How to Give Meaningful Holiday Gifts

There are two kinds of gifts givers; the ones who put some thought into it and the ones who are too overwhelmed to personalize their offerings.


I have been both. I always start the season with the intention of putting some effort into my gifts, but there have been more times than I can count where I purchased a stack of gift cards and called it a day. The truth of the matter is that putting some meaning into our gifts is not all that hard; it just takes an extra bit of time. First, remember why we give presents in the first place. It’s our way showing love and appreciation for those in our lives. The best way to personalize our offerings is to think of why we are grateful for our family and friends. What have they done and what do they continue to do for us? Expressing our love in words (even simple ones) is a gift in itself.

I know trying to personalize each and every present we give can be stressful. I’m here to share some ideas that may inspire some reasoning behind what we choose to give.

Turn on those listening ears

This is the easiest way to gather gift ideas. Pay attention to the details in even the simplest of conversations. Part of my mother’s gift will include quality made tea towels. She needs some and keeps forgetting to replace hers. Even if she gets around to it, they will be the non-absorbing kind from the dollar store. It may seem like a small gesture, but it is something she needs.

Handmade cards

Save money on those overpriced Hallmark cards and have a good DIY craft night. No need to worry about achieving a Pinterest worthy project, just create from the heart. Throw in a nice handwritten message and charm the heck out of your lucky recipient.

Bring back a cherished memory

As I mentioned above, we give to represent our love and appreciation. When stuck with gift ideas, think of the person and think back in time to your favorite memories with them. Recreate a memory and show and/or vocalize how much it means to you. Chances are, your recipient will feel the same way and it’ll show when you see that big smile on their face and that twinkle in their eye.

Basket of favorites

Always fall back on what you know they love. Things like favorite foods, colors, animals, lip gloss, music, coffee beans, chocolate, plants, body lotion, essential oils, and so on. It doesn’t matter how little and insignificant it may seem – it isn’t. Your recipient will love being remembered. 

Gift of Experience

Let’s get away from material things. Let’s create more memories, more experiences. How about tickets to an event, class, or workshop you can attend together? Creating the opportunity for a date in the future gives the both of you something to look forward to.

Photo album or scrapbook

This is where we can put use to all of the beautiful pictures stored on our phones and backed up onto our computers. Who doesn’t love having printed photos right at their fingertips available for reminiscing at any time? For those who are extra crafty, attempt a scrapbook. 

Donate to cause or charity

This idea is becoming very a popular gift choice. If there is a cause or charity near and dear to the hearts of our loved ones, one sure fire way to put a smile on their face is by supporting it. 

Express the why

Let me clear when I say there is absolutely nothing wrong with gifting the common choices such as clothing, chocolates, or a gift card. But we can easily make these items more meaningful if we share why we chose what we did. When I gift my husband a new t-shirt, I tell him why. I express that the color of the shirt will compliment his skin tone like a match made in heaven. Or that the fit will hug him in all the right places. If I give a fellow mama friend a Starbucks gift card, I tell her that I hope it gives her a little piece of peace. She deserves even just 10 minutes alone to indulge in a fresh, hot cup of whatever her heart desires and I need her to know it.


Gift giving does not have to be an empty gesture. We do not have to stress over this what is supposed to be an act of joy. Putting a little bit of reason behind what we give makes this time of year much more remarkable. Always remember that it’s not the size or the price tag that makes a present memorable, it’s the reason behind it.

What is the best gift you’ve ever given or received?

More gift inspiration from previous years: A Healer’s Guide to Spiritual Wellness Gifts, 5 Wellness Gifts for the Loved One Who Has Everything, and 2017 Gift Guide: Thoughtful Gifts Under $100

Try these homemade gifts: DIY Beaded and Crystal Holiday Wreaths, Flower Cleansing Stick, Homemade Food Gifts, and the gift of sleep with this Dream Pillow

CHANTAL URBINA is a registered Massage Therapist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She is passionate about living a life full of health, love, and happiness and that all three start with our diet. “Nature’s healing properties will never cease to amaze me and it inspires me day after day to create and share recipes made with only real whole foods.” Connect with Chantal: www.nutty4nutrition.comInstagram, and Facebook.