Research has found that experiences are what really make us happy, not tangible things. So while sometimes there’s nothing quite like unwrapping a big box and waiting to see what thoughtful gift awaits inside, it appears that looking forward to an exciting event will actually make us happier overall. On top of that, many of us are lucky enough to have everything we need, and often holiday presents get packed away in cupboards, hardly appreciated or used.

Happily, the holiday season does not have to be wasteful! There are plenty of perfect presents that do not take up any space at all and will make the giver and receiver feel great. In fact, many of these gift ideas give you the opportunity to show how much you really know and care about your loved ones, rather than just sending another gadget or gift basket their way.

When it comes to presents for the little ones, you can rest assured that their parents will thank you for gifting something other than a toy. These gift ideas are not only sustainable and environmentally friendly, they will also help you forge a strong relationship with the people in your life. At the very least, we hope these recommendations spark an idea for what you might gift your loved ones.

Sometimes the best gift can be the little push that your loved one needs to accomplish a dream or goal. What better way to excite someone than gifting them the first step they need to start. If you have a loved one who has been talking about taking a language course or a pottery class for a while, why not help them put their talk into action. Whether it be gifting a gym membership or a cooking class, your thoughtful gift is sure to inspire and spark the start of the hobby your loved one wishes to pursue. These types of memberships are better than a onetime ticket for a certain event because the recipient has the luxury to choose when to go.

When you choose to spend your money locally by investing in small, local businesses, you are also supporting your community. For those lessons, or spa treatments or day-out excursions to local sites that you thought about above, sourcing these gifts in your own neighborhood adds a little something extra to a meaningful gift.

By buying from local businesses, you are also giving the gift of awareness. You are introducing your loved one to a nearby resource they may not have thought to visit before. Who knows, you may even introduce someone to his or her new favorite thing and new friends in local vendors, too.

For students and those who have lower budgets to work with, an affordable option to gift to someone who is a music lover can be a subscription to a music application such as Spotify or Tidal, or a simple iTunes gift card according to your budget.

These days snail mail can be a bit of a bore, made up largely of bills and junk mail. You can brighten up someone’s letterbox once a month for a year with a subscription specially selected for his or her particular interests. This can be a comic book subscription or a subscription to your loved one’s favorite magazine or fanzine.

When Victorian author Anne Isabelle Thackeray Ritchie coined the proverb about the value of “teaching a man to fish,” she was talking about the goodness of giving people new opportunities. The modern practice of microlending lets people give relatively small amounts of money, sometimes as little as just a few dollars, to help someone in a developing nation start a business. Giving a microloan in someone else’s name is an excellent gift that connects a loved one to a worthy stranger’s success.Homemade gifts are not just a way for kids to surprise their parents. You can take the time to craft a special handmade gift you know the recipient will love. It could be a simple decoration, or something more practical like a storage rack, an organizer or homemade ceramic dinnerware. While everyone else is fighting the crowds for toys, clothes, and electronics, you can take your time at the craft store looking for DIY gift supplies.

You do not have to storm the mall this year to give someone you love a meaningful gift. This holiday season, you can go beyond the labels and the trends. By selecting gifts with love, attention, and creativity, you can make the holidays especially warm and meaningful for everyone on your shopping list.

Even if you have already purchased gifts for this year, consider adding some experiences as well and slowly transitioning to more experience-based gifts over time.

Source:  Daily Sabah

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