When holidays, birthdays, and any days worth celebrating roll around, it’s worth it to be thoughtful. Here’s a collection of meaningful gifts that stress this truth: it’s not how much we give that counts, it’s how much love we put into giving that makes a real difference.
“There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.” – Leo Christopher
May you find something in this collection that you can’t wait to give someone. Whatever the cause for celebration or the reason for giving, be grateful that you have the ability to give anything (even if it’s simply your thanks). And always remember these wise words…
Meaningful Gifts to Brighten Someone’s Life
Create your own themed gift bag.
What does this person love to do? What are their hobbies, passions, and interests? Here are a few examples…
- For the writer, gift a classic Moleskine notebook (or a fun, inspirational notebook) with a few sweet words written on the inside of the cover, a nice pen, stationary and stamps. You can give poetry your best shot and pen a sweet or funny poem–it doesn’t matter if it’s good; I can almost guarantee it’ll elicit a smile either way.
- For the bookworm, opt for an inspiring book or two in their genre of interest and include bookmarks, highlighters, a reading light, a chunky blanket, a soothing candle, and some favorite tea or wine to complete the package. Gather old books at thrift stores (or your local library), and gift them to be used as decorations.
- For the person who’s always cold, there’s a lot you can pack into one amazing gift: a big blanket, fuzzy slippers, a microwavable neck pillow, hand warmers, lined leggings, mittens and a scarf, a Himalayan salt rock lamp, a framed picture of their favorite summer scene, etc.
- For the person who craves inspiration in their life, I love these adult coloring books from Hay House, and these empowering/healing card decks. Again, Himalayan salt rock lamps are beautiful, good for the environment, and provide a soothing glow. Fill a jar or notebook with inspiring quotes and positive affirmations that they can pull from or flip through when they need a pick-me-up.
You can put everything into the container of your choosing, whether it be an actual gift bag or woven basket, a big jar, decorative box, wooden crate, or something else. Be creative and fun!
Offer your help.
There are a lot of ways we can help each other, and even the smallest gestures can mean everything to someone. Offer to help someone do something they either wouldn’t normally do, or don’t enjoy doing.
- For the person who’s not so technically inclined, offer to program their iPhone or iPad, set up a social media account, or install an antivirus program on their computer.
- Offer to fix something in the house that’s been broken for a long time, or just chip in with some chores.
- For new or single parents, offer to clean the house, babysit the kids, wash the car, or go grocery shopping.
If you’re handy or artistic in any sense, there’s something you can make.
- Scrap wood can be turned into a beautiful handmade sign.
- A surprise homemade three-course meal is sure to be appreciated. You can send them home with some of your favorite recipes, handwritten on nice recipe cards.
- Grow a house plant and include some fertilizer spikes, a pretty vase for watering, and a handwritten guide for caring for their new plant.
- Handmade cards, ornaments and decor, poems, a scrapbook or photo collage, and a tin of cookies are all meaningful gifts because they’re made with love.
- For those without smart phones and streamed music, make a mix CD for their car rides. Whether it’s a collection of their favorite songs or an assortment of songs that remind you of them (or them of you), this is a still-timely gift for many people. If they do steam music, the sweet sound of nostalgia might bring a smile to their face.
If you’re not able to make something yourself, giving a handmade item made by another is the next best way to honor the gift of creation. Go to your local gift shop, visit Etsy.com, or pay a crafty friend to make something for you.
Donate to a meaningful cause.
- Donate to organizations in the name of late loved ones, and do the same for a friend or family member who has also lost someone they love.
- Buy them a Thrive Market membership, which is a two-in-one deal. It’s a wonderful gift for the person big into healthy eating, natural home and body care, and good prices for high quality products. Plus, for every Thrive Market membership purchased, another is donated to a family in need. You can sign up here for a free 30-day trial for yourself, or in the name of someone you love.
Give your gratitude.
Is there someone you’ve been meaning to thank, but haven’t gotten around to it? Who is deserving of your deepest appreciation? Here are a few ways you can honor them…
- Host a gratitude night, where you invite your guest over for their favorite homemade meal and dessert in honor of their presence in your life. You can surprise them with a written or impromptu speech about why you’re thankful for them, and what they mean to you.
- Hand write a gratitude letter. Send it via snail mail, deliver it in person, or use it as the object of your gratitude night.
- Make a gratitude jar. Similar to a happiness jar, a gratitude jar is a fantastic gift with purpose and heart. The jar can be inexpensive; it’s what’s inside that counts. This “I appreciate you because” or “I love you because” jar can be filled with paper notes detailing all the big and little reasons you’re thankful for that person. Include fond memories, quotes, song lyrics, admired traits, etc.
Since there are so many reasons to be grateful, here are ten ideas to help you express your gratitude.
Give your presence.
Your presence is one of the most meaningful gifts you can give anyone, maybe the most meaningful. If you can provide a listening ear, your undivided attention, and your genuine interest in another, you have the capacity to change someone’s day, and maybe even their life.
You can make your own “save the date” and promise to do something fun together — make a giant puzzle, go shopping, grab some coffee, go for a hike, anything that you both enjoy doing. Remember that time spent is priceless.
You may also enjoy this post about the three best gifts money can’t buy.
Here’s a list of products I love and use all the time.
Of course, I can’t think of them all–this is just a brief list to inspire you…
- Are there any other meaningful gifts you’d like to add to this list?
- What’s the best present you’ve ever received from someone you love?
Please share your thoughts, favorite meaningful gifts to give and receive, and any inspiring stories of connection and gratitude with me in the comments.
Share this collection of meaningful gifts with anyone who might appreciate it and use it.
Time, attention, and love are the best gifts we could give another.
Free wreath graphic designed by Freepik; lettering by Aim Happy.