There’s no denying that 2020 has been incredibly hard for so many of us, not least because it’s been so much more difficult (or in some cases, impossible, to be near our families and friends).
As tough as it is, I’ve been working hard to accept there isn’t a lot we can to do to change the situation, but being the eternal optimist that I am, I have been looking for ways to take any positives from the situation that I can.
One thing 2020 has challenged me to do, is get more creative with how I connect with friends and family. We might not be able to enjoy all our usual gatherings or get-togethers, but we can still stay in touch and make these relationships stronger than ever with a little effort.
This is probably easier said than done when you already have approximately 7033 other things on your to-do list, so I thought I’d make everyone’s lives a little easier and share my own ideas to make Christmas extra special this year with some thoughtful gifts that are truly personal to the people you love.
Oh, and the best part? I’m all about practicality, so while these ideas are way more meaningful than your average Christmas shopping list, they’ll all be super easy to organise, in fact, you won’t even need to go to the shops! I don’t know about you, but I’ll do anything to avoid a car park at Christmas time… And get my list ticked off early.
Speaking of getting in early, you might be wondering why I’m sharing these ideas with you in October. The thing about thoughtful gifts is that while they’re easy to organise, they’re often hand-made or limited in numbers, so it pays to get in early if you want to secure the perfect gift for everyone on your nice list.
Here are my personal top 5 meaningful Christmas gift ideas to make this year extra special (even if you’re separated from your loved ones).
This idea will be appreciated by anyone, but especially anyone in your life who has a crazy schedule or doesn’t get a lot of time to themselves. Now you can force them to make some time for self-care!
I’m talking about gifting a beautiful experience that they can enjoy by themselves, or even with a partner. Order them a voucher for a facial, massage, dinner, movie or another activity they would love (depending on what’s open in their state right now!).
This is such a thoughtful gift as you can tailor it to something they enjoy, and it’s also perfect for that person who already “has everything”. As a bonus, it’s also super easy to send in the mail - or even by email if you need to!
A creative workshop
If you know someone who needs to take time out, but hates the thought of sitting still for more than 5 minutes, a workshop or class could be perfect.
There are so many out there for creative outlets like painting, drawing, ceramics, resin - you name it! And no, they don’t need to be Picasso to make the most of an experience like this. Many of these classes even come with dinner and wine, so they’re bound to enjoy at least one aspect of the whole experience!
Cork and Chroma offers classes in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and has gift vouchers available to make your life (and Christmas shopping) so much easier.
Another option is Sip ‘n’ Dip Ipswich who have classes all around the region and even some online workshops, so it doesn’t matter where you or your loved one lives. They also offer school holiday programs so the kids can be included too (minus the wine part of course).
Entertainment for the kids
Speaking of kids, I haven’t forgotten about them either!
It’s easy to feel the pressure to buy toys every year, but let’s be honest, there’s only so many toys one child can really love and get plenty of use from. Not to mention it’s hard to know which ones they’ll really enjoy playing with - sometimes the cardboard in the corner turns out to be more exciting.
So if you want to avoid the world of traditional toys, why not think outside the square and go for something they can read or interact with. Lately I’ve been loving subscription-based gifts; they’ll keep the excitement going for months to come (and ease the burden of spending big at Christmas time).
My Creative Box is one amazing service I discovered on Instagram recently; they send monthly craft boxes to keep kids entertained with a new project every few weeks. Yes please!
My son also loves his National Geographics, so this could be another fun idea for little ones. It’s educational and entertaining win-win.
If the kids in your life are into something else, there’s plenty more options where these came from too. The guys over at Brisbane Kids have an amazing list right here.
If you want to take the personal-touch a step further, personalised jewellery is another beautiful idea. There are plenty of online stores including Etsy that allow you to order rings, bracelets or necklaces personalised with names or symbols. You could create something to represent their beloved pet, the names of their kids or even a nickname that you have for them.
I’d recommend only going for this idea if you know someone closely and feel confident picking out a colour and design that you know they’ll want to wear everyday. If you’re not sure, but still want a custom gift, I have one more idea for you coming right up...
A custom illustration
Okay, this is a shameless plug, but naturally I have to mention my custom illustrations. I love this gift idea because it’s a genuine keepsake that someone will have for years to come and it doesn’t get much more personal than a portrait of your loved one! You could order an illustration for a couple, a loved one and their pet, or the whole family.
I love to see my customers get creative and request something a little unique, think about their favourite colour, their nickname, an inside joke that you have together - the more information you share, the more personalised and special your illustration will be. Let me do all the hard work for you!
Delivery is free and you can order your illustration to be shipped straight to your giftee - no trips to the post office necessary. Every illustration is made with love, so be sure to order by December 4th for digital portraits, or November 20th if you’d like a printed copy in time for Christmas.
Left it a little too late? Don’t worry, I also have plenty of art prints and digital download wall prints available online too, so you can still grab a thoughtful, hand-made gift from yours truly. You’ll find those in my Etsy store here.
Christmas might be a little different this year, but I hope this blog has sparked some inspiration to keep the Christmas spirit alive and still have a great time, even if we’re physically distanced.