With the holiday season approaching, you’ve probably started thinking about the gifts you’ll be giving loved ones this year. With all of the deals and sales, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the hype of buying all of the stuff! The last few years, I’ve felt like the holidays have started to feel really transactional, and I have tried to be much more intentional with my gift giving.
This means spending a little extra time hunting for just the right thing. Sometimes it costs a little extra, sometimes it’s not super extravagant, but the gifts mean so much more than the throw blanket you picked up for $10 on Black Friday. If you’re looking for ideas for meaningful gifts, here are some of my favorites:
Shutterfly Albums: I used Shutterfly for the first time last month to make a photo book for my nephew’s baptism gift. Their site was pretty easy to use, and they had so many options to build a really cute layout. I wasn’t sure how the quality would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived. The book quality was amazing and the pictures looked really sharp. A photo book is a perfect idea for your parents, grandparents, or even a close friend! You can also make them as simple or as designed as you would like.
Vintage Memorabilia: If a friend or family member has a passion for something—whether it’s a sports team, a certain car, or city, search local antique stores or ebay for a vintage piece. One of my friends gave me the most amazing vintage Vikings glasses one year for my birthday and I love them! I have also found old books and magazines about historical sites that my dad loves to read. If you spend some time hunting, you can even score really good deals on things.
Experiences: Instead of physical gifts, consider the gift of an experience that someone would love. Whether it’s a sporting event, family trip to a water park, or concert tickets, the memories made can be so much more meaningful than a physical gift. Just make sure that if you are giving an experience that you are covering the necessities of actually attending it—for example, don’t give someone tickets to an event in a different state that they would have to pay for airfare and a hotel to even attend!
The Gift of Self Care: An experience gift also doesn’t have to break the bank. If you know where a friend loves to get their hair cut or nails done, get them a gift card to cover their next appointment and a little something extra. If someone you know loves working out, buy them a pass for a boutique workout class. I would much rather have someone buy me a workout class that I enjoy doing, than feeling like they need to spend a certain amount on a physical gift that I may or may not even use!
Start A College Fund: Starting a college fund for children is a great way to help build their future, and it can be something you add to each year! A few people contributing to investments a few times a year can really add up over the next 10-15 years. Maybe still get the kid a little something so they still feel special opening their gift.
Gift Basket of Favorite Things: If you don’t have a huge budget, consider a gift basket of a few of their favorite treats, makeup, candles or accessories. If someone loves working out, get them a nice pair of socks, headband, and water bottle from Lululemon. If someone loves cooking, get them a few really nice utensils from Williams Sonoma. The key is to get things that still feel special and that the person would actually want. Gift baskets go wrong when you’re just trying to throw things together last minute.