Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Angela Vaz

Everybody loves receiving gifts during Christmas.

Even those that say they don’t. They’re the ones that really love and want gifts.

But because everything is so easily accessible now, it’s almost impossible to shop for loved ones these days.

People have everything they need.

And buying a gift can become a serious hassle, especially if you want to buy something that you wish the person actually to use.

In this post, I’m going to cover some of the best gifts that aren’t things so you can get a few cool ideas on what to gift your loved ones for the holidays!

Most Christmas gifts end up being unused or discarded.

This list will ensure that you get some great ideas for practical gifts and will most certainly be used by your loved ones!

But before that really quick, get my free guide on how to really reset your life.

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23 gifts that aren’t things – for a more wholesome Christmas!

Gifts that aren't things

In this list, we are going to focus on fewer consumables. Instead, I’m going to include gift ideas that allow the receiver to have a lovely experience.

You don’t have ever to worry that your loved one will say an awkward “thank you” before shoving it in their closet, never to be seen or used again.

Here goes!

1. An online class

Learning has become so much easier in the past few years, and nowadays, everyone is taking online classes to learn what their heart desires.

So, this Christmas, gift your loved ones a beautiful online class that they will love.

Simply buy a gift card and let them pick the courses they want to buy! Domestika is my first choice because they get resources and a certificate from the original creator of the period at the end of the class.

Their classes are also organized beautifully.

Once you gift them a gift card, they can redeem it to get courses related to Photography, Fashion, Marketing, Design, Drawing, Craft, and so much more!

Check it out here.

2. Your time

A fun way to surprise your loved ones is to give them your time. But you can snazz it up by making your coupons and letting them pick what they’d like to receive from you!

Gift them your time in the form of coupons

You can get a fun coupon book like this and customize it by filling in the coupons with your ideas!

Some ideas include:

  • A free hug
  • A day to babysit their kids
  • A backrub
  • A day out in the town

3. Take the person out for dinner

A meal out can do wonders for your loved one.

And if you really want to see them smile, take them out to their favorite restaurant and make their evening memorable by letting them order whatever they please.

The best gift you can give your loved one is your undivided attention and time.

Apart from a night out to their favorite restaurant, you can also take them out for brunch, or a picnic to the beach or park, or bake them some cookies from scratch.

4. Tickets to a show/concert

If your loved one enjoys music and seriously loves concerts, this is one of the best gifts you can give them.

They’ll have a night to remember, and it will all be thanks to you. They’ll get to see their favorite artist play live, and it will make a perfect Christmas gift.

Apart from tickets to a concert, you can also buy them tickets to an opera, tickets to a game that they enjoy, or tickets to a museum or an amusement park.

Do a little research before on your loved one’s likes so that the gift doesn’t disappoint.

5. Go on a road trip

If it’s been a while since your loved one has been outside, perhaps a road trip is one of the best gifts you can give them.

Check with them first to see if there is someplace they have always wanted to go and then plan a lovely road trip with them.

See some fun places along the way so that you both can have the time of your lives.

6. A gift basket for coffee lovers

If your loved one is a coffee lover and drinks coffee like there’s no tomorrow, then this coffee gift basket will make the perfect gift for them!

Coffee gift basket for coffee lovers

It’s full of consumables, and there will be no wastage. This is every coffee lover’s dream gift!

7. Visit them

If your loved ones stay in another city, maybe you could take a break and visit them for the weekend.

Catch a flight or bus and surprise them with a pleasant visit!

8. Take them on a tour

You could go on a short city tour with your loved ones or to an exciting place in the city.

Plan the whole day and surprise them with a day out in the town!

9. Get them a Kindle

If they like to read books, then you can get your loved one a Kindle.

This is a beautiful present because you will be decreasing wastage by helping them read their favorite books online.

The Kindle is also travel-friendly and makes a great companion to book lovers because they can carry over thousands of books on this one device.

A kindle is a lovely present for book lovers

Check it out here.

10. Take a staycation together

If you and your loved ones have been working very hard, maybe this season is the best time to take a break.

Plan a pleasant and relaxing staycation with your loved ones and go for a small holiday to a quaint Air BNB.

11. A digital subscription

One of the best gifts you can give your loved ones is a digital subscription to something like Disney+ or Netflix or Prime.

Here are my top picks:

1. Audible Subscription

Gift them an audible subscription so that they can go about listening to books while they’re doing their chores or just going about their day.

2. Prime Membership

This is an all-in-one gift because when you gift them Prime, they will get access to all of Amazon Prime’s shows, music and become an Amazon Prime member, so all their online deliveries will be prioritized.  

3. Domestika Courses

I am a heavy Domestika user, and I believe this is the perfect gift for anyone who is super creative and loves to learn.

They can watch any class related to drawing and illustration, cooking, photography, business, and more!

You can gift them a subscription!

4. Disney +

If she is a Disney lover and an all-time fan, gift them Disney+ so she can rewatch any movie or show forever. 

12. Personal care products

If you know exactly what your loved ones use, then you can replenish their stock.

My father, for instance, has a particular perfume he’s been using for over 15 years. So, whenever I get him a gift, I know that this is one of the things I can never go wrong buying!

You can also do this if your loved one loves makeup. Simply gift them a gift card for a makeup store.

It will make their day! I promise.

13. Plants and flowers

This is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give your loved ones if you know that they love nature and have a green thumb.

Simply go to your local nursery and get them a lovely plant or flower for Christmas.

You can even get a gift basket of seeds if they have their garden or supplies to help them with it.

14. Food

If you know what your loved ones love to binge on, then this is a no-brainer.

You can get them a gift basket of food or delectables that you know they will enjoy.

Here’s a lovely gourmet gift basket that they might enjoy:

15. Clothes

If you know exactly where your loved ones shop for their clothes, then this will make a lovely gift for them.

Simply gift them a gift card to one of these outlets so that they can buy the clothes they want.

16. A spa basket

Self-care has become extremely important in the last few years because people have forgotten to take care of themselves and give themselves a needed off.

So, if you want to pamper the loved one in your life, get them a spa gift basket that has the following items:

  • Moisturizers
  • Bathbombs
  • Creams and lotions
  • Bubble Baths
  • Shower gels

and so on.

Here’s a great spa gift basket you can get them:

You can also make your gift basket if you’d like to get creative. You can add their favorite items like:

  • Some of their favorite lotions
  • A magazine
  • A bathrobe
  • A loofah
  • A teddybear
  • Some chocolates

If you know your loved one, you can add stuff that you know they will like!

17. Home Essentials

No person will ever say no to homeware or cookware.

These almost never go to waste.

So, if you’re very close to their loved ones and know for a fact that they love to cook, why not get them a nice wooden cutting board or some pots and pans?

You can also get them bedsheets and linen for their bedroom.

18. Board games

Board games are a fun way for the whole family to get together and spend some quality time with each other.

It’s very personal and lovely, and here are a couple of board games you can get that will guarantee family fun and happy conversations!

Here are a few board games for adults:

19. Fitbit

A Fitbit is no doubt a physical item, but it is extremely practical.

It will help your loved ones stay fit and keep their health a priority.

Fitbits are a lot of fun because they make exercise so much fun! You can also compare how many steps you’ve taken with your friends and family!

Get a fitbit for a person who loves to exercise!

Check it out here!

20. Create a mixtape

I created my own personalized Christmas playlist on one particular Christmas and sent it to all my loved ones.

You can create a Spotify playlist and share it with people you know.

It’s a thoughtful gesture, and it will make you feel good because you’ve taken time out of your day to create something personal for them.

21. Send them a personalized card

If you’re into crafts or love to draw, make them a special card that has your artwork on it and write a personalized letter on the inside that tells them how you feel.

You can also send them a personal letter.

People love getting mail. We’ve become so used to sending texts and emails that we’ve forgotten how it feels to open a physical letter and see the handwriting of the person we’re fond of.

Give it a shot. It will be a beautiful gift that they will cherish for a long, long time.

22. Donate in their name

One of the best gifts you can give is donating to a particular cause and then putting the donation in their name.

Ask them what their favorite NGO or local charity is and donate in their name.

It will feel amazing to pay some good homage, and your bond with the person will grow stronger.

23. Gift them a box of memories

If you have a habit of collecting bills, photos, and other little mementos, then you can make a little box of cute mementos and gift it to your loved ones for Christmas.

You can even add little notes to each souvenir, reminding them of the day you collected it!


Gifting doesn’t have to be hard if you plan it in advance.

1-2 months in advance, make a list of all the people that mean the world to you and decide what you’ll get them in advance.

This way, even if you have to place an online order, it will arrive much before Christmas or their birthday, and you can gift wrap it and keep it ready in the closet.

Here is another post that I think you’ll enjoy!

27 inexpensive Christmas gifts for the minimalist in your life!

Angela is a 30 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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