Gift The Liv Way. My Gift Guide (including free things)
*Nothing in this post is sponsored and all opinions are completely my own*
Ahh Christmas… The time of year where presents become a ‘thing’. I have to admit, I’m not a very gift kind of person. I didn’t grow up in a gift giving family. Don’t get me wrong, I am fortunate to have had a privileged childhood, and never wanted for anything. But come Christmas time, my parents were never the kind to shower us in toys, and we certainly were never unwrapping presents.
I am actually very grateful for this, and it has certainly placed my values where I feel are in the right place, and that is not placing too much value on what I call “stuff and things”. Minimalism and intention with belongings is a huge part of how I live my life, even how I approach my diet (read more on this here).
And I really do value so much over “stuff and things” and it’s a big reason why in most circumstances in life I opt out of gift giving, even if it’s the norm. And what I mean by that is that I will never give a present for the sake of it. I give and serve with intention when it feels right. And if it doesn’t feel right, I don’t see the point.
I make sure that my friends and the people I love always feel loved and valued by me, whether I’m giving a gift or not. There are some circumstances where I’ll buy a “thing” gift when it feels right, for example if someone puts on a delicious food spread, or had you over and cooks for you, or if they have moved into a new home and you want to serve them by helping them create a space that they love.
But most of the time, I show love in other ways – the first which will come as a surprise to no-one is baking. I LOVE making delicious food for my friends, I pour so much love and effort into the process and ensure it looks amazing and is presented well. There is really nothing like receiving a plate of homemade treats, and it feels so much better for me to give it too. I know deep down that the person on the receiving end feels much more love than if I were to buy them a hand lotion.
I really believe that giving a gift because you have to or just for the sake of it, completely defeats the purpose of a gift, that is to show love.
And if you are into love languages, gifts is the last on my list for both giving and receiving love. Acts of service and touch are my main two love languages (if you happened to be wondering). If you have no idea what I’m talking about, google it.
So… When it comes to gifts, I like to give them in the form of acts of service, whether that is a physical thing or an experience. If that doesn’t make sense to you, maybe you’ll get it when you read my list.
Here is my unusual Christmas gift guide. If you feel like straying from the norm this year, I hope to inspire you with some of these options.
Non “thing” gifts
I recently booked this for a very close friend (who loves yoga) as a surprise. While of course we can go to any studios and do a class, being able to experience a private class together, with an amazing instructor that had the time to devote to our practice, while watching the sun rise over Bondi Beach was such a beautiful experience. Of course we followed with a dip in the ocean… dream morning.
But honestly I highly recommend this as a date idea or something fun to do to change up your regular morning routine. It’s a really special experience.
Price: $40-100 depending on the instructor.
Home Baked Treats
You knew this was going to be in here. There is nothing like receiving a beautiful sweet treat, homemade by a friend. Even if you aren’t super skilled in the kitchen, it makes no difference, and the love that that person will feel is amazing – the fact that you took time out out of your day to create for them shows a lot of love, even more so if you aren’t used to being in the kitchen.
Bonus if you make something sugar-free and nourishing. Since I value the health of my loved ones, it means a lot to me to provide them with treats that will nourish them, and for that reason I never give any kind of junk food – it doesn’t align with my values.
Check out all the free recipes on my recipes page and my ebooks Create and Sweet Christmas for my best show-stopping sugar-free desserts.
Lend A Book
I recently lent a book to a friend who I knew would benefit from reading it, as we had spoken about the idea of overcoming perfectionism and how it’s something that was a huge turning point in my spirituality journey. The book was Mindset by Carol Dweck if you are wondering (highly recommend this one – see here for my full personal development reading list).
But she was so grateful for it, and it ended up making a huge difference in her life, as it did mine. You see this is a way better gift to give someone than a candle or whatever random thing you were going to buy them. It’s the gift of life transformation, I mean, yes! As a bit of a personal development junkie this is music to my ears.
A Lesson In Your Expertise/ Your Time
Holla to all those with a primary love language of acts of service, this one is for you.
I’m yet to give this is as a gift myself, but I have received it a few times, and it’s really stuck out in my mind as something that meant a lot to me and something I am so grateful for.
I was recently given two huge boxes of fresh signature oysters (which were the best oysters I’ve ever had). However they were unchecked, and I have no idea how to shuck oysters, nor do I own an oyster shucker. I messaged a talented friend of mine Taylor, a chef who lives a few doors down, and he came over with his oyster shucker, gave me a full lesson on shucking oysters, then made a yummy sauce to go with, and we sat and enjoyed some oysters! And I learnt a new skill which I will keep forever.
Of course oysters may not be your thing, but the point of the story is that it was an experience I absolutely loved and will never forget. He didn’t buy me anything and it wasn’t my birthday, but I so valued him taking the time to show me and we had some great chats along the way – this is way better than being given “stuff” and things in my opinion.
So what can you give to someone that is along these lines, maybe it’s teaching them something without expecting anything in return. Or even just simply giving up your time to serve someone or to make their day better.
Things that are more like non-thing gifts.
A nice big beautiful one! Crystals can be expensive, which makes them a great gift because people often don’t buy them for themselves. And since crystals hold a sacred energy and all have a purpose, this is one gift for the home and the soul that offers a lot of value beyond just being pretty to look at.
If you are wondering which crystal to choose for a specific purpose, check out Luminosity Crystals (and also her book is amazing – also a nice gift idea – which brings me to my next gift idea)
Coffee Table Books, But Not Just Any Books
Is it just me that is obsessed with coffee table books? I’ve been collecting them for years, before I even had a coffee table to put them on. Fast forward to now and since I thrifted my coffee table, the books that are on it cost me 6x as much as the table itself – and that’s the way I like it. Here are some beautiful recommendations for books that I love, own myself and have given as presents!
Plants For The People by Erin Lovell Verinder
The Astrology Of You And Me by Gary Goldschneider
Secret Kitchen Book by Jana Brunclikova
The Crystal Fix by Juliette Thornbury
Image via Auricle Ear Seeds
Auricle Ear Seeds
This one might seem a little strange but let me explain. Ear seeding is a needle-free form of acupressure (auriculotherapy) which is based on the ancient art of Chinese acupuncture. I recently discovered this product and wanted to take it for a spin, and let me tell you, these are amazing, and totally work!
You can pick various patterns for things like stress, detoxing, hormones and particular pains. They also look really cool on, and you can get silver, gold or crystal. I put them on once or twice a month for a few days, and I really find they make a difference. How beautiful of a gift to give someone, stress relief or healing from whatever ails them.
I hope this post has sparked some ideas of how to give love to the people you value this Christmas.