40 Mindful and Meaningful Gift Ideas
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Sometimes the images of Black Friday shoppers, scrambling over each other in the wee hours of the morning to purchase holiday gifts, makes me wonder if the tradition of gift-giving has lost some of its purpose and meaning.
Perhaps there are some deals that merit the time, energy, and madness involved in shopping on that day, and maybe the Black Friday outing is a happy tradition for many people.
However, the over-the-top shopping frenzy and inundation of steals and deals that land in our inboxes and mailboxes (almost as soon as Halloween ends) are undermining what should be a relaxed time of meaningful giving and joyful shared experiences.
I read a post on the blog Zen Habits about a “No New Gifts Holiday Challenge.” In other words, try not to buy any material things for the holidays and just enjoy the season or give hand-made mindful gifts. But gift-giving can be part of the joy in the season, especially if there is a shift from mindless spending to practicing meaningful gift giving.
We each have our own ideas and attitudes about giving gifts and the types of gifts we give. For me, an operative guide is intention — what is the meaning behind the gift I am giving?
Beyond bringing momentary pleasure, will my gift offer something more substantial for longer-term growth, happiness, or usefulness?
Here is a list of 40 meaningful gifts:
Meaningful Gifts for Family
These are meaningful gifts that you can offer your entire family to help bring you together for fun and great memories.
1. Games. In this age of electronics that pull us into our individual corners, coming together for a family game is old-fashioned fun that is underrated. Our family loves the game The Settlers of Catan.
3. Movies. There are several movies we love to watch at Christmas, and one we gave to our kids many years ago is a family favorite — A Christmas Story . We also love to go to the movies together during the holiday break.
Spiritual Meaningful Gifts
These are meaningful gifts for those who have a meaningful and active spiritual life.
6. Prayer/Meditation Beads. For someone who practices prayer or meditation, beads have the most beautiful tradition behind them, and you can find some stunning hand-made meditation beads on Etsy. You can make the beads if you want to make it really personal.
7. Journals. You can also find beautiful mindfulness journals with dozens of styles on Amazon. Maybe wrap a beautiful pen and a candle to go with the journal.
8. Wind Chimes. I love the sound of wind chimes — it is meditative and spiritual to me. I love this stunning Recycled Wine Bottle Glass Windchime on Driftwood.
10. Meditation or Yoga Classes. For someone who wants to learn or sustain a meditation or yoga practice, give them a gift certificate for a few local classes.
Healthy Meaningful Gifts
These are meaningful gifts for health-conscious family and friends.
11. A Juicer. I have really gotten into juicing this year and have discovered so many health benefits from it. I use the Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain 700-Watt Juice Extractor.
14. A Pedometer and Calorie Counter. This is a great way for anyone to track how much they're moving and how many calories they are burning. Check out this pedometer.
Service Oriented Meaningful Gifts
Here are some meaningful gifts for making a difference during the holiday season.
16. Cooking or Baking. Prepare a homemade meal or baked goods to give as meaningful gifts. I have a tradition of giving homemade pumpkin bread to friends and family. It's great for Christmas morning!
17. Adopt a Family. For many years, we have provided gifts and food for a family who can't afford to have much at Christmas. Our kids always resisted delivering the goods, but then found it extremely moving once they arrived and saw the reaction of the children.
18. Hand-Made, Fair Trade Gifts. Check out gifts made by third world artisans and farmers and help sustain their businesses and end poverty. Check out the beautiful gifts here.
19. Unicef Inspired Gifts. Give the gift of life and health to children in need around the world. Unicef has many gifts to help children in need, and you can dedicate your gift to a loved one.
20. Create Something. Write a poem. Draw a picture. Sew something. Make a handmade ornament. Write a love letter. Create something from scratch with you own hands and heart.
Meaningful Gifts For Learning
These are meaningful Christmas gifts for those who have a love of learning.
21. Foreign Language Course. If you know someone who is traveling or who loves to learn, give them a course in their language of choice. Check out The Omniglot blog for everything under the sun about language learning and the best courses.
22. Show Me How. This is a great reference book showing step-by-step procedures on how to do hundreds of useful, practical, and strange tasks.
24. Book an Educational Trip. Take a trip that involves learning opportunities and cultural tours. Check out Road Scholars and Smithsonian Travel.
25. Give a Book. One of the best ways to learn I know of! I hope you'll consider giving one of my books. You can find them here: Barrie's Books
Self-Improvement Meaningful Gifts
Those who enjoy and seek self-improvement and personal growth might like receiving a meaningful Christmas gift life these.
26. Find Your Passion, Get Confident, Learn New Habits. Shameless plug for my courses here — but if you know someone trying to improve themselves, these courses are a great way to start the New Year. Check out all of my life changing courses here.
27. Write Your Book. If you or someone you love has always wanted to write and publish a book, check out this program that teaches everything from building a writing habit to marketing your book.
28. Financial Awareness. For a young person, a newly married couple, or someone struggling with money management, one of my favorite resources is Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.
30. Free Personal Development Gifts. Check out these freebies that you can download and give as gifts and stocking stuffers.
Practical Meaningful Gifts
These are presents that can always be used and appreciated.
31. Car Emergency Kit. No one buys an emergency kit for themselves. It's a great gift for anyone, particularly a new or young driver. It could save a life.
33. Toothbrush Sanitizer. I remember when this first came out, and I thought it was brilliant. The darn toothbrush goes in your mouth, so it should be sanitized, right? Take a look.
35. Meal Gift Basket. Purchase the pantry items needed to create a delicious meal and include your favorite recipe.
Beautiful Meaningful Gifts
For those who appreciate the beauty in life, here are some great gift ideas.
37. An Outing for Beauty. Take someone to the Botanical Gardens, an art museum, a ballet, or to hear the symphony.
39. A Book of Poetry. For someone who loves the beauty of words, Mary Oliver, Rumi, and Kahlil Gibran are three of the most moving and beautiful poets I've read.
If you have any meaningful gift giving ideas. I hope you will share them with us in the comments. Please note that some of these links are affiliate links for which I will get a small commission if you purchase. That will be a very mindful gift from you for which I am profoundly grateful.
Did you find any value from these meaningful gifts?
I hope you'll use this list of meaningful gifts to make a good choice for people you love.
Would you like to help others?
It would be really great if you could help me spread these helpful meaningful gift ideas. Would you be willing to send out some love to your friends and family or share on your favorite social media platform?