Blogger | Teacher
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” the season for giving gifts, spreading love, and celebrating the people who made your year special. Despite being one of the more popular aspects of the Christmas season, gift-giving is by far one of the most stressful events. How do you make sure you get the right gift for everyone without breaking the bank? And what do you do if someone doesn’t like the present you bought them?
Sometimes, turning to nontraditional gifts might be the best answer. Not everyone needs more stuff that just accumulates around their home and takes up space, and some people don’t want expensive items that are a little too pricey for their friends to comfortably afford. Gift giving is less about the act of buying something and more about thinking about the person you’re giving the present to and what kinds of things they might appreciate. In the spirit of Christmas, here are some nontraditional gifts to help you make this holiday season joyful, merry, and bright!
For anyone with a special skill who enjoys making cute or interesting things, one great option for nontraditional gifts to give your loved ones this Christmas is to make something just for them! While this is a task easier said than done – homemade goods take time, money, and patience that you may not have right before Christmas – I’ve found in my experience that a lot of people really enjoy a nice creative gift straight from the heart!
Homemade gifts are not only about the person receiving the gift but they are also about the giver. The gift itself – made especially for the person who you are giving it to – represents a lot of time and energy that isn’t always found in store-bought gifts. Not only did you gift someone something special and unique, but you also took the time to make it yourself. Personally, I love homemade gifts and always appreciate when someone gives me something that they made especially for me!
A Nice Dinner
When you are considering what kinds of nontraditional gifts might be good to give the people you care about, consider what their love language might be. There are many different ways of giving and receiving love, and “gifts” is just one such language. Another is quality time, or giving someone your undivided attention as a way of showing love. While a little different, offering to take someone out for a nice dinner – just the two of you – might be the perfect gift to give someone who appreciates quality time.
One thing I love to do with my friends is to go out to a restaurant one (or both) of us has been wanting to try and sit down to a delicious meal and fun conversation. It gives me the chance to connect with my friend one-on-one (not in a group setting), and more often than not I leave the dinner feeling full, happy, and content with the evening. While on a normal day you might split the meal evenly or pay for your own items, since this is a Christmas gift it’s a nice time to offer to foot the bill. This shows your loved one that you are grateful to them for being there for you throughout the year.
A Day Especially for Them
Another great option for nontraditional gifts planned for people who enjoy quality time is to spend the day with your loved one doing things specifically with their interests in mind. The person you want to give a gift to loves art museums? Go to a new exhibit together! They’ve been talking about having a sweatpants and movie night for a while to help them unwind from a stressful week? Queue up their favorite films and stock up on snacks!
There are lots of great ways to plan a special gift for someone that will show them you care without costing you an arm and a leg. If you plan a day especially for them with their likes and interests in mind, they are sure to feel your affection and appreciation through your actions and understand what you are trying to do for them. By showing that you know your loved one well and are happy to spend time just doing the things they enjoy, they are sure to feel the joy of Christmas during their special day!
Another option for untraditional gifts that you can make with your own hands, baked goods are a great gift for anyone who wants to find that perfect present for the sweet tooths and foodies in your life! Almost everyone loves freshly baked goods, and being gifted a tin of delicious yummy treats and knowing that they were made just for you is such a warm and fuzzy feeling. Plus, no one can get upset if you eat all of them by yourself.
Whether it’s a secret family recipe or something you found online, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from that will fit your loved one perfectly. When I was growing up, my family and I would bake cookies for all of my teachers in order to thank them for helping me during the year. Not only did they always love and compliment me on the delicious snacks, but I was also able to feel the satisfaction of showing someone I cared and appreciated what they’d done for me through a gift I’d made myself (with the help of my family, of course). Just make sure to be aware of any allergies your loved one may have!
Small Shop Merchandise
I know what some of you might be thinking – “But I’m not good at making things or cooking, and I’m not sure I have enough time right now to dedicate a whole day to someone, no matter how much I love them.” Listen to me when I say: that’s okay! You can still get nontraditional gifts through more traditional means.
How do you do that? Well, while traditionally shopping for Christmas gifts includes going to well-known department stores or popular chain shops, consider looking at more local or small business options! This is especially useful if the person you’re shopping for has a special interest such as a television show, game, or hobby that might have cute and rare fan merch available. It’s crazy the kinds of unique and interesting gifts you can find online or in specialized local shops, so start with a small business this year when you begin your Christmas shopping journey!
A Special Event
One last recommendation I have for nontraditional gifts to give your loved ones this year is to look into special events. Does your loved one have a specific interest or hobby? See if there are any pop-up activities or local exhibits happening that they might enjoy! Does your loved one like live music or stand-up comedy? Check to see if there are any cool groups or funny comedians coming to your area!
One of my favorite gifts of all time was given to me by my best friend during college. Neither of us had much money at the time, so Christmas was a bit small. However, she knew I loved Ghibli films and found out that the movie theater in the next city over – about an hour away – was running a special showing of an older Ghibli movie I really liked. It wasn’t super expensive, but being able to go with her and watch the movie together was a special memory for both of us. Even taking them to small events like a local showing of a movie they like can be more than enough to show your loved one how much you care about them.
Do you have more ideas for nontraditional gifts we can give our loved ones this Christmas? Tell us in the comments!
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.