Gift-giving is a tradition as old as humanity. It’s a way of showing
thoughtfulness, love and affection, especially when it comes from the heart. Which means the old trope is true – it really is the
thought that counts. Gifts are not about the price tag, and lucky
for us, a lot of them don’t even have one. At least not one that
comes in dollars.
We’ve collected the best FREE gift ideas to get your brain
thinking outside the wallet this year. You’ll be surprised at just
how special you can make your loved ones feel without ever stepping foot into a mall – a place you won’t miss this season, trust us.
Put together your own cookbook. The internet has made cookbooks cool again! Take some time to collect all of your family’s favorites – whether from Grandma Marge or just a lucky Google search – format them (don’t forget some photos!) print and compile in a binder or notebook.
Make a mix tape. Ok, it doesn’t have to be an actual tape. But in the age of limitless music and resources, it’s a super doable yet special gift to create a playlist with someone special in mind.
Knit a winter accessory. Not quite free after factoring in the cost of yarn, but super special and much more affordable (and irreplaceable) than purchasing one. Bonus, knitting gives you an excuse to watch more movies (it’s a great multi-tasking activity).
Cleaning Services. Nothing says “I care about you” more than being willing to get into someone’s mess – their literal mess. Put some elbow grease into your gifts this year and your friends and family won’t forget it.
Make a personal video. It’s never been easier to make a home video. There are a myriad of free video editing software tools out there and with everyone walking around with a video-camera, you’re guaranteed to have some available footage. Collect your precious moments – you can use photos and videos – set it to music, and prepare to melt hearts with your newly discovered directors skills.
Bake something. Have you ever heard someone say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? Well I think they meant the non-gendered “man” cause that seems to work for everyone. Include a cute recipe card and it will be the gift that keeps on giving.
Frame an announcement/invitation. People spend a lot of time (and sometimes money) on wedding, baby and graduation announcements, all to eventually put one in a box somewhere. Check your local thrift store for a frame that fits and make that memory last.
Labor party. Get your brothers/sisters/friends together and tackle that yard/roof/bathroom tile project your parents have been putting off. What costs you a few hours could save them hundreds (or thousands) of dollars.
Write something. In an age where purchasing a card with a generic message has never been more common, writing a sincere note – something beyond “Happy Holidays” – stands out. Take some time to tell your loved ones what it is you love about them, how much they’ve meant to you or share a special memory.
Gift Card Redemption. Take a look through those old gift cards you’ve been collecting in your wallet over the year and start your shopping there. Be careful to check your balance before you pick out anything.
Cheap date. Do a little investigating into free seasonal events – there are usually plenty this time of year – and make a date out of it. Bring your own hot chocolate, pack a picnic, and it’s a gift to-to-go.
Massage. No no no, not one of those $50 gift cards. Watch a couple how-to massage YouTube videos, master a couple techniques, and give the gift of relaxation to your loved one this year.
Homemade ornaments. Do a little Pinterest searching for homemade ornaments and you’ll find there are thousands of cheap/free crafts that can fill your long winter nights with creative pursuits. Helpful tip: give these away before the actual holiday to be sure they get some use in this year.