Wow, another year has flown by, December is fast approaching and we all know what that means, Christmas is almost upon us! Make someone feel special this Christmas by putting some soul and heart-felt thought behind your gift.  To help you, here are ten of my all-time favourite ideas for giving a gift that matters.

Get Cooking:

Yes, this is an oldie, but a goodie. With overbooked schedules, endless lists of chores and the ever-increasing pressure to achieve more throughout the day, we are a society that thrives on convenience. For many of us, our cupboards are piled with packet and tinned food and our fridges are stocked with bags of prewashed and pre-cut veggies. We have lost our passion for cooking; it is sadly no longer an art and has become a dreaded chore. So this festive season cancel the restaurant booking, tear up the takeout menu that is filed in your kitchen drawer and pull out your grandma’s old cookbook. Bring some heart and soul to your kitchen, there is nothing more wonderful than when your loved ones walk through the front door and are greeted by the tantalising smell of fresh soup simmering on the stovetop.

Plan an Adventure:

Give the gift of a completely random and spontaneous experience. New adventures ignite enthusiasm, laughter and curiosity, they remind us about the importance of exploring and having fun, and the best part is that you don’t have to travel far – if you choose to look around you will find adventures in your own back yard. The secret is to pick something that you don’t normally do, something completely random, yet something that you would both enjoy. Book a skydive, pack a rustic picnic, go on a random road trip, take a workshop together, go to the local museum or block out a few hours to give some time to the local soup kitchen.

Give something of interest:

Take the time to think about what truly interests them. Are they a gardener, photographer or perhaps a wine lover? Choosing gifts based on what interests them is a great way to let them know that you notice and appreciate this unique side of them.

The crucial thing is not to overdo it. For example, say that they love elephants, and then there is a high chance that they have more elephant-themed items than they know what to do with.  Think outside the box and do something unique and quirky, like sponsoring an orphaned elephant in their name or finding a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted elephant painting.

Give Together:

Instead of wasting your hard-earned cash on some gift that your partner doesn’t even need or want, why not say farewell to consumerism and embrace the true essence of giving. Something that my husband and I often do is agree not to buy any gifts for each other, instead, we take the money we would have used and together we go out and buy a gift for someone who really needs it.  A site that I love and use is – it is a list of non-profit agencies asking for specified gifts for their clients, you will be surprised how many families are doing it tough and by receiving a simple packet of biscuits, an old mobile phone or books – it truly has the power to uplift their day and give them hope for the future.

A Weekend Workshop:

What do they love to do in their spare time? Maybe they love to write and dream about travelling the world and writing for National Geographic. Do they love to whizz around the kitchen like Jamie Oliver or maybe they spend hours googling how to take captivating photos with that new camera they received at Christmas time? Search the local paper, scour the internet and find an upcoming weekend workshop where they can spend the weekend luxuriating in what they love to do.

Magazine Subscription:

This is one thing that people don’t tend to buy for themselves unless it is for business or career purposes, people often associate magazine subscriptions as a luxury item. Purchase a yearly subscription to a magazine that you know they would love, but one that they would never subscribe to themselves. Receiving each new issue will be a simple yet luxurious treat.

Adopt A New Family Member:

Do something good for the world whilst giving your loved one a thoughtful gift. Adopt a child or animal in their name and continue to pay the monthly donation. They will love receiving the quarterly updates, letters and photos – and with certain charity organisations, they can actually become actively involved in the project. This is a gift that will change the lives of everyone involved.

Your Time:

Are there any projects that need doing at home that keep getting postponed because your partner lacks the time, energy or inspiration? What about that vintage bedframe that your partner purchased on a whim at a garage sale when they had that sudden creative vision to completely restore it. Why not drag it out, dust it off and restore it for your loved one. You could also surprise your partner by spontaneously doing the chores they normally do, such as mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool or cooking the family dinner.

A Gift From Nature:

Surrounding ourselves with little tokens from nature is a wonderful way to uplift our spirit and connect with the pure and cleansing energy of Mother Nature. Nature inspires adventure, health, creativity, curiosity and overall well-being. There are endless ways to give nature as a gift – collect shells on the beach and put them in a bottle,  hand weave a hemp necklace, make a wind chime out of shells and driftwood, pick some fresh flowers, give a potted plant or seek out essential oils and 100% natural products.

A Handwritten Letter:

Either make or purchase some recycled paper, grab your favourite pen, burn your favourite oil and sit for a few hours and write a heartfelt letter to your loved one. Show your appreciation and gratitude towards them by writing down why you love them. It is also a nice idea to write down any memories you have shared together and even dreams that you hope to achieve together in the future.

Use the spirit of Christmas as a way to show thanks, gratitude and that you care.  A true gift comes from the heart, not the wallet – stop in and visit a friend unexpectedly, or take a home-cooked meal to someone you know who has been sick. Offer to watch someone’s children, weed someone’s garden, take a bunch of freshly picked wildflowers to an elderly neighbour, the possibilities are endless. Take the time to simply stop, breathe and look around, and see the needs of the people around you!