Christmas is a time for family, friends, and relaxing, but few of us would feel comfortable if we didn’t give our favorite people a gift or two. For any holiday (birthdays, anniversaries), presents can cause anxiety and even frustration because those gifts are never seen again. Focus on the person and get them what they will see or use long after the season has passed. Below are some examples of Christmas gifts that your friends and family will actually want and use. 


Home Decor

Decorations for the house are not just for the ladies. Find homemade projects on sites like Etsy that feature custom designs for every personality type. Does your mother-in-law have an obsession with animals? Do all your cousins religiously follow sports, movies, or actors? Have multiple beliefs among your friends? You can find custom created wine bottles, hanging art or photos, or even backyard accents focused on these ideas, and you can be sure they’ll be seen every day.

Wine Bottles
Credit: Beth's Wine Designs

Childhood Comforts

Most adults get the typical gift card as a present, but why not go back and remind them of how excited they once got over gifts? Candies that are hard to find, large stuffed animals or pillows, or retro clothes featuring old cartoons or film characters will bring out the child in anyone. Have a friend who loves pandas and the color purple? Scour the internet for a purple and white panda. It’ll sit on either their desk or bed for as long as the new Christmas puppy doesn’t get to it.

Homemade Struggles

Money is usually an opposing factor in gift giving, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re low on cash, your family may as well belong to millionaires, or you don’t want to give them something you spent ten minutes picking out in a crowded store, homemade gifts are a great option. Scroll through websites like Pinterest for ideas and crafts that can be made with items found around your house or at the dollar store. Homemade snow globes are a big favorite, especially when you tie something personal into it. Include a laminated picture of a beloved pet, a metal sports team logo, a photo of you and the gift receiver, anything that will have them thinking of you as they play with it and procrastinate the work they should be doing.

Homemade Struggles
Credit: Amber Morrison

One Day (or a Weekend)

There will always be someone who argues that gifts are not what the Christmas season should be focused on, and that’s okay. If you are or know someone like this person, then agree to spend a day together, phones and laptops off, and do whatever brings the most enjoyment to you or them. If your friend hates the idea of giving a gift because of a forced reason, then take them out for dinner or hot chocolate and visit the local landmarks, go on a museum tour, try to get kicked out of Wal-Mart, pull pranks on unsuspecting strangers, whatever will show that person that they are important to you and that you want to show them your appreciation in the best way you know how.

Gift giving is often headache-inducing or stress-raising, but it doesn’t have to be, and if you don’t want to give gifts, you can always just spend a day together doing whatever they love. Gifts never have to be material.