With the holidays fast approaching and birthdays on every corner, finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones can be difficult. If your siblings are minimalist, your best friend is the person who ‘has everything’, your partner is picky, or you simply don’t have the finances to buy material gifts for everyone you love, opting for non-material gifts may be the solution. We all love to both give and receive presents, but sometimes a thoughtful gesture can be so much more meaningful than a physical object. A gesture or experience is so much more personalized, memorable, and long-lasting than typical material gifts; this could be something made by hand, a personal item that you want to pass along and share, or an experience gift. Take a look at these wonderful non-material gift ideas to wow your friends and family:
- Handmade Gifts
Finding the right thoughtful present for a loved one can be as simple as a homemade card with a long message inside or a custom card. You could put together a scrapbook or journal of memories you have shared or pictures of your adventures together. You may also want to take this opportunity to say the things you normally struggle with or don’t take the time to say every day. Put together a collection of letters or notes for your loved ones to read when they need them most – write ‘open when…’ letters for hard times or big events, or ‘reasons I love you’ notes to remind them they are loved.
- Quality Time
Setting aside time to spend with someone intentionally may seem like an easy thing to do, but often we don’t realize how much we miss out on in our loved ones’ lives. Spending a weekend together, cooking, getting coffee, going on a romantic date, a surprise visit, or just hanging out and doing whatever you love simply for the sake of being together can be the best gift for someone you love.
- Experience Gifts
An experience can be a fantastic alternative to a material gift if you are looking to give your loved one a unique gift they will never forget. This can be absolutely anything – from skydiving, concert tickets, a spa day, a gym membership, a wine tasting, or signing them up for classes in something they are passionate about, like cooking, art, music, etc. or, for your more introverted friends, buy them a year of a subscription service like Netflix, Spotify, or a book subscription box. For the more practical people in your life, a gift card for a grocery store or subscription to a food delivery service may be the perfect solution.
- Do Something Meaningful
Consider making a change in your life or the lives of those around you in honor of a person you love. Perhaps donate to a charity that has some importance to them in their name or give up an addiction or habit that you know causes them stress or concern. If your partner doesn’t like that you smoke, for instance, it may be the perfect gift to make a promise to quit. If a member of your family is struggling with health, whether mental or physical, perhaps offering to drive them to all of their appointments or help them do research into the best treatments or doctors.
Self-care is easy to forget – especially around the holidays when we are all so busy and focused on giving to others. If you have a loved one who struggles to take time for themselves, see what you can do to help. This could be taking their kids off their hands for a few days, or offering to take on some of their other responsibilities so they have more time to relax and recuperate.
- Give Them the Stars
Another fantastic non-material gift idea is to buy something truly one-of-a-kind for your loved one. You can purchase an actual star and name it after them, so they will always have something that is utterly unique. You can even look into buying someone an honorary title – you can purchase small souvenir plots of land in the Scottish Highlands, for example, and the owner is officially a Lord or Lady. By Scottish law, the owner is the Lord, Lady, or Laird of the land they survey, with access to their plot and the associated clan crest, coat-of-arms, and tartan.