go but you know it would make someone super happy. Give those items as sentimental Christmas gift alternatives. It can be your favorite book, your favorite CD, your favorite artwork or anything that has sentimental value.
Either that or buy something similar to that. For instance, your best friend has been in love with your pendant for so long. Buy her one exactly like or similar to it. She’ll love it because you remembered.
9The Gift of Coupons
We love it when someone else does the work for us. Consequently, anyone who receives one of these thoughtful Christmas gift alternatives is sure to be one happy camper.
Make holiday coupons entitling the bearer to something. For instance, you can offer to mow the lawn, do laundry for a week, a day of free babysitting or a paid dinner for two.
10The Gift of Renovation
For instance, you have a relative who’s been wanting to get something in his house repaired, a room repainted or the lawn weeded out.
Give them a surprise this Christmas by making it happen. Your mom would appreciate not having to break her back weeding her garden out. Your wife would love the change of color. And, your sister would thank you for repairing the broken kitchen sink.
11The Gift Especially for Kids
Your kids reach a certain age where they don’t need that many toys or are beyond the concept of materialist gifts.
Rather than racking you brain to figure out what item to get them, think about what they really need at that age. It may be drum lessons your son’s been wanting, a ticket to a Broadway show for your drama girl or a contribution to your niece’s car insurance payments.
There’s no such thing as the perfect Christmas gift.
One year you get it right, the other you don’t. The important thing is that you put a bit of thought into it and find something that brings the recipient joy, not just on the day but also rest of the year.
Christmas is all about love, giving and kindness. As long as those three are part of the mix, it will always be the most wonderful time of the year.
Got any Christmas gift alternatives in your arsenal? Share it with a comment below!