• Stefanie

Alternative Holiday Gifts

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, many of us will be making our gift lists and mentally preparing to hit the mall and other shops. Going to a mall or shopping in general on a weekend (when most of us are able to go) can be stressful enough for some people, but add in the holidays and the wintery weather, and trying to even park your car can take a lot of time.

There are a lot of alternates to going to a traditional mall or shop for gifts. As an added bonus, the likelihood that someone else could find the exact same gift for that person is minimized. Here are some sources I've used in the past to find someone on my list the perfect gift:


I love, love, love Etsy. You can find really unique and customized gifts while simultaneously supporting an independent artist. There really is no limit to the kind of gifts you can find and purchase on Etsy. You just need to pay attention to where they are shipping from and how long it takes to process the order. You don't want to find yourself ordering the item the week of Christmas or whatever occasion you are buying for and your item still hasn't arrived! You can even buy the giftee an Etsy gift card. That way, if you aren't sure whether they would like something, you can give them money so they can decide on a great product themselves.

Groupon, LivingSocial, etc.

There is an old adage that it is better to spend time with someone rather than spend money on something. Why not get them a Groupon or LivingSocial that involves the person doing something or participating in an activity? It can be something that you can both enjoy or something that the person loves to do and can choose whomever they want to do the activity with. For example, this year I bought one of my loved ones a Groupon for a Craft Beer Brewery Tour. This is something I know they will enjoy and have a good time with, especially since I couldn't figure out something physical to gift them this year.

One of a Kind Show, Art Show

Another way to support local artists is by attending an art show, such as the One of a Kind Show hosted each season here in Toronto. The range in prices for the items really depends on what it is you are buying, but usually, you are able to find something within your comfort zone and budget. This year, for example, I purchased peanut butter and golf pins for two of my loved ones.


I have a few friends who are very charity-oriented. They love volunteering, they have made donations in your name at their wedding for various causes, they are all about helping out causes special to their hearts. You can really touch a spot in their hearts, while also helping out those less fortunate than yourselves. Make a donation to a charity of your choice, but put it in the gift recipient's name! You can then usually send a certificate or page that shows the donation to that person along with a card. Everyone wins.

Online (including e-cards)

If you want to stick with the traditional shopping experience in terms of stores, you can always just shop online. I would say 90% of stores nowadays have their product on their website which you can directly shop from, and choose to ship to your place or the giftees. Most retailers even have the option for you to select the product as a "gift" and they can wrap the gift for you. That way, if you are far away from each other, you can ship the gift directly all nice and wrapped.

If you shop on the site and are still not sure what the person will like, or what their size would be, you can always send them an e-gift card. That way, they can see what they might like, and they would know their sizing.

Make it Yourself!

As you might know by now, I love DIYs and baking. So if you can't figure out what the person may light, or if money might be a bit tight this year, you can make a gift yourself. Whether that be a great project you may have seen on Pinterest or YouTube, or it's a food item that you are just a pro in making, you can never go wrong with homemade gifts. The giftee will see that you made it yourself, and will love it all that much more.

Any of these Alternate gift source ideas would be a great creative Christmas gift and will help you knock off that Christmas gift list!

But as always, regardless of what you decide this holiday season, remember to think of those you love and enjoy the time you get to spend with them.

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