Are you struggling for ideas on what to get your loved ones for Christmas? In Britain each year, countless people accrue debt they can’t pay off until the following April in order to buy presents for others. In a year that has seen so many people lose their jobs because of COVID-19, we think it’s time to assess how we approach the season of giving.
Buying gifts for others feels great, we’re not going to dispute that, but maybe it’s time we tried alternative gifts. Instead of measuring our gift by it’s monetary value, consider the time, effort and expertise put into it as a value of its worth. With that in mind, here are several alternative gifts you can give to someone this Christmas season.
While the exact nature of Christmas and social distancing measures are still unknown at this point, make sure you follow local guidelines in your area. To find out more, please visit the Gov. UK page linked below.
1. Get crafting
Let’s get the most obvious gift out of the way first, shall we? While it may seem like a bit of a classic Christmas trope, the act of making a gift for someone is by far one of the most thoughtful festive acts. Whether you are a master crafter or not, the simple act of creating something in your time speaks volumes over buying something in a store.
The possibilities are also endless! It could be a painting, a card, or even an attempt at knitting. Whatever your outlet for creativity, the recipient will certainly appreciate the gesture! Creating gifts can also be a family activity. If you’re looking to send presents out to grandparents or aunts and uncles, get your children involved. One of our staff members at head office recently created little cards with painted footprints from their twin babies to send out to grandparents and family members. It cost very little to create but meant a lot to those who received one.
2. Donate your time
Modern life is busy and fast-paced and many of us rarely find the time for ourselves, which is why the gift of time is so important. Something as simple as a phone call around Christmas time can make such a vast difference to someone. With loneliness typically at its peak during the festive season, you know this year is going to be especially difficult for many people due to the isolation imposed on us all by COVID-19.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the methods of donating your time are quite restricted, but this doesn’t mean you can’t. Something as simple as a daily or weekly phone call through the Christmas period could make a significant difference to a friend or relative who’s feeling isolated. Don’t know anyone who would benefit from a phone call? The charity Silver Line is constantly looking for people who are willing to donate their time to speak with elderly and isolated people across the UK. Click the link below to find out more.
If someone buys you a gift that you aren’t fond of or you feel doesn’t match your tastes, don’t be afraid to regift. It’s better if the present goes to someone you know will appreciate it, rather than the gift sitting in the back of a cupboard, or worse, ending up in a bin. Not only is it better for the environment, but it’s an excellent way of paying forward a lovely gesture. Just don’t accidentally regift someone the present they bought, that might not be received too well.
Much like crafting, the act of baking is a lovely gesture which not only results in a tasty treat but also a physical result of your time and skill. Christmas is the time for sweet snacks and cakes, so homemade treats are certain to go down very well. You can once again get the kids involved in the process, we’re sure grandparents and other family members will love cookies baked by the family!
5. Seeds, Flowers and Plants
Seeds and plants are relatively inexpensive, but provide someone with a project to focus on in the months and potentially years ahead. Some plants can even be propagated (regrown) from leaf cuttings, so if you’ve already got some of your own, they would make a lovely gift to send out.
6. Create a to-do list
Sending a blank to-do list to a relative or friend is a fantastic way to support them. Rather than spending money on a gift, help make their day a little easier by helping with some chores. While this is currently limited to families within each other’s support bubble, COVID-19 won’t be around forever, so you could offer to help a family member with chores when we can socialise again.
You could even create vouchers for help, giving the recipient an opportunity to redeem them when they need help. This could also tie in with physically creating something to hand over as well!
We know Christmas is going to be different and difficult for everyone this year, but during a time like this we need the kindness of others more than ever. Do you have any ideas for alternative Christmas presents? Or are you skipping Christmas this year? Let us know in the comments below.
Please be sure to follow the government guidelines for lockdown and local tier levels. If you are unsure on what tier your area is currently in, and its restrictions, please follow the link below to the official website: