The Generous Last-Minute Gifts That Won’t Break Your Budget

December 21, 2022

For many, it really is the thought that counts. Generosity isn’t about giving something, it’s about simply giving. This holiday season, take the pressure off by letting go of what you feel you “should” give and instead share generosity in a way that feels authentic to you. Here are some thoughtful gift ideas that will genuinely connect you with your loved ones – without breaking your budget.

In this blog, you’ll find ideas for how to:

  • Gift your time
  • Gift a shared experience
  • Gift items without big price tags
  • Gift simple kindness – it’s the best thing for burnout!

Gift your time

If your friend or loved one is a person who lights up from “acts of service,” they probably would love to have your support this holiday season. 

Is your sibling a busy parent or pet owner? Offer to babysit while they’re out on the town or pet-sit while they’re on vacation.

Has your best friend told you about projects that have fallen by the wayside? Lend a hand with that yard work or repair job that they’ve been meaning to do. Bonus points if you show up with a good playlist and tasty snacks!

To make an act of service feel more like a traditional gift, you can design a voucher that your friend can cash in on. Not feeling especially artsy? Try one of Canva’s many free templates to quickly and easily make a special card.

Gift a shared experience

When life gets busy, there’s nothing quite as special as quality time with the people you care about. Think of this not just as a gift to your loved one, but to yourself and your relationship too.

Here are some of our favorite experience gift ideas:

  • Take an online baking class and design your own signature cookie: Get your hands dirty and satisfy your sweet tooth with Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi’s baking classes. Her flexible 4-week classes offer the perfect excuse to regularly enjoy some of the sweeter things in life – cookies and company.
  • Try a new craft, like clay jewelry design or mixed media collage. Whether you dream of creating your own stationary set or crocheting a charming sweater, Domestika offers countless affordable courses for the creatives in your life. 
  • Travel the world without leaving home: Plan a day devoted to experiencing a new place, like Japan, from home. Visit a local tea house or Japanese garden. If you’re in Seattle, visit the incredible Wing Luke Museum or Seattle Asian Art Museum. Lose yourself in a traditional, therapeutic art form by signing up for an Airbnb origami class experience. Top it off with a sushi and sake experience. Kanpai!
  • Hop offline and into nature with a day hike: Whether you’re looking for a casual brewery-themed trek, or you want to go night hiking in search of the perfect starry sky, REI offers something for every level of adventurer.
  • Organize a game night: Even if you’re not a “games person,” it might surprise you how engaging game nights can be. Start with a couple of easier and quicker games, like Ligretto, and build up to slower games that are more involved, like On the Dot, Code Names, or Quoridor. You can even bring your games to your local brewery, and who knows, maybe you’ll make some new friends along the way!

Shared experiences are the gifts that give back. By being present to your loved ones, you’re nurturing your relationship and yourself in the process. For many, this gift will mean more than any trinket.

Gifting on a budget

Some people genuinely love receiving gifts, but that doesn’t mean the gifts have to come with a high price tag. A limited gift budget can inspire us to get creative and gift something thoughtful without spending beyond our limits. Who knows, this added dose of inspiration could make this your best gift yet!

Here are some unique gift ideas: 

  • Give a small piece of your art: Whether you’re a painting hobbyist or collage enthusiast, share a little piece of your talent with your loved ones.
  • Print a favorite photo of you together: In the digital age, a physical photo print feels extra special. Whether you choose an elegantly framed portrait or a goofy photo printed on a coffee cup, your gift will bring sweet memories from the past into the daily present.
  • Gift your favorite books: Have some favorite novels lying around or some cookbooks that haven’t been opened in a while? Give your old reads a new life by gifting something off your bookshelf.
  • Grow a plant: Were you born with a green thumb? If you’ve got it, flaunt it, and let your love bloom!  

Gift kindness

Simply expressing gratitude to your loved ones goes a long way. If you’re burning out and can’t gather the energy to give gifts this year, let yourself recharge! After some rest (and perhaps a bit of gratitude journaling), you can send some warm words of appreciation to the people who you care about. A simple message can be a warm reminder of a great connection, no matter how long it’s been.

Wishing you a gentle and connected holiday season!

Connect with Alicia & the SWM Team

Singer Wealth Management