crop black mother passing christmas gift to smiling daughter

Christmas cards aren’t dead.

I know what you’re thinking, a Christmas card is not a gift, and who sends out Christmas cards anymore? Well, hear me out. I know we’re tired of restrictions COVID has caused, and for some, like our grandparents or distant relatives, it’s keeping them from seeing their loved ones. It would brighten their day to open the mail to a handwritten card and picture of you and your pup in matching PJs more than some generic gift any day. Cards don’t have to be an expensive option, either. Schedule a photoshoot at home, set up your iPhone, and snaps some fun pictures with the self-timer. You can even grab some DIY background options right from Pinterest! Check these out: (link to home photoshop background ideas)

Family Calendar…and other things to put your picture on!

Calendars and other printables go along with our Christmas card idea. Elect one family member (works great with your friend group, too!) to take the lead, submit your favorite photos from the year, and create a 2021 calendar! You can easily create a print in person at stores like Walgreens or CVS or try a website like Shutterfly for more features. Again, a memorable gift that you’ll cherish much more than those socks and underwear. This idea applies to anything you find, blankets, ornaments…maybe socks and underwear too!

Share the Love

When in doubt, you can never go wrong with sharing the Christmas spirit with those that need a little extra love. There are hundreds of charities accepting donations ranging from clothing, toys, coats, and food. Take your pick and make a difference. You’ll feel so much better giving to a good cause! Don’t feel like donating items? Depending on your location, you can donate your time and work at your local food bank or soup kitchen!

Share your Favorite

Want your gift to be a surprise? Send a family or friend, something that you love! This season instead of asking what your friends and family want to agree to all exchange one thing you enjoy. For example, maybe you read a perfect book this year. Instead of grabbing your mom that scarf she’ll only wear once, send her a copy of your favorite book! Not only are you sharing your interests, but you both can also share what you loved (or didn’t) about the book. It also works great with music, board games, and even sending food or a gift card for a new restaurant you love!

Um, FOOD!

You can never go wrong with Christmas sweets and other goodies. My aunt sends a tin of Christmas cookies and fudge EVERY year, and it’s one of my favorite Christmas gifts! Try making some sweet or savory treats to send out this year. Your family will love the gesture, and you’ll make precious memories cooking during the holiday.

Think practically.

Sometimes our friends and family aren’t looking for the latest and greatest; sometimes, they need a helping hand. It can be a tough conversation but check on your loved ones. Maybe they need help to pay a bill or getting a new tire for their car. They may prefer a new thimble for their sewing machine versus that sweater they didn’t want. Taking the time to check in and see what others need is a gesture your loved ones will appreciate.

Regardless of what you give, hold (virtually?) your loved ones close, and enjoy this season. Have a gift alternative you want to share? Drop it in the comments below!