Tis the Season of Giving
With the holidays fast approaching, many of us are organising gifts we can give our loved ones.
Sharing gifts is a representation of our love for one another. It’s very common to give gifts at Christmas to our immediately family, our extended family, our friends, our partner and their family, and sometimes our work colleagues.
Many Meaningful Gifts
There are many different options for meaningful, simple and inexpensive gifts. All too often gifts are unappreciated or re-gifted as the item is something that the receiver doesn’t enjoy.
Gifts are all about the effort you put into them. Not the money we spend. Not the wrapping we’ve used. Not what outsiders think of the gift.
Gifts are symbols of love and appreciation. Gifts have no relation to money or things.
Our intentions are what matter the most. People love the gifts when they know the giver has put thought and effort into creating them.
Wholesome Gift Ideas
Below is a list of wholesome gift ideas. Wholesome gifts focus on the creating something with meaning. These gifts are either free or inexpensive.
Meaningful gifts can be time consuming but that’s what we encourage here at Wholesome Road – spending time on meaningful activities.
To get started, spend time thinking about what the receiver enjoys – where they spend their time and money, and what you do together.
Try to use materials already around the house. Use leftover wrapping paper or reuse newspaper to wrap gifts. Use leftover jars to store items. Create unique cards.
Easy, Almost Free Wholesome Gift Ideas
- Write a heartfelt card or letter – don’t skimp on the heart! It’s easy to make a unique card or letter with leftover paper or cardboard. Get creative with the design and decorations. Then be truthful in what you write. Tell your loved one why you appreciate them, what you enjoy the most about being with them, and why you want them to enjoy their present.
- Write something for a loved one. Write a fiction story that they would like to read. Write down your reflections of your favourite memories together. Write why you appreciate them being in your life. For family members, you could pass on family wisdom, stories or recipes.
- Homemade vouchers. These are fun and creative and you can offer a whole range of personalised activities such as a picnic or a massage. For people with kids, babysitting services are almost always appreciated. Household and garden cleaning is something simple you can offer.
- Write a poem or a song. This is much easier done when you actually attempt to do this. Be kind to yourself during the creative process. Your first draft may not be perfect but your message needs reflection to shape. I recommend starting with a brainstorm of all the things you associate with the receiver, thinking of rhyming words (as rhyme poems and songs are the easiest to write and sound good!), then piece together a story about how you feel about them, the times you’ve had together, what you enjoy most about them or whatever you like.
- Draw or paint something. Don’t listen to fears about creating. We’re all creative and if you spend time and effort creating an artistic image with a loved one in mind, your love will be communicated through that gift.
- Create photograph related gifts. Printing images is simple and cost-effective. You could get images of your loved ones and present them in an appealing way e.g. make a calender, create your own bookmarks, put them in a beautiful frame (check out a local second hand store for frames to reuse), print on a mug or simply print on good quality paper and frame. These printing options all cost less than $10.
- Create a mix tape or playlist of songs. You could include songs that remind you of them, songs you play together, songs you recommend, their favourite songs, songs you want to listen to together, songs with hidden messages you want to convey.
- Give plant seeds. These are cheap and there are many vegetables and herbs that are easy to grow. You could even find a container that’s no longer used and create a herb garden. If you start now, it would be even more presentable by Christmas!
- Handpicked (or local florist bought) flowers. Flowers are a symbol of beauty and love. If you handpick flowers, it shows that you’ve taken time out of your day to doing something extra nice for someone else.
- Compile a video of other people reflecting on memories and quality time together.
- Bake or cook something delicious – perhaps the loved ones favourite dish?
- Make beeswax candles.
- Make a donation to a charity on their behalf. There are many charity organisations that offer vouchers for gifts. One organisation is The Gift of Giving which has a range of charities to choose from for whichever world issue the receiver cares about the most. For example, animals, disabilities, the environment or arts. Be careful with this one as there are some people who would prefer a physical present for themselves.
- Check out your local recycling centre and see if you can reuse something or recreate an item.
- Pass on an item that you love.
- Gift an experience you could do together rather than a physical item. This shows you want to spend time with the person.
Feel free to comment, email or tweet other ideas. Spending time creating a gift that means something to the receiver as well as the giver is worth it.
- How do you decide what to give your loved ones?
- Do you put in requests of gifts you’d like to receive?
- How do you ensure you don’t spend a fortune on gifts people don’t enjoy?
- How are you making these holidays more meaningful?