list of gift alternatives for the holidays

The title is a bit misleading.  This post is not really about not giving presents.  Instead of buying stuff that will clutter shelves, closets, or garages, why not give a gift at the holidays that is sure to make the recipient smile and breathe a sigh of relief. I believe in creating as little opportunity for waste as possible, and that includes a gift that is neither lovely not useful to its recipient.  As you are creating your gift list for family and friends, consider ways to give that will add joy, not clutter.  Here are some ideas.

list of gift alternative for your holiday gift-giving |


  • Gift Cards.  This is a pretty generic gift, but if you are really wanting to give something that is appreciated and will be used, a gift card is just the thing.  Today, you could walk into many grocery stores, discount stores, and specialty stores and purchase a gift card for many restaurant chains and retail stores.  The art of this gift is in the delivery.  Disguise it by wrapping the gift card in a large box or hiding it between the pages of a used book.  Buy a photo frame and display the gift card in the center for effect.  ListPlanIt has Gift Certificates available in our store that you can print and wrap or send via email.
  • Memberships/Passes.  A family membership to a local attraction is a gift that keeps on giving.  Consider zoos/aquariums, museums, gyms, amusement parks, or other fun location.
  • Consumables.  Everyone has to eat.  That is why a home baked item or a food/drink item from a specialty shop is a treat.  A gift that provides enjoyment is key, but one that contributes to the strength and nourishment of a friend is a bonus.  Purchase a basket or tote bag and fill it with items that are sure to please: wine, cheese, bread, fruit, chocolate, jams, nuts, etc.  For a gift that continues to give throughout the year, consider a _____-of-the-month club.
  • Services.  Give her the gift of relaxation at a local spa.  Give him the gift of a few banjo lessons that he has been talking about starting for months.  Haircuts, nails, house cleaning, auto detailing, meal prep, and others are all services that might feel too luxurious to spend on one’s self.  However, the holidays a great time to pamper a friend or family member with a little luxury.
  • Tickets.  Give the gift of an experience when you give tickets for Christmas.  Check for concerts or events that will be in the area any time after the holidays.  Buy lift tickets to a nearby ski slope.  Movie tickets or tickets to the theatre make a fun night out.  Buy a bus, train, or airplane ticket for someone that you might like to see.

What is your favorite gift alternative idea?

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