An Uncommon Holiday Gift Idea

In this season of giving, many people are either putting their list together while others have already begun shopping for their gifts. Whatever holiday gift you are in search of, we are all on a quest to find the perfect gift. Buying presents that people will not use is a waste for everyone involved so we want to make our gifts meaningful. Some may even experience financial distress in search of the perfect gift.

So how can we find an appropriate gift without exceeding our budget? We naturally think of giving material gifts but what about ideas for gifts that are not physical? Not to say that these types of gifts are not good, but an intangible gift can have far more significance.

Many years ago, on Mother’s Day, my daughter gave me the gift of cleaning the house for me. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I ever received because she performed a service for me that I would usually do, which gave me time to relax. Similar gifts include cooking a meal for someone, doing their grocery shopping or running their errands for one day. For those who have children, offering to babysit for a day or evening or picking up their children from school and keeping them for the afternoon are also great ideas. These gifts can be written out in a holiday card or, if you are creative, you can make a fancy
gift card.

Other non-physical gifts include” gift certificates to a spa, the movies, restaurants, nail salon, car wash, grocery store and the list goes on and on. Most establishments have gift certificates, so this is a simple process. I would suggest going directly to the establishment if possible, instead of buying the card from CVS or online as most have nice boxes or envelopes to place the cards in.

The key to intangible gift giving is to personalize the gift. Think about the person’s likes or hobbies and listen to them to get ideas. You still have some time to consider what gift to give. Refrain from giving general gift cards (Amazon, Visa, etc.), as they are impersonal. I would recommend these gifts only as a last resort or if you want to give a gift to someone you don’t know very well or for the person who has everything.

Giving a gift of your time and service or, one that gives the recipient time to relax and enjoy themselves is priceless. Give gifts this year that will leave a lasting memory and will touch the heart of those you care about in a special and personal way.

Linda J. Williams, M.Ed., D/B/A Etiquette and Writing Consultancy is a certified etiquette consultant. For more information, visit

Linda Williams
Linda J. Williams, M.Ed. is a certified etiquette consultant.

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