Coming up with gift ideas can be hard! But there’s no need for you to worry this year, I’ve got plenty of alternative gift ideas for Christmas just for you! 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten to the point in life where it’s hard to find the right gift for people. I love giving gifts, but I also don’t want to spend time and money on something that my family and friends won’t use. There are some people that flat out say they don’t want a gift. Or, even worse, are the people who already have everything they could ever want, but don’t say they don’t want a gift. I want to show people I care, but also don’t want them to have to pretend to like my gift. It’s just awkward for everyone involved.

So, in order to prevent this unfortunate event from occurring, I’ve been researching alternative gifts to give this holiday season. There’s nothing wrong with traditional gifts but for purposes of this blog, I’m trying to stay away from those. If the gift is something that won’t be used or could get buried in the back of a closet, I’m going to steer clear of it. However, consumables are totally up for grabs! That being said, on to the gift ideas!

Alternative Gift Ideas for Christmas Cookie Gifts Gift Boxes Christmas Holidays White Chocolate Macadamia Chip Baking Present

Via Donna Hay

One of my favorite things to do is bake gifts. I think I’ve mentioned before that my uncle and brother love my homemade cookies. Baking for people makes me very happy. By baking someone a gift, you can show you care, they enjoy the food, and then no one is left with anything to take up valuable space. Baking is a win-win! However, please be mindful of your recipient’s potential allergies or health choices. You don’t want to go giving peanut butter cookies to someone who is allergic to peanuts.

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If you don’t want to do the baking yourself, you can give away all the ingredients! I love the way these gifts in a jar look! You can give everything from hot cocoa mix to your loved one’s favorite cookies! Just don’t forget to include the recipe!

While gifts in a jar may not count as unusual gift ideas anymore (thanks to the growing popularity of Pinterest), I still think they make for great alternative Christmas gifts.

Alternative Gift Ideas for Christmas Mason Jar Cocktail Jack Daniels Whiskey Coca-Cola Coke Cheers Straw Alcohol Mixed Drink Christmas Gifts Holidays

Via Redbook

Let’s take that last Christmas gifts idea and give it a bit of a twist. If your recipient isn’t so much into hot chocolate, try giving them the ingredients to their favorite adult beverage. Personally, I don’t drink, but on more than one occasion I have been given my favorite soda. When I was younger, I’ll admit that this gift frustrated me a bit. However, by giving someone a gift of their favorite beverage, you’re showing that you really do know the person. It’s a simple gesture, but it definitely shows that you pay attention and you care.

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Alternative Gift Ideas for Christmas Homemade Soap DIY Peppermint Soap Ribbon Mints Gifts

Via A Pumpkin & A Princess

I’ve spent most of this post talking about food and beverages. However, you can give so much more than that! After all, I never said that my alternative Christmas gift ideas were limited to food and drink. Homemade soap is a great gift. Everyone uses soap! The image shown is a peppermint soap (designed for the holidays), but the options are endless! Think about the smells your friend loves and find a recipe that matches that! Again, be mindful of any allergies they may have.

In addition to homemade soap, you can also make things like foot soaks, bath bombs, and sugar scrubs. Personally, I don’t take a lot of baths, so bath bombs are a bit lost on me, but I would love to soak my feet. I’ve also recently gotten into sugar scrubs and they’re pretty wonderful. While many people typically think of these types of gifts for women, they can definitely be given to men too. Everyone has to bathe! Try some of these unusual gifts for people you know who like to be (or should be) pampered. If you have a cousin that loves to go to the spa or a best friend that enjoys taking a long bath after a hard day, these unique Christmas gifts may be just right for them!

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You could go buy these things from specialty stores, but it’s so much more rewarding (and usually cheaper) to make them yourself. The bonus? Not only are you making a great usable gift for someone, you can also keep some of it for yourself!

Alternative Gift Ideas for Christmas Money Gift Card Mason Jar Candy Jar Hidden Gift Christmas Merry Christmas Gifts Presents


If all else fails, you can give money or gift cards. However, please don’t just stick some dollar bills in an envelope! While there’s nothing wrong with giving money or gift cards as gifts, you might as well make it a fun experience! By just taking an empty toilet paper tube, some candy, and a jar, you can have a cute gift! This way your friend or family member gets money they can use in any way they please, but also gets a fun experience opening their gift and enjoying some yummy candy!

Alternative Gift Ideas White Elephant Gift Exchange Rule Christmas Gift Giving Holidays

Via Sunshine and Rainy Days

And, if all that fails, try trading your stuff! A white elephant gift exchange is always a fun idea. Many I’ve participated in have a monetary limit for you to go out and purchase a gift. However, I would suggest everyone in your group bringing an item from home. This way no one has to buy anything and everyone can get rid of something you don’t need. Obviously, use your best judgement. Make suggestions for what people can bring to your exchange. Things like placemats that are nice and clean, but that just do not match your decor are a good example. No one wants to go home with a half empty bag of toilet paper or something equally as random. Plus, not only are you getting a gift, but you’re getting to play a fun holiday gift swap game in the process. You can use the white elephant gift exchange rules shown above or create your own! Just have fun with it.

Don’t fry your brain trying to come up with #gifts for everyone on your list! We have ideas for you! #HappyHolidays

Posted by FurnishMyWay, LLC on Saturday, December 17, 2016

All these are great ideas, but maybe you’re looking for something a little different. Here are a few more gifts ideas that don’t involve giving stuff.

  • Give the gift of time. Everyone is busy nowadays. Offer to do the dishes for a loved one. Cook, clean, babysit, run errands, fix something, or do their laundry. Basically, knock an item off their forever long to-do list. They’ll appreciate it more than you'll probably ever know.
  • Sign them up for a class. If your niece or nephew is interested in sports, music, or anything else of the like, pay for some lessons! This idea isn’t just for the kids, either! Cake decorating, crafting (knitting, crochet, sewing, etc.), cooking, dance, yoga, and photography classes are just a few ideas. Find out what your recipient is interested in and help them learn a new skill.
  • Donate to charity in their name. While usually monetary, it really doesn’t have to be. You can also donate your time or old clothing. When my uncle found out I was making and donating scarves for the Special Olympics, he could not have been happier. Give some of that happiness this year!

This holiday season, I hope you consider trying something different. Not everyone needs a new pair of socks or a video game. Regardless of what holiday you celebrate (doesn’t have to be Christmas!), I hope you give some of these ideas a try. Do you know of any other alternative gift ideas? If so, please let me know! I’d love to have some more gift inspiration! I’ve got a lot of people I’d like to give a gift! As always, please comment and share below! Happy Holidays!