Christmas Challenge: Meaningful Alternatives to Christmas Gifts

3 Gifts Christmas Challenge: Alternative to Gift Ideas Let’s face it – shopping for Christmas presents can be a drag. Not only does it drain the bank account, the scrum of the high street can fill you with Christmas dread rather than Christmas spirit, and the anonymity of online shopping can feel cold and impersonal.

So, we have a Christmas challenge for you!

How about you do it differently this year and not only save yourself some cash but also give Christmas back some of the meaning that’s been lost since it became over-commercialised.

Read on for alternative gift ideas or alternative ways of giving gifts to your family and friends, ones that give a personalized touch to Christmas that will delight your recipients. 

And next year, why not try and get your family and friends involved too!

Christmas Challenge: Alternative Gift Ideas


alternative gift ideasIf you feel like getting creative, consider making your own Christmas pressies this year.

Don’t worry if you’re not a whizz at knitting or baking (though if you are… great! You’re off to a good start) – you can still come up with an amazing homemade gift that isn’t too taxing to make.

Have a think about who you are making the gift for and what they like. Is your mum dotty about your kids? Make her a calendar with a different photo of the children taken over the last year for each month.

Do you have a sister who travels a lot with work? Make her playlists to listen to in the car, or record yourself reading some short stories.

Or perhaps you have a son who loves to bake? Why not make him his own book of your favourite dessert recipes from the past few years.

If you want to do something more fancy, Etsy and Pinterest are great sites to visit for ideas, and many have step-by-step instructions so even those that lack coordination can follow along!


alternative gift ideasIf your recipient has a favourite charity, considering donating to a favourite charity in his or her name instead of giving a physical gift. After all, Uncle Bill may have been hinting for that snazzy new shirt, but you know it won’t suit him anyway!

If you’re unsure of who to donate to, consider giving to the U.K. Money Blogger’s GiveOrGift Campaign. This campaign is especially good if you’re planning a secret Santa with family or friends or with colleagues at work.

Instead of donating a gift, you can choose instead to donate £5 and £10 (or more, if you wish) to the GiveOrGift campaign, who then divide your donation equally between six different charities. Click here for more information.


alternative gift ideasStudy after study has shown that us that we can’t buy happiness through acquiring material possessions, and yet we’re still all out there spending money we don’t necessarily have on more and more stuff, and this is especially true over the Christmas period.

These same studies have found that experiences are a lot fulfilling than material possessions, so consider spending your earned pounds on doing things rather than buying them.

Consider spending your hard-earned money on doing things rather than buying them. Click To Tweet

The experience doesn’t need to be dramatic. Most people would be happy with a membership to a museum or botanical garden, or a ticket to the theatre or a football game. Obviously, you can base the experience on the recipient.

Another great idea (as long as your family Christmas get-togethers are usually somewhat harmonious!) is for each adult in your family to put the money that would be spent on pressies into a pot, and then use that money to go away somewhere as a family for Christmas.

Now, THAT’S the stuff that memories are made of. Even Santa Claus will get jealous at these perfect alternative gift ideas!

Your Christmas Challenge

We challenge you to “Make it”, “Donate it” or “Experience it” this Christmas. These memorable and meaningful alternative gift ideas will change the way you see Christmas.

So, do you think you’ll be giving the Christmas Challenge a go this year? Let us know, and if you have anything to add to the challenge, we’d love to hear it!

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Christmas challenge alternative gift ideas

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  1. I so agree with this and love this post. With teen kids it can be difficult to convince them that material things don’t make you happy – they absorb a lot of information from celebrity culture etc. I, on the other hand, buy most of my clothes from charity shops!!

    1. Hi Sharon, thank you so much for taking the time to leave your comments. With so many celebrities and paparazzi, it’s easy for kids to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas; but as parents we really need to teach them the true meaning of Christmas by instilling gratitude, the joy of sharing and giving to others.

  2. I think that an experience is the best Christmas present you could give while a home made present would be good as well.

  3. Oh I love love love these ideas! I’d be so delighted if someone did any of the above for me – it’s brilliant! Also I have some friends who are impossible to buy for, they already have everything. They’d love me to make a donation on their behalf x

  4. I love these ideas. My daughter, who is nearly 3, and I made gifts for everyone from her last year and everyone was so pleased with them. I am going to do the same this year as well. I love experience pressies, my fave present last year was tickets for my husband and I to go to the Harry Potter studios and it was an amazing day!

  5. Great post, I love the making it ideal… and it’s one of perfect into practice myself well especially for Christmas time. Xx

  6. Because I know I am not good at baking or crafts I would opt for experience it type of gifts. Great ideas

  7. I love, love, love these ideas. We often bake for others, but I’m definitely up for try out the rest. x

  8. This is a great post. And a timely reminder for me before I trawl the net for the outstanding gifts … My husband and I always tend to do charitable gifts for each other, although we then spoil the sentiment by being each other something anyway!

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