When it comes to gifts, it’s easy to forget that old adage about it being the thought that counts. Read on for inspiration for the most thoughtful Christmas gifts to show you care.
Traditionally, Christmas is not only the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most expensive.
There’s the cost of travelling to see family, the credit card bill for Christmas dinner and festive nights out, and – of course – the money spent on presents. But sometimes the best Christmas gifts don’t cost much at all.
Earlier this month, Twitter user Hayley Webster perfectly summed up this sentiment by sharing the story of the best Christmas gift she ever received. In a thread of 18 tweets, she explained why a piece of sheet music that had cost just £1.50 had meant so much to her – the most important thing being that she felt ‘seen’.
“That gift, that one small thing, taught me what it means to be noticed for who you are,” said Webster. “Christmas is nothing to do with showing people you love them with big money spends.”
Want to give more meaningful gifts yourself? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Make a real photo album
Many of us never see our photos away from our devices – we only look at them while scrolling through Instagram or when we happen to open our camera roll. These days, there are lots of services that will print your Instagram pictures for a relatively small cost – and even turn them into a beautiful coffee table book (try Blurb or Artifact Uprising, for example).
Create a modern mixtape
There’s something undeniably old-fashioned about the idea of a mixtape, but a playlist is just a very modern version of the same thing. To make a playlist into a present, you could create a list of songs which remind you of one person in particular – or the times you’ve spent together and the places you’ve been. This gift might be totally cost-free if the other person already has a subscription to a music streaming service – if not, you could also buy them a gift card for a platform like Spotify or iTunes.
Design a handmade gift
Use whatever skills you have: if you love to cook you could wrap up a batch of freshly baked cookies or a homemade jam, and if you sew or knit you could make accessories such as scarves, hats and zipped pouches. If you write, you could pen a poem or short story dedicated to one of your loved ones, and if you take photographs you could frame a series of meaningful shots you know they will love.
Gift experiences instead of things
For the person who insists they don’t want a gift, meaningful experiences can be a good alternative to material presents. Think of offering a lavish home-cooked dinner, an extra-special afternoon tea, or an evening of babysitting or petsitting if they need some time to themselves. There are also many free events you could invite a friend or family member along to – research what’s available in your local area and you may find museum and gallery exhibitions, or even fascinating lectures and free concerts or film screenings.