Are you tired of giving and receiving stuff you don’t need? Try these suggestions for giving gifts that aren’t things! 

No gifts under the tree

Chances are you will feel better and feel lighter by giving gifts that have nothing to do with stuff.

Both, Emilio and I truly believe that the greatest gift you can give anyone is your time. But it can be challenging to try a new tradition or ask someone else to stop giving material gifts.  Don’t worry! There are a lot of different options available to try giving something different.

Great ideas for giving EXPERIENCES:

TICKETS – one-off events like concerts, sports events, movies, theatre, local fundraisers or annual festivals

MEMBERSHIPS – local programs like the symphony, museums, gym or rock climbing clubs, swimming pools, interest group clubs that require a membership fee

GIFT CERTIFICATES – this can apply to just about any business or service – ask your friend or family member what they would really like to do, but maybe would never buy themselves. Examples are a Massage, Pottery Class, Home Brewing Class, Guitar Lessons, etc! The options here can be endless.

Great ideas for giving to KIDS:

VACATIONS OR TRIPS – if you have the ability to contribute to a summer camp or March Break holiday this could have life long positive impacts. You can keep the excitement going with this gift by continually asking about what they’ll do and see while they’re away.

LOCAL ADVENTURE MAP – use your creative side and design a trip around their neighbourhood.  Use your research skills to find the interesting things in the area and maybe even draw up a map! Not only is this a unique experience, but you can share it together and who knows what you’ll find! Sound hard? Try Geocaching!

LEARN A NEW HOBBY – Explore a new skill set by exploring different activities. Is there something that has peaked their interest before? Examples: cooking from different cultures, learning how to horseback ride, or maybe getting their MAKER on!

ONCE A MONTH CERTIFICATE – Set aside time once a month to spend with your recipient. You can use this time to share a meal, go for an outing, watch a movie or play a game! They will feel absolutely phenomenal knowing that each month they have something fun to look forward to!


Great ideas for giving TIME:

DINNER PARTY – try hosting a dinner in! We recently embarked on a once a month neighbour dinner. We picked the first Monday of every month, whoever can show up does! So far it’s been a great success with delicious food and great conversation.

WALK OR HIKE – we can often take for granted that maintained trail in the city or back country trail. Schedule time in your calendar with your friends or family to make it happen! Exercise will never felt as good!

VOLUNTEER – believe it or not, giving back is one of the most rewarding activities you can undertake. It doesn’t always require a long term commitment either. Investigate your local options and get out there!

JUST TIME – tell your recipient that you’re all theirs! Just schedule time in your calendar with no plans whatever other than to spend that time with your friend or family. Maybe you can help them work through a tough decision coming up or help them prepare some meals for the freezer. Whatever they decide you will feel great having spent time together.


Do you have a creative idea for giving gifts? Please share your thoughts!

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Samantha provides personal, home and business organization solutions for individuals who are ready for change. She is a Co-Founder of KW Professional Organizers, a sought after public speaker and blogger.