5 MORE gifts that cost next to nothing

The most wonderful (and expensive) time of the year

The holidays are known for being the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be a scary time for your bank account — between gifts, parties, and entertaining things can get pretty tight. This year, try these alternative gift ideas that cost next to nothing but will be priceless to your loved ones.

1. The gift of time ⏳

This holiday, offer your presence — instead of presents — to your loved ones. The gift of time is more valuable than (almost) anything wrapped in shiny holiday paper. You can even make the gift formal by giving the recipient a handmade certificate for a specific date you would like to spend together.

2. A special experience

When most people think about gifting an experience, they think concert tickets or possibly a paid vacation, but an experience doesn’t have to be so extravagant. Try offering that special person a long walk through their favorite park, a trip to a local cafe, or a chance to watch the sunset together. The conversation is more important than the destination.

3. Tell-me-all notebook 📓

If you want to preserve cherished memories with family and friends, a Tell-me-all notebook is the perfect gift idea. All you need is a blank notebook — it can be as cheap or as lavish as you would like. Then, fill every third page with one question for your loved one (i.e., Where was your first home? Who was your first crush?). Encourage the gift recipient to include as much detail as possible, and preserve the notebook for generations to come.

4. Read-this-when kit

Do you have kids that are headed off to college? Or an old friend that’s moving away? Gift them a Read-this-when kit. The kit should include between 10-20 handwritten letters that explain to your loved one how to handle a specific life event or situation. Enclose each note into an envelope and then label the envelopes with when they should be read. Some ideas for these letters are: Read this when … you feel lonely, when you think you’re in love, when you’re homesick. Put the bundle of letters into a decorative box and top it off with a bow.

5. A special playlist 💽

Making a playlist may sound old-school (like when you sent your crush a burned CD with their favorite love songs), but the sentiment still holds true. Today, making a playlist is even easier with modern technology. You can use apps like Spotify or Amazon Music to build a playlist with meaningful songs you would like to share with your loved one, and easily send it through email, text, or social media.

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