Meaningful, Mindful Gift Ideas for This Holiday Season

It’s been a challenging year for most of us, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that 2021 can’t come soon enough! We’ve dealt with lockdowns and quarantine, working and schooling remotely, sourdough starters and jigsaw puzzles. There’s also video conferencing fatigue, canceled travel plans, and too much takeout. How do we close out the year in a relevant way that helps us stay connected with and supportive of loved ones? With the December holidays just around the corner, we’ve been thinking about gifts for friends and family that will help do just that. Here are some ideas for meaningful, mindful gifts for this holiday season.

Self Care – Think about the recipient’s idea of self care, and put together a package as unique as they are. Is it interior decor magazines and chai tea? Yoga and facials? Red wine and chocolate? Long walks and audio books? Self care—any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health—is different for each person, so tailor your gifts accordingly.

Gift Cards to Local Businesses – Gift cards to local “mom & pop” shops and restaurants are a terrific way to give a gift while supporting a small business that needs the customers. No matter where your special person lives, there are surely fabulous places they love to patronize.

A Fun and Unique Subscription – How about a monthly succulent, date night, or Japanese snacks box? CrateJoy and My Subscription Addiction have amazing lists of fun, imaginative, and unique subscriptions for everyone on your list. A year of surprises would be fantastic for anyone!

Gifts for Remote Work or School – Help them up their Zoom game; TechCrunch has great ideas for every budget. Give them some at-home portability with a lap desk or better audio with headphones or AirPods. Spruce up their desk with an easel calendar or wireless charging pad/pen holder. Kids could also probably use blue light blocking glasses to ease eye strain (so they can play hours of Minecraft later, LOL).

Hobby or Activity Kit – There are so many out there! I got my avid gardener father-in-law a grow kit from Hamama; he will love growing and eating micro greens! We may also get him a cheese making kit or a mushroom kit—can you tell he’s quarantined and likes to grow and cook things? Uncommon Goods has an amazing list of kits for every interest!

At-Home Games and Escape Rooms – Go beyond board games! My husband and I have a subscription to Hunt A Killer, an immersive mystery game told through six “episodes” or boxes—we have to solve it using all the items and clues in each box. A cheaper, shorter version is Unsolved Case Files. Either way it’s a fun date or family night! Want to gift them something you can all play together from more than one location? Check out these virtual escape room games: The Grimm Escape and Remote Adventures (featuring a live on-camera guide).

Memberships to Nearby Attractions – Many museums, zoos, aquariums, and theaters are offering discounted memberships with extended periods. This would be a delightful and thoughtful gift that also helps those institutions stay afloat.

Gift a Service They Need – Do you have a loved one in need of a regular babysitter, a yard company, a professional organizer, or a food delivery service, but can’t afford it right now? Giving someone a gift of a service they really need is a wonderful way to support them in an area of their life that needs a lift right now.

Homemade or Personalized Gifts – Make your gift even more unique by making it yourself, or getting something personalized. I love scrolling through Etsy for ideas on one-of-a-kind items handmade by talented, imaginative creatives!


No matter what you gift someone, they will appreciate the gesture because your heart was in it. They’ll think of you whenever they use the items. It’s like a big, warm hug from you, whether you live across town or on another continent.

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ~ Maya Angelou


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