It’s Christmas time again! And like every time, around this time of the year, people are rushing to the stores to get their loved ones something they’ll like. But what if going to a store weren’t necessary? What if you could give the people you care about something meaningful – and best of all – completely free?
Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that we don’t need to spend money to show the people we love how much we care. There’s plenty we can do that doesn’t require wasting money. For that reason, here’s a list of original gifts that’ll make Christmas much more meaningful to you and to those you care about:
1. A Jar and 12-Monthly Challenges
This is super easy and all you have to do is give them a jar (come on, we all have one at home); and an envelope with 12 challenges. Give them one for each month so that it keeps on being exciting for them, and so that they have more to share with you around this time next year.
Here are some examples of challenges, if you’re in need of a bit of inspiration:
- “For a month, write something that made you smile”
- “Write a challenge you overcame”
- “Hug someone every day, for a month”
- “Give yourself positive reinforcement, at least once a day”
- “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes (metaphorically)”
- “Take 5 minutes (minimum) every day to walk around plants”
- “Tell someone about a feature of theirs you like”
- “Find 3 things you’re grateful for”
- “Get a few motivational mottos and stick to them whenever you’re going through challenges”
- “Find the time to do something you like, every day”
- “Write something that improved your day”
- “Find an opportunity to be kind to yourself, each day”
Note that the point would also be for them to write the experiences from the challenge on a piece of paper, and put it on the jar. The plus side from giving this, and the part that makes it all worth it, is that, no matter how challenging the year turns out to be, it helps them realise there’s always something good happening.
2. A Coupon Book
This is very common for couples, especially in valentine’s, but it can still be given to pretty much anyone. Basically, you write down specific things your partner, family member or friend, can ask you to do, and give to them for Christmas. It’s really fun, as it gives you a chance to connect more deeply. Just be sure to write down how many times they can use the coupon, unless you want to be doing those things all year-round.
Here’s a video on how you can create your own:
3. A “Tell-me” Notebook
If you’re looking for a gift to give to your grandparents, parents or older friends, this could be an ideal choice. It can be quite good to give you a chance to get to know their story a little bit better, and to give them an opportunity to relive their memories. So, for this one, you’ll need a notebook, and a bit of imagination to write down some questions.
Some examples of questions you could write are: “Tell me about your first house”; “How was your first childhood friend like?”; “Tell me about your first love”; “What brings to your mind whenever you think of your mother/father?”….
Write a question every 2 pages or so, to give them enough space to write. When they’re done with writing the notebook, have fun going over their stories with them, and watch how they light up speaking of things they cherished for so long.
4. A Time Capsule
All you’ll need for this is a water/time resistant box and a piece of paper to explain the gift. Explaining the gift may be good here, because… nobody looks forward to getting an empty box for Christmas, right?
So, all you have to do is explain the purpose of the box, tell them to think of a few meaningful things they’d like to bury and set a future date for when you’d like to go back to the box. This could include letters to their future self, photographs of people they love, certain pieces of clothing… Regardless of what they bury, the important thing is that when they open the boxes again they’re reminded of this time, right now, and all the memories from this moment.
5. “Read This When…” Letters
Particularly for people with children this is a good choice. As they grow up, sometimes, it becomes more difficult for them to talk to us. This way, they don’t have to speak to us if they’re not comfortable enough, and we’re still giving them an opening to receive the guidance they need in crucial moments in their life.
All you have to do is write a set of letters, each with “Read This When…” written in the front of the envelope, and some reassuring words, motivation and lot’s of love to be found inside. After all, that’s the best we can do when they’re going through their own struggles.
6. A Blooming Seed
If you don’t have plants at home, this may be the exception to the rule, and you may have to go buy some seeds. Still, it’s an amazing gift for children to teach them to develop a connection with Nature early on; and, at the same time, it gives them a chance to develop responsibility too. Besides this, it also helps them realise the importance of little things, and how proper care and love can create something truly beautiful.
Also consider this gift to that friend of yours that loves Nature, or to that family member that has a garden. If plants and seeds are important to them, that’s more of a reason why giving those things should be considered.
Now, all of this aside, there’s something we all need to realise about Christmas. And that is that… Christmas time, in fact, doesn’t matter. For some reason, we’ve turned this time of the year into a time we go out and buy things (or make them ourselves, like the suggestions mentioned above); but the truth is, if we truly want to give the people we care about presents, we can give do so every day of the year…
My point is, be sure you’re giving because you want to be, and not because you have to. Above everything else, what counts is the love we put into the things we do – that’s the real meaning of Christmas.
So, have fun spreading your love with the gift suggestions mentioned above, and let us know in the comments if you have some suggestions of your own you’d like to add.
Have a wonderful and Awesome Christmas!