Has the Gift giving process become so droll or commercialized that it’s taken all the joy out of your gift giving? Here a few tips to help make this holiday season a bit more memorable, and most of all, meaningful: 

  1. Give gifts secretly to those in need. We all know the story of St. Nick, taking the gifts around to all the needy children. This is where the spirit of Christmas is derived from: selfless giving. This year try sending out toys, food, clothes, treats or anything else you can spare to some people who really need it. The feeling of making a difference in someone’s life, even if only for a day, is the best gift you can give yourself.
  2. Attach a ball of string. Do you have a big gift that you can’t wrap, but still want to be a surprise? Attach a ball of yarn to the item and string it throughout the house. Create a maze throughout your house, or apartment, leading from the ball of yarn under the tree to the object hidden somewhere.
  3. Give an experience. Tangible gifts can get pretty boring after a while. Rather than giving someone a physical gift, look for alternatives, such as trips, concerts, or something else that the person has always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity. Memories last much, much longer than a toy or some candy.
  4. Plan a scavenger hunt. The perfect way to build suspense and add a bit more excitement to your gift is to give them a little challenge. Plan out a scavenger hunt for one or more of your gifts, wrapping the first clue like a present, leading to another clue, eventually leading to the location of the actual gift.
  5. Host a “Sub for Santa Party”. This is the perfect way to give back this Christmas; rather than doing a white elephant or Secret Santa gift exchange, plan a party where everyone brings over gifts to bring to those in need. Then, at the party, you can all wrap your presents and deliver them together.
  6. Creatively “wrap” cash. Despite what people may tell you, nobody is disappointed by the gift of cash, but rather than just handing over cash in an envelope, put in a little more effort and make it something creative. Wrap up a box (or several) with cash inside to make it a surprise. You can also make it something funny or clever, like a sandcastle bucket with sand and money inside that says “to help build your dream castle/house”. This is sure to make the gift much more exciting and entertaining.