Thoughtful, Non-Traditional Gifts for Those You Love Most
No matter how much we say that the holiday season is about so much more than gifts, gifts still come into play! However, we can get away from the materialism, consumerism, and wastefulness that are so prominent in American holiday culture! We can give non-traditional, eco-friendly gifts that come with thoughtfulness and meaning. We have some great gift ideas for you!
Homemade Self-Care Treats
We all need to prioritize taking care of ourselves. Of course, that’s increasingly difficult to do in a busy world where everyone needs more of us. If we give handmade items for self-care, it permits people to spend a little time nurturing their own needs.
Some ideas include:
- Hand and body lotion – Coconut oil, vitamin E, shea butter, and essential oils are all deliciously soft and so good for the skin! Mix equal parts shea butter and coconut oil and add some vitamin E and desired essential oils for a lovely treat for all skin types.
- Hair masks and treatments – This one is really fun to make! Mix a 4:1 ratio of plain yogurt (kudos if it’s homemade!) and coconut oil, then add in a couple of tablespoons of honey and some essential oils for aromatherapy. Package it in a mason jar with a hand-decorated instruction label for a lovely, conditioning hair mask.
- Bath salts – Combine essential oils, flower petals, or herbs with sea salt or Epsom salts for a fizzy, nurturing addition to any bath. Seal them up in a glass mason jar for a beautiful decoration that can add beauty to the bathroom until it’s used! Plus, the jar can be repurposed afterward.
You can wrap all of these up in beautiful, sustainable packaging, such as recycled paper painted or decorated by hand and reused ribbon or twine.
The Non-Traditional Gift of Membership
Everyone loves a gift that continues to be used throughout the year. Memberships to museums, clubs, and other places that require admission can get expensive. So, these are great for your kids, grandkids, or others whom you know can’t afford to spend the money on themselves.
Some great memberships that are always appreciated as holiday gifts include:
- Gym memberships
- Museum memberships
- Zoo or aquarium memberships
- Audible or music streaming services
- Video streaming services
Some museums, zoos, and aquariums also offer connected memberships to their “sister organizations.” These memberships will get you access to others in the area or around the country, as well!
Whatever type of membership you give, the person receiving it will know that you recognize what they want to add to their lives that they might not be able to give to themselves. The thoughtfulness behind a gift like that is what means the most.
Everyone loves fun things in the mail! Subscription boxes can be customized for the person receiving the monthly shipment. These boxes contain eco-friendly and educational craft kits for kids. They also include date night boxes for couples, organic wine, specialty meats, or cooking lessons and recipes.
You could also give the gift of a magazine subscription—many of which come digitally now, which is a plus for being sustainable! People can enjoy monthly reading material based on their interests, hobbies, or educational goals.
Homemade Baked Goods – the Ultimate in Non-Traditional Gift Ideas
Nothing says, “I thought about you and care about you,” better than something fresh and delicious from a friend or family member’s kitchen. The holidays just aren’t complete without some delicious treats that we associate with the season.
If you’re not a whiz in the kitchen, seek out someone in your community who is and ask if you can commission their services. You’ll be supporting someone else who might need the extra income during the holidays and giving a sustainable, thoughtful gift at the same time.
- Cinnamon rolls
- Sourdough bread
- Jams and jellies
- Pies and cakes
- Pickled vegetables
- Local honey
- Herbal infusions
Think about the things that you love to have in your kitchen which might not be so easy for someone else to make themselves. These will be the best gifts to receive!
Non-Traditional Experience Gift Ideas
These are perfect for the people you love who like to add adventure and new experiences to their lives. Depending on whether you’re gifting to kids, adult couples, or families, something from the following list should give you inspiration for experiences that your friends and family will love throughout the year.
- Swimming or sports lessons
- Dance or music classes
- Art camps or workshops
- Movie tickets
- Educational classes
- Air BnB or travel weekends
If you can’t afford a year-long membership to a museum, zoo, or aquarium, you could always do day passes too!
The Gift of Time
All of these are fun, well-received gifts and you can probably think of something that would fit every person on your list from the ideas above. However, our favorite gift to give to those we treasure is the gift of our time and talents.
Think about what you’re good at that could bless someone else—maybe something that brings you joy that they don’t want to do or don’t have time for. Create a beautiful, handmade gift certificate for your time in which they can then take a breather and refresh.
- School drop-offs and pickups
- A week’s worth of freezer-batch meals
- Pet sitting or grooming
- Massage or “at-home spa day”
- Weekend getaway while you housesit
Community is about sharing ourselves with others and creating connections in the process. Nothing does this better than sharing what we are good at with people who need it the most.
Wrapping It Up
No matter whom you’re giving to this holiday season, it can come with thoughtfulness and a conscious effort to maintain our environment. That means preventing too much “stuff” from taking up space in our homes and lives.
One often overlooked gift idea may be for the entire family to participate, such as adopting a rescue animal from a shelter. That’s a gift that keeps on giving!
If you need a one-stop shop for all your thoughtful, non-traditional gifts, be sure to check out Stoney Creek Farm’s online storefront. It has wonderful treasures such as sustainable art, local honey, farm stays, and garden rentals. There are even online classes such as Sourdough Bread,, Canning 101, and Dirt Rich, which can be gifted to those near and far with the click of a button.
May your holidays be filled with joy, togetherness, and meaning.