Present alternatives at Christmas

Present alternatives at Christmas
Bettys Mince Pies

Christmas is about giving, right? But sometimes, there are some really good alternatives to actual presents. Whilst I’m all about that festive vibe and I bloody love choosing things for other people, as much as I love ripping the paper off my own gifts, there are other things you can do. We all have people who we go all out for at Christmas (usually close family and partners), and we also have the people where we agree the budget and purchase small gifts. It’s those people where we have less money to spend where there are perhaps better ways to spend your cash. Here are my ideas for alternative gifts.

The gift of time
Seeing my friends at Christmas is actually a bigger deal to me than presents as when I’m home, we’re a fairly difficult group to pin down at the same time. Agreeing to spend your present budget on dinner, drinks or even afternoon tea and committing to a time that you can spend together gives you chance to have proper ‘quality time’ with your friends. And that’s often more important than spending £15 on a present that you drop off at their door, right?

A charity donation
We all have shit going on in our lives and often it’s shit that can be supported by charities. A little goes a long way with charities at Christmas (as who really has a tenner to spare in December to donate?), so donating your budget, in their name for a cause that’s close to them – well it does a lot more good than a gift set from Boots, doesn’t it?

Support a shoebox appeal
I did this last year when my gym was collecting shoeboxes full of products for the homeless. These are really lovely to put together and you do feel like you’re giving a gift, though it’s to someone who is truly in need at Christmas. This requires a little more effort but this is charity which is you helping someone directly to feel a bit more loved at Christmas.

Write a letter
Get one of those massive Christmas cards and fill it with your memories of what you’ve done together during the year. Thank them for their support, tell them that you’re there for them and make sure they know how important they are to you. One of my close friends found the letters I wrote to her at university as she’s kept every one, and this is the kind of sentiment that we should always hold onto – rather than just seeing ‘Facebook memories’ share a photo or two each day.

So they’re my tips for ditching presents and still feeling festive, will you be trying any of them?


  1. This is such a lovely post Lizzie and so many fab ideas! I particularly like the last idea about writing letters - I think I might do that for my family xxx
    Sophie Cliff

  2. I love this post. I think as you get older a lot of this becomes so much more true. Especially that of time. I think it's so easy to put things off and seeing people and then when you next think about it the months have flown by.