Does the thought of braving the mall lineups or scouring the internet for the perfect gift make you want to pull the covers over your head and cancel the holidays? While this is a wonderful time of year, it’s not without its stressors, and buying gifts is definitely one of them.
If you’re looking for ways to show your loved ones you care without breaking the bank and losing your sanity, check out our top picks for meaningful alternatives to purchased gifts.
1. Quality Time
Spending quality time with a loved one, is a wonderful way to show you care, especially if you find an activity that’s tailored to them. Every year on Mother’s Day, my mom and I go to the beach and look for beach glass. It’s not something I’d normally do on my own, but it’s one of her favourite past times, and she loves it when we can go together.
2. Cooking or Baking
Making a favourite dish is another great way to spread the love. Because there is so much food around the holidays, it’s a nice touch to make something that can be frozen and saved for later. Soups, casseroles, cookie dough, and brownies are all examples of foods that freeze well and can be enjoyed after the last of the Christmas dinner leftovers have been cleared from the fridge.
If your friends and family are health minded, they’ll love these recipes for vegan mac and cheese and sweet potato brownies! (Hint: make a double batch and save some for yourself!)
3. A Handmade Gift
Don’t skip over this section if you think you’re not creative or crafty. There are so many ways to create lovely, homemade gifts that don’t require a special skill set. Package together your best recipes into a cookbook, pot a family member’s favourite plant, or make a photo album of special memories you have with the giftee. If you do have an affinity for things like knitting, woodworking, painting, etc., you can put these to use to create beautiful gifts.
A donation in your loved ones name is a touching way to honour them and help others in need. Most people have a cause that is particularly close to their heart, and choosing one that is special makes this gift even more thoughtful.
5. Acts of Service
In today’s crazy, chaotic world, everyone could use a little help. Rather than buying gifts for the people on your list, why not offer your time and expertise? This doesn’t have to be a burden. Choose to offer something that you genuinely love to give your time to. This might mean teaching a friend a private yoga class, watching your brother’s children so he and his wife can have a night out, helping your aunt organize her closet, or taking your elderly neighbour’s dog for walks. There are so many fun ways to give your time, and it will be so appreciated!
Kate is a freelance writer, a wellness blogger, and she has trained as a yoga teacher and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Practitioner. You can find her online at www.myspiritualroadtrip.com and on Instagram @katehorodyski.