Do you want to create or give something special to a loved one but need a little inspiration? Here are a few ideas to fire up your gift-giving creativity now and at any time of year.
A letter of love or appreciation. These days, receiving a real letter feels like a special occasion anytime. Your letter to your loved one or friend doesn’t have to be romantic—just a note in your own words that details what you like about that person, what you appreciate about who they are or what they do, any special memories you have of them, etc.
My husband wrote me a letter like this for our anniversary one year, and it is precious to me. He used Jody Noland’s Leave Nothing Unsaid template to help him get started.
Although this isn’t a letter, it’s a similar idea. Two years ago, my daughter got an old set of playing cards and created a “52 Things I Love about You” deck for me. It sits on my dresser so I can flip through it anytime I need a boost. She found the idea on Pinterest here.
A special experience. One year, my husband gave me a gift card to the gift shop at our city’s art museum. When I opened it, I was surprised and a little confused until he explained: he wanted to take me to lunch at the new museum restaurant, then to the current art exhibition (paintings from the Louvre), and finally to the gift shop to spend the gift card. I loved his creativity and forethought, and we had so much fun the day we went.
What sort of experience would your family member or friend love? You could write a note explaining what the experience will be or just say that it’s a surprise and then put your note in a gift bag or box so they’ll have something to unwrap.
A piece of art. Are you gifted in the arts? Maybe you could create a small sketch or watercolor, a poem or story, or a special photograph in a frame or a book of photos.
A friend of ours who’s an award-winning professional photographer often sends us one of his photographs at Christmas. His work is stunning. I hung his last photo, a lone tree in a field covered with snow, on the memory board in our kitchen. It stayed there for about two years before I filed it with others he has given us.
A handmade card. My sister and my niece make cards to give for birthdays and Christmas. They put a lot of time and care into choosing just the right color palette, papers, stamps, and additional elements before adding their message inside.
One year, a friend from church gave me a set of blank handmade cards, including a few she’d painted. So far I haven’t given many of those away—I don’t want to part with them.
Coupons and coupon books. People often give these to their sweethearts, and children make them for their parents, but what about creating them for a friend or a child?
Hand-write the coupons or print them on fun paper, and bind them with a binder clip, paper clip, or even staples. If you prefer, put them in a fancy or decorated envelope.
To make a coupon book for a friend, you could include coupons for one free cup of coffee, one pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to share, one movie of his/her choice, one hour of organizing help, etc.
A kid’s book could have coupons for one free ice cream, one family movie of his/her choice, one family dinner of his/her choice, one new book, one batch of cookies made together, one trip to the park, one play date with a friend.
Any of these handmade gifts would be treasured by the person receiving it, and the ideas work well for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s and Father’s Day, too. Hopefully they’ve helped you think of creative ways to show your love to the special people in your life this holiday season.
Have you ever given handmade gifts? What did you give? I'm always looking for more ideas so let me know in the comments below or on Facebook. Thanks!
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