3 Types of Meaningful Gifts That Cost Next-To-Nothing

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

What is a gift exactly? We say it’s selflessly giving someone something they want or need. What isn’t a gift? Something that always comes in a box. We’re quickly approaching the holiday season where the focus is all about buy buy buy but maybe you’d rather switch gears this year, maybe you’d rather give something that doesn’t come from a store. We have a few ideas to get you started.

1. Gift Your Time

Be it babysitting, dog walking or heck, even watering your neighbor’s plants, your time is a valuable commodity and spending it for someone else, especially for something they need, is a great gift idea that will always be appreciated. If you feel like you really need something physical to hand over, get crafty with some cardboard and make them a ticket they can redeem for your services.

(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

2. Give an Experience

Some experiences will cost you (like a trip or a show) but they don’t have to. Surprising a loved one with a visit to a special place can be just as thoughtful. Consider a trip across town to see a sorely-missed person, or gifting them with a unique, new experience that you can do together, like cooking your way through a favorite cookbook. It will probably be the best gift of the season and one they’re likely remember for years to come.

(Image credit: Hannah Puechmarin)

3. Use Your Skills

Are you really good at doing something? We bet you are. We bet it’s a valuable skill that other people would love to get a piece of. Why not use your baking, sewing, photography, graphic design or DIY skills to help someone you know who needs help in your area of expertise? You will feel so much more satisfied sharing something you love with someone you love than you would by charging something on your credit card.

Let’s make holiday giving more about celebrating the people you love and less about the stores you shop.

Re-edited from a post originally published 11.22.2014 – TW