40 Ideas For Non-Monetary Christmas Gifts


My wife and I have a long-standing tradition of giving each other only “non-monetary” Christmas gifts.  Occasionally we break the rule but we want to put the focus on giving something that actually “costs us” something of ourselves.  I won’t share what we have done, but here is a list of ideas in case you’re looking for inspiration.


  1. Write a heartfelt letter or poem expressing your love and appreciation for the recipient.

  2. Create a personalized playlist of songs that have special meaning to you and your relationship.

  3. Make a homemade meal or baked goods for the recipient.

  4. Create a custom piece of art or craft for the recipient.

  5. Plan a fun outing or activity to do together, such as a hike or a trip to a local attraction.

  6. Offer to do a chore or task for the recipient, such as cleaning their house or running errands for them.

  7. Give the gift of your time and attention by setting aside an entire day to spend together.

  8. Give the gift of relaxation by offering a massage or creating a DIY spa day.

  9. Create a memory jar filled with special trinkets and mementos that represent your relationship.

  10. Write and perform a song or skit for the recipient.

  11. Offer to help the recipient achieve a goal or learn a new skill, such as taking a dance lesson or starting a garden.

  12. Give the gift of relaxation by offering a home-cooked meal or a gift certificate to a restaurant.

  13. Plan a game night with a selection of the recipient’s favorite games.

  14. Offer to do a fun activity together, such as painting, cooking, or going to the movies.

  15. Give the gift of self-care by creating a basket with items like scented candles, bubble bath, and face masks.

  16. Plan a movie marathon with the recipient’s favorite films.

  17. Give the gift of organization by helping the recipient declutter and reorganize a space in their home.

  18. Offer to take the recipient on a scenic drive or to a nearby town for a day trip.

  19. Create a personalized photo album or frame featuring special memories and moments from your relationship.

  20. Offer to teach the recipient a new hobby or skill that you enjoy.

  21. Give the gift of relaxation by offering a yoga or meditation class.

  22. Plan a date night and make all the arrangements, such as reservations and transportation.

  23. Write a list of reasons why you appreciate and value the recipient.

  24. Give the gift of a handwritten recipe book filled with your favorite dishes.

  25. Plan a fun outdoor activity, such as a picnic or a walk in a local park.

  26. Give the gift of a home-cooked meal and offer to do the grocery shopping and cooking.

  27. Offer to take the recipient on a shopping spree and provide style advice.

  28. Give the gift of a personalized workout routine or training plan.

  29. Plan a weekend getaway to a nearby destination.

  30. Create a custom playlist of your favorite workout songs to help the recipient stay motivated.

  31. Give the gift of a personalized nutrition plan or recipe ideas.

  32. Offer to do the recipient’s laundry and fold it for them.

  33. Plan a fun adventure, such as a hot air balloon ride or skydiving.

  34. Give the gift of a customized playlist of your favorite relaxing music or guided meditations.

  35. Offer to do a home improvement project for the recipient.

  36. Plan a day of pampering, including a manicure, pedicure, and massage.

  37. Give the gift of a customized playlist of your favorite tunes for a specific activity, such as working or studying.

  38. Offer to do the recipient’s grocery shopping and meal prep for a week.

  39. Plan a movie night in with homemade popcorn and the recipient’s favorite films.

  40. Give the gift of a personalized sleep routine or bedtime ritual.


Please pardon my lack of blogging.  I had some heavy preparation work for a seminar on “parenting adult children” and another on “suffering” recently, as well as working on several writing projects.  I am hoping to get back into a better routine in the near future.


In the meantime, rather than wishing a trite “Merry Christmas” I simply want to say that I hope that we all deeply remember and savor the clear demonstration of God’s deep love for us through sending Jesus’ into this wicked world in order to rescue us.


But also, enjoy the lights and merriment.