It’s always tough deciding what to get people for Christmas – either you know the person well enough to know what they’d like, but they seem to have everything already, or you’re not quite sure what they want and you’re worried you’ll get the wrong thing.
So, I decided to come up with a list of foolproof items that make great gifts, don’t break the bank, would be enjoyed by anyone and – most importantly – show that you care, which is really all this season of giving is about, right?
Feast your eyes on this bounty…!
1) A charitable donation in the recipient’s name.
This is the ultimate feel-good gift to give and receive, and of course it benefits those in need. Also, to make it extra personal, think about your friend. Have they had someone close to them suffer from an illness? If so, donate to a research charity for that illness. Are they animal lovers or vegetarian/vegan? If so, donate to the World Wildlife Federation, PETA, or local SPCAs or humane societies. Are they always showing sympathy for those less fortunate? Then donate to a homeless shelter or United Way.
2) Books or magazines.
I think everyone loves to read, but perhaps not everyone loves to read the same thing. Some people prefer non-fiction, others prefer fiction. Some prefer comic books, others prefer magazines! Work out what your friend or gift recipient is into and then buy a book or a magazine subscription that matches their interest. Give a gift receipt in case they already have the book – that way they can still buy a book they want, but the gesture is still appreciated!
3) Homemade goodies.
If you’re on a budget, this is a great gift idea, and yet – because of the time it takes – it is one of the most appreciated of all gifts, especially as we live in an increasingly go-go-go world where time is of great value. Mason jars with layered cookie mixes, or homemade treats in pretty tins are all thoughtful gifts, and if you have friends with specific dietary needs, catering to these just adds that extra touch. There are endless healthy treat recipes on my Recipes Desserts page if you’re looking for inspiration!
4) Warm cozies.
This is better for those of us in the northern hemisphere, who are experiencing winter when Christmas hits (for those in the southern, use the same idea but go for summery items?). Christmas is usually chilly, though, and it’s a great time to spend at home, hanging out indoors with the family and generally being relaxed and lazy. Nothing suits that better than fuzzy, warm items like a nice pair of socks or pyjamas, or a fuzzy blanket. Alternatively, if your recipient is outdoorsy, getting a nice fleece or some warm mitts would also be appreciated and completely practical. You can never have too many pairs of warm socks, mitts or PJs! And of course, this works for men or women.
5) Gift cards.
I know everyone pooh-poohs gift cards for being ‘impersonal’, but honestly, they are one of my favourite things to receive. Mainly because I buy myself the things I need throughout the year but don’t often allow myself to splurge on things I want. Getting a gift card just gives me permission to do just that, and thanks to the tradition of Boxing Day sales in North America, they leave you well equipped to make the most of the post-Christmas sales without spending even more of your own money (because Christmas bankrupts us all enough!).
1) What is your favourite gift to give, and to receive?