Not to panic you, but there are only 16.5 weeks left until Christmas and 14 weeks until Hanukkah! Really that is plenty of time to get ready, but the sooner you get started, the more time you will have to think of amazing, one of a kind gifts to give to family and friends.
I try to be as creative, non-consumerist, and minimalist as possible at Christmas time, but I am really running out of ideas. I’m pretty sure that my family and friends are tired of receiving homemade candles, tins of cookies, and crocheted scarves, hats, and blankets. I would love to be able to show my family how much I appreciate them by giving them a one of a kind experience this year instead of a home-made gift.
In my quest to think outside the box for my holiday shopping, I created this list of 10 great alternative holiday or Christmas gift ideas. Even if you tend to procrastinate on your holiday shopping, you’ll still be able to use this list to find the perfect thing for your loved ones this holiday season.
1. Subscription Box Service
I know I just mentioned thinking outside of the box, but bear with me. Subscription boxes are a great gift idea, because it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Every month a new box will arrive with new goodies for your loved one. The best part is that many subscription boxes contain consumables, so your gift won’t turn into clutter in your loved one’s home.
There are subscription boxes for crafts, books, organic food, cigars, wine, and international items. There is a subscription box out there for people of any age or interests. Especially if you have friends or family who are parents, here is a great list of 5 Subscription Boxes they will love as a holiday gift.
2. One of a Kind Adventure
Buy tickets or passes or a voucher for a one of a kind experience. Send your loved one on a new adventure. Some ideas are: Hot air balloon ride, paragliding, swimming with dolphins, white-water rafting, river-tubing. There are endless adventures out there that you could give as a holiday gift. Literally, the sky’s the limit.
3. Bed and Breakfast Gift Certificate
Paying for one or two nights at a cozy bed and breakfast would be the perfect holiday gift to give your partner or even your parents or in-laws. Use a bed and breakfast finder to find the perfect getaway. I stayed in a bed and breakfast once, and it was a phenomenal experience. I highly recommend it!
4. Class Tuition
Maybe your loved one has always wanted to learn how to play the piano or they’ve expressed interest in taking an art class. There are all kinds of classes out there that are both really fun and inexpensive to take. Look at the class list for the local community college, look on Craigslist, or look on a class finding website. If you happen to live in New York City, Chicago, or Los Angeles, Course Horse is a great website for finding unique classes to give as gifts.
5. Behind the Scenes Tour
Museums, aquariums, monuments, wineries, and breweries are all great places to set up a behind the scenes tour. Pick a location that you know will pique your loved one’s interests, and buy tickets for them to have a once in a lifetime experience getting a behind the scenes tour.
6. One Month of Housekeeping
There’s nothing worse after the holidays than trying to get the house back in order after having guests in and out of the house. Give your loved one the Christmas gift of relaxation by paying for a month of housekeeping services, to get them back in the swing of things after the holidays are over.
7. Dinner Cruise
Most port and river cities have dinner cruise ships which give their passengers an evening of wining, dining, and entertainment. Dinner cruises are a pretty affordable and one of a kind gift experience.
8. Fully Planned/Funded Day in the City
Schedule an entire day out in a nearby city for your loved one, complete with an itinerary of activities or events, a gift card for lunch or dinner, and money for a taxi or metro tickets so that they can get around.
9. Tickets to a Performance
Sports events, international ballet, theatre shows, concerts, and Broadway musicals are just a few ideas for buying your loved ones tickets to a performance. Use Ticketmaster to find upcoming shows near you.
10. Craft/Artisan Product Class
You could sign them up for a micro brewery lesson, a class in wine making, or a cake decorating class. Maybe they have always wanted to learn how to cook authentic Italian food, including a lesson in pasta making. After they’ve mastered the class, you can enjoy the fruits of their labors!
Holiday Shopping Doesn’t Have to be Boring
If you want your holidays to be a little less materialistic, use this list of alternative Christmas gift ideas to show your loved ones how much you appreciate them. Each gift idea on this list is a gift that will keep on giving. Give your friends and family a holiday gift what will relax, excite, or provide a once in a lifetime memory. Holiday gift ideas don’t have to be boring. Your dad has enough cookies, candles, and ties, send him skydiving instead.
Have you started planning for the holidays? What Christmas gift ideas are on your list for loved ones this year?