3 Thoughtful, Unexpected Holiday Gift Ideas

When giving gifts to the people you love, you want your gift to be thoughtful and unexpected. You want it to be something that will demonstrate how much you value that person and your relationship with them.

1. Personalized Cookbook


Make your own cookbook filled with family recipes for your close family and friends. You’ll have to start well in advance of the holidays to collect all of the family recipes you can find from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents. Put together as many as you can find and add in some of your own that have been well received at family holidays and events. The recipes can also feature stories about each family member, funny memories, and things they would always say. Create a family cookbook that tells the story of your family and where you came from.

You can add to the gift by planning a cooking party at your house for your family. You can all come together and cook some of your favorite family recipes together while sharing stories and funny memories. While you may not be able to bring back the loved ones you have lost, you can continue celebrating them to keep their memories alive.

2. Self-Care


Self-care is often the last thing a person is willing to spend money on. They will spend money on everyone else in their lives but will think spending money on the things they need is wasteful. If you have someone close to you who is struggling and would benefit from talking to a therapist or counselor, you can prepay for teletherapy. Some companies allow you to receive online therapy with a licensed counselor as an alternative to traditional therapy. These sessions are still protected by HIPAA and are with a real mental health professional.

Buying the gift of telehealth for someone shows them how much they and their mental health mean to you. It shows them that they are essential and need to take care of themselves. Having a counselor to talk to can also help them see other ways they can improve their self-care. People often associate self-care with bubble baths and massages, which it can be, but authentic self-care is taking care of your spirit and soul. It is staying connected to yourself and the ones you love in a meaningful way.

3. Fun Experience


Prepay for a fun experience that you can do together. This may be a concert, art class, or something challenging like skydiving or bungee jumping. Think of something they’ve always talked about doing or something you think they would love even if they’ve never mentioned it before. You could schedule a white water rafting trip or an opportunity to drive a real race car. There is no limit to the experiences you can have.

Depending on what you want to do, you may have to travel to where the experience is offered. The experience may also be seasonal, so it may not be something you can do right away, but if the trip is paid for, it is still something you can both look forward to doing. Giving the gift of an experience sends the message that you want to spend time with them, which is more valuable than the gift itself.

Giving gifts is an experience for the one giving and the one receiving. By taking the time to give thoughtful and unique gifts, you are taking the time to enjoy the process and allowing yourself to get more out of it than grabbing a bunch of gift cards at the grocery store. You are showing you care by giving your time, not just your money.

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