non gift ideas

Christmas can always easily turn into a consumerism fest, but as an alternative to the gift guides I shared last week, I also wanted to share some non gift Christmas ideas.

I hadn’t really understood the excesses of Christmas until we had our daughter. Prior to having her our Christmases were always quite modest.  Our budgets for Christmas have always been small.  We don’t spend a great deal on each other – typically less than £50 – and for us Christmas Day has mostly been about spending it together and the food – all the food!

And then 2 years ago we celebrated my daughter’s first Christmas and then her first birthday a couple of days later.  Our tiny house was like an explosion in a toy factory, packed to the rafters with thoughtful gifts from well-meaning friends and  relatives. My one year old was a bit overwhelmed and my partner and I fretted about where to store all of the stuff.

Since then I’ve started to think about non Christmas gift ideas for both kids and adults that are still full of thought and love and will be seriously useful without taking up space or eventually contribute to landfill.  Some of the ideas won’t even cost you any money!

Here’s my ideas but I’d love to hear yours to add to the list!

Non Gift Christmas Ideas for Kids

Free Ideas

A day at ______’s house

A trip out to feed the ducks

A trip to the park

Pass a long a skill day – e.g. teaching a musical instrument, sharing a craft, teaching a kid to bake cakes, teaching a kid to sew/knit.  Whatever your skill is it’s always fun to pass on.  Some of my very best memories are of my gran teaching me to knit, sew, bake and play cards.  My gran is no longer with us, but everytime I make scones or sew anything I think of her.

£ Ideas

A trip to the zoo

A trip to the cinema

A picnic

A trip to the swimming pool

A trip to softplay

A day out at the local museum

An afternoon out bowling

Contribute to an after school activity they do – swimming, dancing, football, karate or whatever they enjoy doing.  These thing cost a surprising amount of money so a small contribution towards their cost would be

Zoo membership

Cinema membership

Money for savings accounts

A magazine subscription (I’ve always liked the idea of Okido Magazine!) – kids will appreciate this every month!

The ideas are all about sharing experiences and making memories that will hopefully last longer than some toys!

non gift christmas ideas


Non Gift Christmas Ideas for Adults

Free Ideas

A card offering your babysitting services for a few nights over the course of a year

A card offering your pet sitting services for a few days over the course of a year

Home maintenance help – got some friends who have just moved into a new place?  A card offering to help strip wallpaper, paint, put up shelves, tile, or whatever fits your skill set will be warmly appreciated!

Access to your skills – whether it’s photography, web design, gardening, or whatever you’re great at, why not offer a day or two of your skills.

£ Ideas

Certificates to a favourite restaurant/cafe

Make a meal for their freezer

A spa treat

Cinema tickets

Concert tickets

 Any you want to add?  Let me know in the comments below!

If non gift Christmas ideas aren’t up your street, and you’d rather go down the traditional Christmas gift route then don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!  Check out the budget friendly ethical Christmas gift ideas on the blog.

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