Holiday giving goes back to basics


The holidays and New Year’s are, once again just around the corner. While iPhones, GoPros and other tech gadgets will likely be at the top of many gift lists this year, there’s no shortage of amazing and value-conscious old-school ideas for every member of your family and best of all you won’t have to wait till Black Friday or Cyber Monday to get started.

Books: Whether it’s hardcover, paperback or something on a Kindle or iPad, we could all do well to step away from our phones and TV to get lost in romance, sci-fi, history or an inspiring biography. Visit your local bookstore or go online for inspiration. And if you’re not sure what they’ll like, you can’t go wrong with a gift card.

Shows: Is a music star or a Broadway hit coming to town? Or maybe you can broaden their artistic horizons with an evening at the opera, ballet or symphony? There’s no shortage of live events or even a movie you can all share together.

Travel: Getting away can be expensive at holiday time, so consider surprising them and building their anticipation with a long weekend getaway in January or February, when a lot more deals are available and winter is getting a little long in the tooth.

Pampering: A lot of us resist the notion of a massage or spa treatment but there are few things as satisfying and relaxing. Contact a nearby professional massage therapist or spa for multi-session packages your family can enjoy long after the holidays are over.

Charity: If you’re fortunate to have everything you want or need, put your money to good use and consider donating to a worthwhile local, national or global cause. It may be the best gift you can give.

What holiday gifts do you and your family enjoy most? Share your ideas in the Shop Talk Blog community forum!



Did you know: Gift cards are great

Once considered impersonal, today nearly 50% of shoppers find them convenient and gift recipients love the choice it offers. In fact Canadians spend over $6 billion on plastic and digital gift cards each year. (Source)

36 thoughts on “Holiday giving goes back to basics

  1. Quality time with my family is worth more then anything. To have my family together Christmas morning would be a gift like no other.

  2. Travelling is great idea. Specially during holidays when there is lighting every where and streets are decorated. Great ambience and positive vibes.

  3. Great ideas for gift giving!
    Other ideas could be Vintage items, to bring some wonderful memories into your Holiday celebrations. Like Vintage housewares, Christmas ornaments, and toys (Vintage Fisher Price is my personal favorite – remember the original Little People houses, village, houseboat, etc – awesome stuff!)

  4. All of these ideas inspire rest and relaxation which most people need today. All good ideas especially for that one person that is always hard to buy for.

  5. what great ideas,I love the idea of gift cards because you can control the amount you want to spend plus the one you gifted to gets what they like instead of giving someone a gift they don’t use or even like ,

  6. amazing ideas gift cards are the best way to go but go to dollar store and fill in a stocking with knick knacks so the person will at least have some fun opening something

  7. I was given gift cards from Laura Clothes. I do not need to buy more clothes, how or where can I sell them at a reduced price

  8. The VERY best gift of all is a new book. One chosen with the reader in mind……nothing feels better than turning the pages on a great story, relaxing and being transported to another era, another city….anywhere from the stresses we all have each day.
    And to give a young child a book…to read with them, to teach them reading is a lifetme gift for that child.

  9. wonderful how everyone wants to sell items , & here we are ! a none profit “Stroke Recovery Group” , trying to receive a few items to raffle off , at our xmas dinner , on the 28th of nov.
    We are trying to fund raise , for our xmas our members are handy capped & are on disability , which is a difficult way to fund raise when people are disabled ,
    , & all our helpers are are volunteers , 12 months of the year ,
    it would be nice , if we received donated items , thank you
    Olive Stogrin

  10. My husband and I have always believed in the traditional gifts. In this day and age of electronics we refuse to be pulled into that category of gift buyer.
    Our sons and now our grandchildren know that we will not buy; video games, ipods, or any other type of gadgets for Christmas so they don’t even ask.
    I pride myself on making sure that Christmas involves gifts that will bring out creativity and imagination such as books, art supplies, believe it or not even cos-play event tickets. I strongly believe that these types of gifts are more appreciated and are the ones that will be remembered through the years. Help someone you love find their creative side and a very possible lost imagination.

  11. as a senior on a fixed income some food items become a luxury especially at christmas,so a gift card for a grocery store is a very special means i can purchase those special treats like gourmet coffee or ham/

  12. While there was a time when gift cards were not allowed in my family. We had six kids and when they were older and worker we decided that a secret santa was a preferred amoung all the kids rather than having to buy for all their siblings. My only rules were 1) a price range that everyone agreed to and 2) no gift cards. I asked that they use their imaginations and pick a gift that you have put thought into, something they knew their sibling would like. That was then, now that the years have gone by and my kids now have kids of their own it gets harder and harder to pick something that they will love. I usually end up having to give them the reciept so they can return their gift. It’s either to big or to small, or they already have it etc. I now feel there is nothing better than plastic. Good ole gift cards. Not to mention the choices available. This is a Christmas gift they won’t want to return.

  13. Yes I do gift card for xmas gifts way easier than trying to decide if they will like what you bought them & than that gift receipt & return .

  14. I think your gift ideas are fabulous . some of them I was already thinking of. Gifts should be memorable. How many of us remember what they got last year as gifts.. So thank you for your ideas..

  15. some times when it is difficult to find a gift we fall back on gift cards Instead we should really think about the person and try to come up with an appropriate gift for them. It is a whole lot more fun opening a gift than a gift card.

  16. Our teenage grandsons live with us. Here is what they bought this year for my husband an emergency flashlight that has a flashing light for roadside emergencies and a box containing several parts used to rebuild the front end of my husbands classic car. (grampa had just helped him replace all the gaskets in his car engine). One grandson bought me sewing kit full of supplies ( my hobby) and the other made me a beauitful handmade cheese board in shop class that took many hours. Very thoughtful.

  17. I agree that plastic is impersonal but can be a “last resort” for that picky person whom you know will return whatever it is you purchased for them. I like to give cash so they can purchase what it is they want for themselves. Usually the kids want that one special “thing” that they will wait tip after the holiday to get for themselves. I like to think I had a hand in helping them get that.

  18. I wish people these days would go back to the basics….I feel that people have lost the true meaning of Christmas…..its not a popularity contest…..its about family……

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