Tis the Season my Friends. December and the Christmas season are officially upon us, can you believe it?!
If you're at all like me, you were in full on Christmas mode in November. Honestly I'm just not a big Thanksgiving fan. Considering I don't eat meat and half of the other carb-filled Thanksgiving specialties, the Holiday is lost on me. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time thinking of everything I'm grateful for surrounded by family and friends but Christmas has just always been my holiday. There really is something so magical about this time of year so why not start the celebrating as early as possible?!
This was the first year in many that I didn't do any Black Friday shopping and to be honest I haven't given much thought to gifts this year either. After last Christmas I told myself I was going to support small businesses and small business owners by shopping "small" and purchasing all my gifts from them. I did support my favorite local hometown consignment store The Moth Hole this last Black Friday by helping cover a shift and in turn picked up a few goodies to add to the closet myself. But other than that...Well, let's just say there hasn't been much shopping.
All that to say, the season is here which means gift guide time is officially here. Last year I created a traditional Christmas gift guide but this year I wanted to change things up a little bit. In addition to wanting to support small businesses, I'm trying to shy away from giving "things" that just sit around and collect dust as I myself don't even want them.
Soo...Welcome to my non-traditional Christmas gift guide! I hope you find something in here that sparks a little inspiration within you to think outside the box when gifting this year and give a gift that your boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, sister, grandma, dad, brother, best friend, etc. will REALLY remember (and use hopefully!)...And then repeatedly thank you for it later.
1. ClassPass (or Gym) Membership - I can already hear the moans and groans through the computer screen but hear me out. Giving the gift of fitness is something you can never go wrong with for the the healthy guy or gal in your life. Fitness is something we often don't want to spend our own money on which makes it a great gift item if you ask me. Just make sure the other person has actually requested this and it won't be received as an...Ehem..."Suggestion."
2. Art Class(es) - Last year I took a calligraphy class and absolutely loved it. It reminded me of the importance of learning new skills and developing my creativity in new and unique ways. That being said, they can be pricey but what better way to inspire the creative in your life than covering the cost of an art class of their choosing?
3. Disney+ - Need I say more?? You can bet this one is on my Christmas list this year. After catching a glimpse of what Disney+ has to offer, I'm officially sold and the Millenial, Gen Z, whomever in your life is too - TRUST.
4. Magazine Subscription for a Year - If you're anything like me, you love a good magazine subscription...Or two, or three, okay maybe even four. Regardless of how many you choose to flood your mailbox with, those $9.99 annual fees can (and do) add up. I will be taking offers to cover my subscription fees this year believe me.
5. Self-Care Day (Mani/Pedi, Massage, Facial) - No matter the holiday, you can never go wrong with the gift of self-care. Show someone that you know how hard they work and how much they deserve time for a little R&R.
6. A Flight or Airline Giftcards - I can say without hesitation that travel is something at the top of the young people in your lives Bucket List. I know it's at the top of mine! That being said, there's no doubt that it is an expensive wish so why not alleviate some of the cost associated with traveling and pitch in for the flight by either purchasing the flight (make that two, please) or giving Airline Giftcards.
7. Cooking Class at Eataly/Baking Class at MILK - A fun couple's gift idea, cooking or baking classes allows for the individuals to pick up a new skill and have fun in the trial and error process with a friend or partner.
8. Ancestry Test - It's no surprise that ancestry tests have remained popular since they first emerged onto the scene a year or so ago. The results of these tests can reveal so much about your family, predisposition to medical conditions, and so much more. People want to know who they are and where they came from.
9. Wine Club Subscription - A compelling way to learn about new wines, wine club subscriptions allow you to branch out of your wine comfort zone and get great new wine on a monthly cadence or however often the particular subscription deems. Can you imagine coming home to a better delivery??
10. Food Service Subscriptions (Daily Harvest/Hello Fresh/Blue Apron) - Great for the movers and shakers, the Boss Babes, the Moms on the Go in your life. Food service subscriptions take the complexity out of grocery shopping and/or cooking and might even open your eyes to some new recipe or food you hadn't yet tried.
11. Movie Tickets/Theater Gift Cards - I would say Movie Pass but...Well, we all know how that story ends. Nevertheless movie tickets are such a great gift for anyone in your life, no matter the age. Going to the movies can be such a treat given how quickly the cost of tickets, popcorn, drinks, snacks, etc. can add up. Send a friend to the movies and let them truly enjoy themselves - make that an XL Slurpee, would ya?
12. Photo Book - Simple but heartfelt, photo books give the gift of beautiful memories. Whether it was an international trip, a birthday adventure, or maybe just your favorite photos from the year, create a photo book online using Shutterfly to capture those memories in a format that you can cherish forever.
13. Grocery Store Gift Cards - Let's face it, grocery shopping is a thing us young people are probably not all too excited to do and certainly not all too excited to spend the money doing. Nevertheless, we do need food and so grocery shop we must. Find out where your loved one prefers to shop and let them know you're picking up the tab next trip with a gift card to the grocery store of their choosing.
14. Animal Portrait - Perfect for the animal lover in your life, have their furry friend memorialized in portrait form. This is something I've been meaning to do for my own little Coco girl but think it would truly make a great gift. The incredibly talented Jamie Lee Reardin has some really unique dog portraits she creates that would make a stellar gift this Holiday Season.
15. Audible - I'm sure we all know at least one person (especially in our individual offices) who commutes to work. While music and podcasts are great, take it up a notch with the purchase of an Audible membership. You mean to say you can spend an hour in the car commuting to work and simultaneously "read" 40 pages in a book you've always wanted to read but never had the "time" to do so?! You betcha. Welcome to the 21st century my friend.
There's no doubt that Christmas is one of the most wonderful times of year, in fact, there's even a song about that! Personally, I've found that as I get older, I want less "stuff." In fact, I get more frustrated by the clutter and chaos stuff can often create and would much rather invest in experiences than anything.
That being said, consider giving the "non-traditional" Christmas gift this year. Ask yourself what your loved one may want or need but not want to spend their own money on. It may be something as simple as a grocery store gift card or as creative as a pottery class they've been dying to take. Take the time to listen to one another and I mean really listen.
Giving is made all the better when a gift is given with thoughtfulness and care.
Happy Holidays everyone. Please share with me either by leaving a comment below or on my Instagram what your "non-traditional" gift ideas are this year.
(Originally Published December 13, 2019)