The holiday season is in full swing, and with it comes the usual onslaught of gift shopping madness. If this time of year leaves you in search of more meaningful gifting options, you’re not alone. Finding a gift outside the norm may require extra thought and care, but the genuine gratitude you’ll receive will make it more than worth your while. Whether you’re looking for creative alternative gift giving ideas or ways to give back, check out this handy list of out-of-the-box ways to give in lieu of the usual seasonal fare.
1. A Charity Donation
This one is a favorite go-to when it comes to giving while giving back. Spread awareness of a cause you’re passionate about by donating in someone else’s name, or contribute to her favorite cause for a gift that makes the world a better place.
2. Babysitting Vouchers for a Night Out
Help a loved one and her significant other get out and about for a much needed date night by offering a series of vouchers, each good for a night of babysitting, a weekend or even a day trip without the kids. You can even get crafty and create a whole coupon book.
3. Make a Purchase That Sponsors a Cause
Many stores contribute a portion of sales to charity this time of year. Whether a store follows a one-for-one donation match system (like TOMS) or supports ongoing holiday initiatives like theMacy’s Believe campaign for Make-A-Wish, carefully selecting where you buy gifts online is a simple way to add giving back to your holiday.
4. Take a Class Together
One of our favorite gift giving ideas is choosing an experience you can share together. Support local artists, chefs and teachers by enrolling in a fun class for you and a lucky friend or family member. Find a great wine and painting night, yoga class or Italian cooking class to get out, have fun and learn a new skill together.
5. Sponsor a Charity Race
Help someone find the motivation to get out and get moving by sponsoring her entry into an upcoming charity race. Whether it’s a 5K fun run or a marathon, entering a race is great way to support a cause and reach fitness aspirations. For bonus points, sign yourself up too, and train together.
6. Sponsor a Student Group
Sponsoring a local student group in someone’s name is a fun way to connect a gift recipient with the local community and inspire kids in the area to achieve great things. Win-win!
7. Craft Something Handmade From the Heart
Wondering what to get the person who has everything? A thoughtful, handmade gift is a great way to show you care, and it’s sure to become a treasured keepsake in her home or office.
8. Commit Hours to Volunteer
Dedicating some of your time to a cause your friend cares about is a fantastic way to show her your love and support. Gift giving can be tricky, but donating your time is a great gift that gives back.
From the latest tech to the hottest fashions and everything in between, the editors at The Smart Shopper are in the know and ready share their expertise. Check out our posts on shopping secrets and product trends for those who live for a little retail therapy.