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I am always looking for ways to make the holiday season more enjoyable, less stressful, and less expensive. Doesn't that sound like something we all want?!

Most of us enjoy buying gifts for our loved ones but what do you do if your budget is a little tighter or if you can't think of anything to get that special someone on your list?

Today I am sharing 6 Non-Traditional or Alternative gift ideas that may be less expensive than a traditional gift and they may also have more value and meaning than a physical gift.

6 Non-Traditional or Alternative Gift Ideas

  1. Experience Gifts- If you can't think of something to buy your loved ones, consider planning an "experience" with them. This could be a membership to a local zoo, or a stay-cation, or maybe dinner and a movie. Buy it ahead of time or write it in a card and give that to them as their gift. So many times an experience will be a memory that will last far longer than a physical gift.

  2. Contribute to Kids' Savings- If you are a Grandparent or Aunt or Uncle and are unsure of what to get the kiddos in your life, consider talking to their parents about contributing to a savings for them. You can save into a 529 Plan or an ESA which are accounts designed specifically for college. Or you can contribute into an investment UTMA account where the money can be invested but it can be used at any time for the child's benefit, not just specifically for college.

  3. Spend Time Together- If your family still buys gifts for the adults and you are not sure what to get your sister or brother-in-law, consider skipping gifts and instead spend the money to go out to a nice dinner together. This is something we do on both my side of the family and my husband's. We call it "Sibling Day" where all of us siblings (and our spouses) get together and go out for a nice meal and maybe an event as well. Our parents watch our kids for us and we get to spend time together which is something we don't get to do near enough now that we are all adults! It's so much fun and I highly recommend it!

  4. Have Dinner Catered- If you and your family bond over making dinner in the kitchen, this tip may not be for you. However, if making (and cleaning up) dinner is a little stressful for you, consider skipping the gifts this year and have everyone chip in to have dinner catered. This allows you more quality time to spend together because you don't have to worry about cooking or cleaning up!

  5. House Cleaning Package- You may be nervous to buy this for someone and it is definitely something that you should make sure the person would appreciate but I think if you have new parents on your gift-buying list, they would LOVE a gift like this. Also, busy families or those that travel a lot may love this gift as well.

  6. Be Generous! Instead of buying each other a gift, consider deciding on a charity that your family would like to support and put your money together to donate to them! As Dave Ramsey always says, giving is the most fun you will ever have with money!

I hope some of these ideas have inspired you to think outside of the box this holiday season. You don't have to always buy a traditional gift or spend a certain amount of money. Consider changing it up and you just may be surprised by how much joy it brings you!

Happy Holidays!


November 25, 2019

Amanda Sharratt

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