Gift-giving is one tradition which almost everybody practices during Christmastime.
We anxiously wait to open the wrapped boxes that have been lying beneath the tree for days.
But the concept of receiving and giving has a lot more to do than just buying a gift.
It is closely tied to compassion, good will and love. Behind every gift, no matter how small or big, there’s a bigger message that says “I thought of you.”
This is what truly counts.
Gifts are this little sprinkle over our love and gratitude.
Despite the fact that we enjoy the process of giving and receiving, almost everyone struggles when it comes to thinking about what to gift.
Over the years, I have felt that the act of giving gifts during holiday seasons has gone beyond logic.
Sometimes we spend a lot of money on buying stuff that is meaningless. It is not wrong, however, to pour a good amount of money into a gift that is useful. Regardless of how much we can afford, I think this year we can give it a shot and think about gift ideas that are beneficial to the person receiving them.
Why not gift something mindful, useful and beneficial?
1. Yoga & Meditation Classes
I think meditation and yoga classes are the perfect gift to give others. It is always a good idea to start the year in a mindful way—literally. This gift is quite interesting, especially if the receiver has never practiced yoga or meditation before. It will act as new, blissful knowledge to jumpstart 2016.
For me, movies are the ultimate fulfillment. Gift an expansive collection of movies and wrap them together. It is also nice to choose different types of movies instead of sticking to one genre. Movies are educational, fun and meditative.
3. Language Classes
Learning new languages is an awesome gift for the brain. Not only is it beneficial on the personal level, but also for those who love to travel or travel for work and need to communicate while abroad. Maybe the person you are giving this gift to has an affinity for a certain country. The gift of language will allow this person to step deeper into that culture.
Two years ago my sister got me the full collection of Radiohead’s video clips. I was the happiest person on earth when I received this. Original soundtracks or video clips are an interesting collection to keep. They are a treasure that are a necessity on everyone’s bedroom shelves.
5. Handmade Gifts
I just love making handmade gifts. This idea is fantastic, especially for people who cannot afford expensive gifts. They are personal, valuable and precious. It is another way of showing that we put time and effort into making someone happy.
Well, what’s better than a vacation? Almost everyone on earth wishes to spend some time alone in a new state or a new country. Vacations offer a change of mood, sights and experiences. You don’t even have to go to a new country. It can be a visit to a new place, state, city, or the mountains; anything that hasn’t been experienced before.
Giving books as a gift to someone is like giving them the world. Last year, I got my sister the complete collection of Robin Sharma. We keep talking about how they thoroughly changed her life. Books are educational and act as a bridge between authors and us. Never underestimate their value—they are diamonds.
8. Magazine subscription
If the person you’re gifting is into photography, you can go for National Geographic. If he’s into sports, you have innumerable fitness magazines to choose from. A magazine subscription acts like books, movies and music gifts—they all freshen up the soul.
Not everyone likes tattoos. However, those who do will utterly fall in love with a tattoo as a gift. Personally, it is the greatest gift for me. I already have 12 tattoos on my body and I wouldn’t mind an extra one as a gift!
10. Board Games
Playing board games is associated with many benefits. They strengthen our social ties and teach us numerous lessons about solving puzzles. For me, I would choose board games over any computer as they remind me of my childhood.
11. Concert Ticket
This gift might not be applicable instantly, however, it’s freakin’ awesome. I’ve been gifted many concert tickets before, and frankly they were among the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. If your loved one is into an artist who’s in town for a concert, I’d suggest not hesitating about buying a ticket for both of you.
12. Musical Instrument
To gift someone a musical instrument is quite classy. Even if the person doesn’t know how to play it, it can act as a treasure in his house. Furthermore, it might motivate him to actually learn how to play it. A friend got me a guitar for Christmas six years ago. Although I didn’t know how to play it when I received it, I did take several lessons and learnt the basics.
13. Painting Tools
One doesn’t have to be a Picasso to own a canvas, paint and brushes. Painting tools are as valuable as a musical instrument or a book. Even if the person doesn’t know how to paint, they can try it for stress relief. Painting is fun, meditative and thoroughly beneficial to our personal growth.
14. Outdoor activities props
How about a bow and arrow? Or maybe a camping set? If the person you are dealing with is an outdoor person, he will definitely appreciate a tent, a cooking set, hiking shoe, or a backpack. Or even better you can get him a coupon from an outdoor activities shop!
Personally, gifts don’t matter as much to me. I always say that the greatest gifts one can get are health, love and happiness. I don’t care how many gifts there are below the Christmas tree. However, I do care that I’m surrounded by my family and loved ones.
No matter what type of gift we buy this year, we shouldn’t fail to remember that the greatest gift we can give is our love. It is for free and can travel for miles. Materials come and go. But our love for people is what keeps them breathing.
Happy giving and receiving!
Relephant bonus for foodies on your list:
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Image: Procsilas Moscas/Flickr