Reclaim Your Holidays
Practical ways to create meaning
Creative Gift Ideas
Have you ever felt the holiday crunch and scrambled to find that one last gift... or maybe that last dozen?! We can't buy your gifts for you, but we can help by suggesting meaningful, sustainable gift ideas. See some examples below, and download the pdfs for a more complete list of ideas. (And don’t miss our Printable Gift Certificates!)
Create meaning by taking control of your finances (pdf)
- avoid the credit card trap
- help children develop wish lists and prioritize wants
- discover creative, frugal gift-giving
Gift for kids (pdf)
- spend quality time just with me, not with my brothers and sisters around
- give supplies to make homemade jelly bean bracelets and help children make them
- make a photo collage
Give gifts of experience (pdf)
- give tickets to an upcoming production
- help fund a child’s summer camp
- treat your friends to a night out
Spoiling grandkids: A guide for parents ( pdf ) NEW!
Expressing love with gifts can be excessive and difficult to manage. Learn assertive communication skills to set limits and preserve relationships by avoiding blame, staying calm, being clear.
Spoiling grandkids: A guide for generous grandparents, aunts and uncles (pdf) NEW!
Passing on family values and heritage, creating traditions and strengthening relationships can be important to all generations in families. Giving of our talents/skills, words, time, objects and touch are ways of strengthening the bonds of connection with family and friends.
Strengthen local connections by giving Iowa-made gifts (pdf)
- find gift certificates to bed and breakfasts around Iowa
- learn about Community Supported Agriculture and how to purchase shares
- give Iowa-made wines, jellies & jams, and cheeses as host/hostess gifts
Give a green gift (pdf)
- help friends and family save money with gifts of compact fluorescent light bulbs, LED lights, and smart power strips
- find a container gardening system to give the gift of year-round gardening
- give bike gifts like homemade gift certificates to RAGBRAI or bicycle trailers for families
Second-hand is in vogue (pdf)
- think vintage clothing and jewelry for teens
- try Craigslist for sporting goods
- find a one-of-a-kind gem at local antique stores and flea markets
Farmers market gift ideas (pdf)
- buy in bulk while foods are in season, and preserve foods for holiday gift giving
- choose produce you can match with another gift (i.e., purchase apples at the market to give with a vintage cookbook you found at an antique store)
- find gifts of fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats, cheeses, wines, baked goods, preserves, gift certificates... the possibilities are endless!
Gratitude letter as a gift (pdf)
- write to lovers, family members, or dear friends
- thoughtfully examine the meaning and pleasure you get from this relationship
- think about one or more experiences you've shared with this person, and describe how they made the events fun, funny, tolerable, memorable, etc.
Clear away the holiday clutter (pdf)
- give consumable gifts (like food!) or gifts of experiences (like movie tickets)
- donate to a charitable organization or spend time serving others
- be good to yourself (get a massage) and to others (treat a friend to coffee)
Visit our Facebook page for more ideas... and contribute your own!