I remember when I was little trying to figure out a gift for my nana at Christmas. My mother used to to tell me that my grandmother didn’t want more stuff, but rather something from our heart. A picture, a sleepover (where she let me cheat at go-fish and eat chocolate chips) or some help around the yard.
Now that my mother is a nana and my siblings and I are getting older we concentrate on not giving more “stuff” at Christmas. We give gifts from the heart that don’t need dusting and won’t go out with the next batch of de-cluttering.
Here are some of the things we like to exchange with each other (the small children still get lots of sparkly, noisy fun stuff):
- Tasty local food items, like Nella Pasta,
- Knitted or sewn hats, scarves or reusable bags for groceries,
- Five Wishes Living Wills, yes, I actually put these in people’s stockings one year…
- A trip together to a local attraction, museum or spa or a lavish get-away.
- Gift certificates so people can pick out things they’ve been wishing for,
- Moleskine notebooks, everyone needs one of these, don’t they?
- Pre-made meals. One year I made little frozen pizzas for everyone. They were a big hit.
- A gift certificate for a local errand service.
- A donation to a charity about a cause they believe in, or to support a part of the world they love to travel to.
- Cleaning out their car, gutters or basement. (Get their permission first! Not everyone can so easily part with their things.)
- Stories about your family history or childhood memories.
- Photographs of them with grandchildren, nieces or nephews (with names on the back so future generations will know who is who.)
What can you give this holiday season that is from the heart, doesn’t collect dust and will be treasured all year long?
Photo source: author’s personal photo.
(Note: I repost this list every year, and every year I find something to add to it. Share your ideas below.)