With Christmas a mere week away are you scratching your head for gift ideas for your family and loved ones who have everything?
Here are some 'out of the box' gift ideas that are easy on the pocket book yet are sure to be appreciated by many:
1. Gift them with your time
- Are they strapped for time? Or do they face physical challenges and limitations? Why not gift them with a coupon for a few hours of house cleaning per month? Or if they live close by, offer to clear their sidewalks and driveway from snow this winter?
- Do they absolutely LOVE your cooking? Gift them a coupon for a special meal, their choice, or baked goods? Who doesn't love home cooking?
- Do they have a dog and they lack time to take them for regular walks? Gift them with some coupons for free dog walking services!
- Do they HATE taking down their Christmas tree or exterior lights after the holidays? Offer to do this for them as a gift. They may not accept the help if you offer it, but if you provide it as a gift, they may feel compelled to accept your offer.
2. Plan a winter related outing to do together, your treat!
- Plan a trip to go ice skating, snowshoeing, to Zoo Lights or Christmas tree light displays in your area. They will enjoy the time spent together as well as the outing, creating memories that you will both cherish forever.
3. Volunteer on their behalf
- Do they love animals? Volunteer at an animal shelter or your local SPCA.
- Check out your local Food Bank, if there is one in your area, and see if they need help unpacking food and putting together food hampers.
4. Purchase a gift for someone in need on their behalf.
- Many organizations will post lists of people that need gifts, such as kids, seniors or even families.
- The Salvation Army provides toys to thousands of children every Christmas season. Check out if they have a Christmas Toy Program in your area.
5. Gift them a decorated Christmas tree
- Some charitable groups have started offering beautifully decorated Christmas trees that are available for purchase and/or online auction, such as The Sheep River Health Trust Avenue of Trees. This is a great way to support local as well.
- You can also hire people to decorate your tree. Again, this may be highly appreciated by people with limited mobility or issues in bending, lifting and climbing ladders.
- Make it a 'regifting' Christmas and have everyone only gift items that they don't use, purchased from a garage sale for super cheap or made themselves. This will be fun for everyone, will be inexpensive and will allow everyone to get their creative juices flowing.
7. Sponsor a Christmas related activity that is happening in your area.
- This year Earth Smart Solutions sponsored a fundraising event presented by The Sheep River Health Trust called "Photos with Santa". Children benefited from this event by being able to share their Christmas wish with Santa, parents were able to capture a photo with Santa that they will cherish for a lifetime, all while raising funds to support health and wellness programs in the Foothills area. Definitely a win-win on this type of gift purchase!
8. Create a photo calendar that they will enjoy year-round
- Do you enjoy taking photos? Capture memories in a photo calendar or have a book of photos printed.
9. Gift them with your presence
- To quote Marshall B. Rosenberg, “Your presence is the most precious gift you can give to another human being.” Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles ... the greatest gift you can possibly give them is simply spending time with them, catching up, chatting, perhaps sharing a simple meal or a game of cards.
10. Make a donation to a charity on their behalf
- Donate either financially or otherwise (food donation, clothing donation, etc).
No matter what you decide to give your friends and loved ones this Christmas, remember "It's not what's under the tree that matters, it's who is gathered around it".
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!