8 Experiences To Give Loved Ones This Christmas That Won’t Cost A Thing

christmas experience gift ideas

Unsplash/Hian Oliveira

The holiday season is all about spending time with loved ones. Unfortunately, it can also be a time when we get wrapped up in spending money, searching high and low for the perfect gift, and ruining our budgets. Skip the mall this month and consider affordable experiences that are closer to home. Here are eight experience gift ideas that’ll make your loved ones’ hearts warm with the Christmas spirit.

1. Meditating

Meditation isn’t for everyone, but studies show it can have a really positive impact on your health. If you’re someone who carves out a few hours to sit and reflect every week, invite a loved one to join you this holiday season. Whether you’re practicing breath awareness meditation or mindfulness meditation, help your loved one find their zen and connect with themselves on a deeper level. You’ll be giving the gift of time together, but also the gift of a more balanced life, both of which will cost you nothing.

2. Updating Photo Albums

christmas gift idea updating photo albums


Like with home videos, we all probably have a ton of photos lying in boxes under our beds or in closets that just haven’t made it into a photo album. Give the gift of your time and organization skills this year by helping your aunt, father, uncle or sister put them all in the right place. Whether you choose to do it the old-school way of photo albums or upload them into a digital photo book for all of your relatives around the country and world to enjoy, your loved ones will enjoy reminiscing with you by their side.

Pro Tip: If you upload your photos to a digital album, share it with an e-card to all of your family members so they get a little gift they can save and enjoy well after the holidays are over.

3. Working Out

Making time for the gym in our busy schedules isn’t always the easiest thing to do. And we bet the same goes for your family members. Give the gift of working out with a loved one for a few hours. Whether it’s a long walk through a favorite park, a hike at a nearby nature reserve or just a fun Zumba class at the community center, invite your loved one to spend healthy time with you. You’ll both feel amazing afterward, especially after all of those Christmas cookies.

4. Home Movie Marathon

Let’s be real: VHS tapes from the ’90s aren’t really the best quality anymore. Why not give the gift of helping your parents or grandparents move those videos to DVDs or a digital format so you can enjoy them for years to come? Once you’re done copying them all over, toss a bag of popcorn in the microwave, pour a few mugs of hot chocolate and sit down for a home movie marathon together. This could even be a great way to spend the actual Christmas holiday with the entire family. It’ll truly be a gift that everyone can enjoy.

5. Cooking Or Baking

christmas gift idea cooking

Free Stock Photos/Rhoda Baer

There’s sure to be a longstanding recipe in your family. Whether it’s grandma’s mashed potatoes, dad’s green bean casserole or aunt Donna’s brown butter and dark chocolate chip cookies, it’s time you start learning how to make them all so you can continue the family traditions for years to come. Give your loved ones the gift of spending time cooking or baking with them this holiday season. They’ll appreciate the help in the kitchen, but will more so remember the time spent with one of their favorite family members.

Pro Tip: Take the cooking or baking to the next level and do it with your loved one at a soup kitchen or food bank. Giving back through the gift of feeding the hungry is another amazing way to spend time with family and friends this holiday season.

6. Donating Blood

Not everyone likes needles, but donating blood is a great way to give back without spending a dime. Plus, inviting your loved ones to join you will make the experience painless and impactful at the same time. You’ll be helping so many sick people in need. Plus, by inviting more family and friends to donate with you, you’ll help diversify the blood types that are being donated. Just find a blood drive near you and mark your calendar.

7. Traveling

christmas gift idea family trip


You might not think that inviting a family member to join you on a trip is a cost-friendly gift, but it’s the thought that counts. If you’ve moved past the family vacation stage, then inviting your mom, brother or all your siblings on a weekend trip could make a big impact on your relationship. To keep it budget-friendly, try a staycation.┬áIt’s really more about spending quality time together than the actual location and activities of your trip.

Pro Tip: If you want to make the trip even more impactful, book one where you can do some volunteer work, too. You could volunteer at an animal shelter or clean up a local park.

8. Volunteering

Invite your family members to join you in volunteer work this year. Consider collecting food for the homeless, buying toys for children to open on Christmas Day, donating clothes to people with disabilities or raising money for cancer research. Whatever kind of volunteering you choose to do, giving back is always the gift that keeps on giving.

Giving the gift of your time, love and attention goes beyond anything that money can buy. Step up your gift-giving game this Christmas with one of these sentimental experiences that are cost-friendly and include so many acts of kindness. We bet you’ll enjoy this holiday season more than every one before.


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