I personally don’t think that Christmas needs to be all about presents. The older I get, and now that I have a little family of my own, all I want is a nice day with Nick and the kids (preferably with no tantrums, but I don’t want to get too greedy!). I like to spoil the people I love all year around with things like surprise flowers and little love notes, and if I see a gift for someone that I think they’ll like, I just buy it then and there! However I do think that Christmas is a nice opportunity to throw some extra love around, and show the people you care about just how much you love them.
A well thought out gift can show people that you listen to them, and that you know them well. However unwanted gifts bring nothing but clutter, stress and guilt into people’s lives. Since discovering minimalism, I’d much rather receive nothing at all than something I won’t get any use out of. BUT! Not everyone feels the same, and some people place more importance on presents than us minimalists.
If you want to give intentionally this year, here are a few suggestions that I’ve come up with which I think most people in your life will love to receive:
If you want to give the gift of indulgence:
Indulgence, the perfect gift for the person in your life who is ALWAYS doing everything for everyone else, and never taking time for themselves.
Day spa voucher: I love receiving a voucher to a day spa, but if you’re gifting this make sure that you’re willing to spend enough to cover a treatment. My personal faves: Nest Day Spa, Keturah Day Spa, or any of the day spas at Crown Resorts.
Candles: Everyone loves a good candle, even men will if you can pick a good scent! Personally, I find it hard to justify splurging on candles because I burn through them within a few days. A quality candle can be expensive, so it’s the perfect gift for someone who loves to add a little luxury to their home. My top pick: Damselfly candles are hilarious!
Food hamper: Hampers don’t have to be tacky, and if they’re done well they can be a great gift! If you search online, there are plenty of companies that do pre-made hampers, however I think its more cost effective and personal to make one yourself. Choose a few of the recipients favourite foods, and add a few indulgent snacks like chocolates, gourmet nuts, crackers, cheeses, alcohol, hot chocolate mixes, loose leaf teas… and you don’t have to stop at food! You can add things like magazines, mini candles, eye masks, hand creams, the list goes on!
Bath bomb: Lush is my favourite place to shop for bath bombs! Some of them are super cool, glittery and colourful. Others are really moisturising and great for the skin. Bath bombs are also inexpensive, so are great for Secret Santa gifts or stocking fillers. Just make sure that the person you’re gifting it to has a bath at home!
A weekend away: If you really want to spoil someone, organise a weekend away for them! It doesn’t have to require getting on a plane or anything extravagant, a nice night a few hours out of town, or even a stay-cation at a fancy hotel in the city is perfect. My top picks: Empire Retreat or Alex Hotel.
If you want to give the gift of an experience:
I love fun experiences, even more so when I get to do them with the person gifting them to me! If the person you’re gifting to loves to try something new, experiences are always the way to go!
Dinner and a movie voucher: A romantic dinner at a super luxurious restaurant and sitting through a whole movie uninterrupted is an absolute treat for new parents! Especially when the gift giver is shouting a voucher, AND agreeing to babysit kids so the receivers can have a relaxing night out (hint hint!). Top pick: Event Cinemas have Christmas themed vouchers for the season, to help you get into the spirit! Ranging from $25 – $200 in value, the Event Cinema gift cards are the perfect gift for anyone in your life.
Cooking class: A super fun idea to gift to couples or families with older kids! Cooking at home every night for the family may be a bit of a chore, but a hilarious evening learning to cook something new is a novelty!
Dancing class: If you’re wanting abounding experience with your cousin or sister in law, a dance class is the way to go. It doesn’t have to be a jazz or classical dance class either, heaps of companies offer “Beyonce”, hiphop or pole dancing classes which look like a tonne of fun!
Thrill seeking activities: Such as skydiving (or indoor skydiving for those less adventurous), bungee jumping, speed boat tours etc. just make sure that the recipient is an adrenaline junkie!
If you want to gift something sentimental:
Sentimental gifts are my favourite to receive. Every birthday, anniversary and Christmas my favourite part of the gift is the cards that I get from Nick and the kids. My love language is “word of affirmation” so I love to be told over and over and over again that I’m loved and appreciated.
Love letter: If you’re strapped for cash this year, don’t underestimate the power of a beautiful letter telling someone exactly what you love, respect and admire about them. If you want to go all out, type it up and frame it.
Photos: Photos can be given in so many different ways around Christmas time. Visit Santa at the shops and print out a few extras to give to family and friends, put your kids in some cute outfits and stand them in front of the Christmas tree, print out a few of your favourite photos from the year and frame them, or make a scrapbook, or order a photo album from stores like Harvey Norman.
DIY Ceramics: The kids made these for a few of their relatives this year, and they were super easy to make! We bought porcelain texts from Spotlight, some cheap white mugs from Target, and I personalised each mug and then let the kids draw on them. All we had to do was bake them in the oven once the texta had dried, and apparently they’re now dishwasher proof too!
If you want to give something practical:
Practical gifts are the ones that most people wont ever ask for, or think that they want to be gifted, but its surprising how well received they always are! When you’re buying a practical gift, think of something that the person would have to spend time or money on usually. For example; a car detail, a cleaner to come and do a big clean of their house, or a window cleaner, a top up of their regular skincare, silk pillowcases (my favourite!), an indoor plant etc!
If you’re gifting to kids:
The absolute LAST thing I want this year, is for my kids to be gifted countless plastic toys to fill our already full toy room! I would much rather that their loved ones promised them a day out at the zoo, or took them to the aquarium for a fun afternoon! All kids really need, is quality time. So if you’re gifting for a kid think of somewhere exciting to take them, and grab a brochure to put in a card! Or put together a little hamper with a new t-shirt to wear on the day, a water bottle and a traveller size suncream that they can pack to take with them!
I hope this list has given you some last minute gift ideas, eased some stress for you, or helped to change the way you think about gift giving. Christmas can be such a wonderful time of year when we drop the pressure, don’t over commercialise it, and we get to spend quality time with our loved ones.
Cover photo credit: Burkatron