7 Great Christmas Gift Ideas When You Don’t Know What to Give

Updated: December 6, 2022

Christmas is a season for gift-giving. And as much as it’s exciting to receive gifts, it’s also a bit disappointing when you get a present that you don’t really like.

Do you agree?

That’s why in giving presents, it’s important to get something that the receiver will appreciate. It could be something we know that they need. Or better yet, something they actually asked for.

However, there are still those whom we really have no idea as to what gift they’d like to receive. Or you do know what they want, but it’s too expensive for your budget.

So, what’s a great and affordable Christmas gift when you have no clue what to buy? Here are seven gift ideas you can choose from.

1. Your personal time

A friend whom I haven’t seen in recent months made an effort to meet me last week. We spent the whole afternoon talking at a coffee shop, and it was a nice experience.

Before we parted, he confessed that because he’s trying to manage his budget, he’s simply giving his personal time to friends as his Christmas gift. And I said it was a gift that I wholeheartedly accept.

We’re all busy, especially during this season. So giving them your personal time is a big deal and something that I’m sure your friends or family would appreciate.

You can attend an event or party with them, accompany them on their holiday shopping, or just do anything that the person likes doing.

2. Your professional service

I’ve actually given this as a gift several times. And similar to giving your personal time as a gift, I have offered my professional services as a financial planner to a few friends as my Christmas gift.

I told them that instead of buying them stuff that they’d probably already have, I’d instead give them business or investing advice. But only if it’s something they’d like.

So far, all of those whom I’ve offered this gift has accepted it. And I’m glad that they did.

3. A mutual fund or stock investment

This is another gift that I’ve also given a few times, especially to my godchildren. And it’s one of those presents whose value appreciates with time.

Talk to your mutual fund or stockbroker. Ask about how you can give funds or company shares as a gift. I’m sure they’ll be able to assist you.

4. Give an experience

I recently won in a raffle and got gift certificates to a dinner-for-two in a buffet restaurant. Instead of using them myself, I plan to give them to a friend and his wife as their Christmas gift.

Sometimes, we get these for free. Or we have access to discounted prices. Regardless, it is something we can always give as a gift.

The most common ones are concert tickets, museum vouchers, movie passes, archery lessons, and even local tours. Just make sure it’s an activity that your receiver would enjoy.

5. Gift certificates or vouchers

Speaking of gift certificates and vouchers, these are actually great gifts in my opinion. And it’s a better alternative than just giving cash, especially to our godchildren.

A lot of shops and boutiques sell these and a few at discounted prices too! Among my favorite to give, Sodexo passes because they’re accepted by a lot of merchants.

6. Baked goodies or pastries

Filipinos love to eat. That’s why you’ll never go wrong with giving food as a gift.

Baked goodies and pastries are on top of this list. But I’ve gotten and likewise enjoyed receiving imported snacks, chocolates, specialty coffee, and tea as holiday gifts.

Moreover, if you know how to bake or cook, then this is a great opportunity to offer your friends and family, a labor of your love.

7. Something simple but useful

Lastly, anything that has an uncommon utility, no matter how simple, can be a great Christmas gift.

When I say uncommon utility, I’m talking about something that people don’t really think of buying but would find useful if they have it.

So skip the mugs, towels, and picture frames, which are all too common. Instead, give a can opener, cord clips, post-it notes and pens, pillboxes, travel kits, or anything else that’s similar.

I’ve actually gifted all of those before and my friends have all appreciated them. Of course, it helps to know something about their lifestyle so you can choose a gift that they’d find useful.

What do you give someone who has everything?

A friend asked me this question last year. He was thinking of a gift to give his father-in-law, who seems to indeed have everything for he is a self-made man who has created a good life for himself and his family.

My answer to him…

Give your father-in-law the gift of time with his daughter. Instead of just visiting them on Christmas Day, tell your wife to visit and stay at their home a couple of days early so the two of them can spend some time together.

And that’s what he gave – plus a personalized mug with a note thanking him for giving his daughter’s hand to him. His father-in-law immediately understood his gift when he read that note, and hugged him for the very first time.

So now I’m wondering, what would my friend give his father-in-law this Christmas? I’m excited to find out.

Author’s Note:
This article was written in 2018. In light of the pandemic, please follow health and safety protocols when going outside this holiday season. Stay safe and stay healthy. Thank you.

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  1. Super article. I especially loved the last idea and would be doing that except that my wife’s Dad who she completely adored passed away two years ago on 1 December. She still has her Mom and yes, my Mother In Law is a sweetheart of a person. I think I now know exactly what one of her gifts will be this year.

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