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Non-Material Gifts to Give Your Loved Ones (Or Yourself!)

Think outside the box… there’s something special about a gift that can’t be bought

As seen in Metro Style, December 22, 2022

I don't know about you but after that 2 year break, it feels like there are more parties to go to, more people to see, more presents to buy, and more cars on the road this holiday season. All of the purchases, energy spent, and hours in the mall can really add up! If you’re still shopping for last minute holiday gifts, these non-material gift ideas can save you some extra time, stress, and won’t blow your budget.

Think outside the box and save yourself a trip to the overcrowded mall. While material gifts are of course thoughtful and appreciated too, there’s just something special about a present that can’t be bought. Non-material gifts can be a great way to deepen relationships and really make someone feel special. Putting in a little extra time and love to personalize your present can be extra thoughtful and memorable. And while I do still love getting candles, cookies, and soap, I don’t mind if someone wants to take me for a hot chocolate date!

And I’m all about cultivating a little self-love too. When you take care of your physical and mental wellbeing, you can improve your relationships with others. Self-care can help you feel more balanced and fulfilled in your life, making it easier to be present and attentive with others. So this season of giving, it can be a good idea to treat yourself too.

Quality Time

What’s a better way to tell someone you value them by saying you want to spend time together? The simple joy of being together can get lost in the busy-ness of our day-to-day life. When was the last time you really listened to someone? Invite your favorite people for some undivided attention and a break from the usual routine with an activity you both enjoy.

The holidays can be a lonely time too, so a one-on-one can be a thoughtful way to check in with someone and let them know they are a priority to you. And don’t forget spending some time with yourself: alone time is time for self-discovery and self-reflection, and can help you feel refreshed and energized after lots of social time too.

A Heartfelt Note

Writing a letter to a friend or family member can also be a way to show love and care. Words might seem like just words to some, but to others they are extra meaningful and powerful. Why not pen some gratitude, jot down some good times spent together, and share your support or things to do together? Writing can express things that are difficult to say in person, and show someone your genuine and authentic self.

Writing yourself a letter can be a great self-care practice too! Personally, I’m taking some quiet time to reflect on my 2022 and set some goals for the year to come.

Personal Growth

If you have a skill to share or something you’d like to learn, grab a friend and do it together! I always love it when a friend brings a new hobby or interest into my life. Tag someone to be your workout partner and get fit together, even if you’re just going for a walk or doing free workouts at home. Pick your foodie friend and a new recipe to shop and cook together and get a little healthier. Or get your travel buddy and start learning the language of your favorite country. You can even choose your own growth too: grab a notebook to start journaling. Learning a little something new improves your confidence and self-esteem, makes you more well-rounded, and can help you build a bigger, more fulfilling life.

Acts of Service

The holidays are about giving after all, and sharing your time by helping out might be the most precious gift of all. Whether it’s helping the perpetually busy person in your life with some errands, doing favors for your family members, or looking after a friend’s pets, plants, or children, making someone’s life easier can make for a thoughtful present. Giving back and volunteering for an important cause can be another meaningful way to spend time with a friend, and show you care for your community. Last but not least, you can also do yourself some good and finally tackle the biggest to-do’s that have been stuck on your list all year.

If you’re stuck on your last few presents, these non-material gifts can work especially well for the people you love the most. Why do they always seem to be the hardest to buy something for? And what do you get for the person who has everything?! No matter what you choose, enjoy the warm, joyful season of giving, spread some cheer, and happy gifting!


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