12 Christmas Gifts You Won’t Find in a Department Store

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…a partridge in a pear tree?!

What a gift! Obviously, after spending all of their money on leaping lords, swimming swans, and golden rings, the singer’s true love ran out of ideas. Or money. Or both. After all, how hard is it to catch a bird and stick it in a tree?

All joking aside, it’s hard to find that special something for that special someone during the holidays. Somehow, even four-story department stores seem to be bereft of that perfect gift. Which is why we’re here with twelve of our OWN gift ideas–there’s sure to be something that will spark your gift-giving creativity. (And we can guarantee that there aren’t any birds, milkmaids, or leaping lords involved)


1. Date Night in a Box

Treat your parents or another couple you know to a ready-made date-night, complete with tickets to a show or a restaurant gift card, a sheet of fun couples’ conversations starters, a box of chocolates, and a coupon for free babysitting while they’re out on the town!

2. Recycled, Upcycled, or Vintage

Sometimes a trip to the thrift store can be even more fruitful than a trip to the North Pole itself. If you’re searching for a unique piece of home decor or a quirky, one-of-a-kind fashion accessory, antique or thrift stores might be your answer. Be creative and see everything for what it could be–maybe that cracked teacup won’t ever hold a drop of water again, but it could make a great planter for a succulent plant!

3. Gifts That Keep Giving

Purchase a magazine subscription, or splurge on a “subscription box” that suits the recipient’s tastes. Maybe they’re a foodie and would appreciate new inspiration from either a cooking mag or “foodie box” filled with unique snacks and treats from around the world. Maybe they want to grow in their faith and would appreciate a subscription to a faith-based magazine (G4C might fit the bill!) or a box filled with items that would inspire them in their walk with God.

4. Coupon Book

It’s one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give…and it’s free! Create a booklet of coupons–give your mom certificates for neck or shoulder massages, offer your brother a free room cleaning, or guarantee Dad you’ll help him get the Christmas decorations stored back in the attic–no grumbling! Your coupon booklets can be as small or as extensive as you want, and you can get creative with hand lettering or a word processor to create a gift that perfectly fits its recipient.

5. Movie Night in a Box

Who doesn’t love a trip to the movies? But instead of giving someone a gift card to the local theater, gift them a box filled with everything they need for the perfect at-home movie night. You can go simple, with just a DVD, bag of popcorn, and movie candy or you can make it more elaborate with cozy blankets and movie-related merchandise.

6. Write Now

Find a fill-in-the-blank book that you can use to tell your BFF how much you appreciate her, compile a binder of your family’s favorite secret recipes, or pen a poem to tell someone how much you appreciate them. Few things are as powerful as the written word…put it to good use this Christmas and watch as your carefully penned sentiments touch the hearts of those around you

7. Spa in a Jar

Gift your mom, sister, aunt, or girlfriends with the ultimate spa-day-in-a-jar. Stuff a wide-mouth mason jar with nail polish, a face mask, mini bottles of soap and lotion, bath bombs, and anything else that speaks spa–don’t forget a gourmet truffle for recipients to munch on while they’re pampering themselves.

8. Sports Star

Surprise your sports-loving pals with a piece of their favorite team’s merchandise (shirt, cap, poster, etc.) AND make their day with an invitation to an at-home tailgate the next time their team’s game is broadcasted on TV. When it’s party time, offer a few plates of snacks, plenty of comfy seats, and an opportunity for the two of you (and even others!) to bond over sports…let’s hope you both root for the same team! 😉

9. Christmas!

While it might seem strange, Christmas decorations can sometimes make the perfect gift for that Christmas-loving friend of yours. Fill a box with fun and quirky ornaments for them to hang on the tree next year, or gift them that adorable Christmas mug they’ve been eying…you can never have too much holiday cheer!

10. Study Buddy

Make sure your friends are well-prepared to go back to school after the holiday with a school survival kit complete with novelty erasers, a notebook or planner with a cute cover, study snacks, and (if applicable) a coupon for a study session. Make going back to school after Christmas vacation just that much more bearable 😉

11. Encourage a Hobby

A new set of drawing pencils, a colorful skein of yarn, or anything else that will get someone’s creative juices flowing are always appreciated. Know someone who’s on the hunt for a new hobby to pursue or an unusual art form to try? Get them a DIY kit that will teach them the basics of needle felting, paper quilling, or bead making.

12. YOU

Sometimes the best gift you can offer others is simply yourself! Make a promise to spend time with someone special–offer to pack a picnic, plan a girls’ day out, or take your younger siblings to the water park. So many gifts can get broken, eaten, or lost under a bed, but memories of good times spent with a special person will never fade.


Do you have any more ideas for creative and heartfelt gifts? If so, drop them in the comments!

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