Creative Gift Ideas

Here are my top creative gift ideas and tips to refresh your sense of wonder in the holidays.

The First 5 ideas are to help you think about how to manage your mindset.

Scroll down below those and you will find specific gift ideas to help you think imaginatively about the holidays and also some specific creative gift ideas you can make very inexpensively.

  1. Take the time to envision the kind of holiday you want to have. Ask “what’s the quality of time and experience, I am looking for? This will help you refrain from getting off track and swept up into activities you might regret.
  2. Use your curiosity! If you can approach the shopping and preparing activities of the holidays with a curious perspective, it will help you to stay open to the possibilities and surprises that make it fun. Rather than getting stressed at the small annoyances that inevitably happen along the way.
  3. Remember the pleasure of giving: Check your expectations of others and leave them back in October because they will set you up for disappointments. Think about what you can do to help others, give to others and experience the pleasure of giving. Then any pleasure for receiving is like frosting on the cake.
  4. Engage Gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful emotion. When felt rather than just thought in your head, it can greatly enhance the ease at which you negotiate the holiday activities. It’s even a great way to add to whatever gifts you are giving. Think about someone you appreciate or an experience you remember and feel grateful for. Make note of it in the card you attach to the gift or make the card the gift itself. Acknowledging people is a wonderful gift in itself. Consider starting any holiday gathering by going around the room and having everyone share something they feel grateful for. It’s a wonderful feeling.
  5. Use your creativity, ask yourself “What if__________? “ Fill in the bank to help get it going? “Think outside the box” Making unlikely juxtapositions will also help get it going. See if you can surprise yourself? We are all born creative but we forget we are and don’t always exercise it. Here’s your chance!



Wonder and play go hand in hand so if you can bring a sense of play to your holiday activities, you will be well on your way to connecting to the wonder.

Here are some ideas to get your play in process thinking up some of your own creative gift ideas.

     Pretend you are approaching the holidays as if you were a spotted 3 legged 2 headed giraffe beetle or a giant grasshopper or a walking candle or____________(you fill in the blank). How would that shape your creative gift idea finding or making adventure.

     For shopping, try pretending you are on a treasure hunt. Decide you are open to a playful adventure, go out looking, imagining that you will find the most perfect surprise gift(even though you don’t know what that is yet) and how much fun it will be to give it and see the surprise on your loved one’s face.


Homemade Ornaments: Dry orange peels and paint the inside with some simple designs. The curvy wedge shaped pieces make nice ornaments. What other dried fruit peels or unusual objects could you use to make ornaments or gifts with?

I once saw in my neighbor’s studio that she had done relief carvings in avocado pits and painted them. They were beautiful.

Here is a variation on a gratitude jar Experience Preserves



Silver Lining Lenses: Take an old pair of glasses remove the lenses and wrap with aluminum foil the become “Silver Lining Lenses” for your loved one to keep on hand for when they are having a hard time. One of my thesis advisers gave me a pair of kryptonite resistant focusing goggles when I was having a difficult time writing. Thus, my idea for silver lining lenses was sparked by his playful imaginary focusing goggles (that actually worked!)


Make a mystery box: put some object in a box like one of those Halloween eyes that roll around but always look up and put a hole in the top of the box and one in the side of the box. One is to peek through and the other is to let light in so you can sort of see something in there. Make up a tale that has hints about the mystery in the box. (I know it is a little weird but I actually made one and gave it to my brother who liked pranks. It made us all laugh.)


Multi-location Tea: One of my brothers, when he was away at college sent my other brothers and myself each a cup from a set of cups so we could all have tea together even though we were not physically in the same location.


Rain Check: Great for when you are low on funds for shopping or gifts: Cut out a piece of mat board or cardboard in the shape of a check mark. Paint it with raindrops (silver pens work great for this). Wrap it and give it as a rain check.


Give the gift of making a special dinner: A card that says good for one special dinner made by Chef_________(your name) on a date of your choosing and a menu of ________(make it up).


If you have in the past given homemade sweets treats but are now concerned about giving sweats and want to be healthy consider giving a foot rub or a massage. Condiments, pickles, spices or teas are also great alternatives to cookies or candy. Or, tea with a card that says tea for two at a time of your choosing.


Consider what kind of experience could you give to someone that would leave them with a wonderful memory?

I hope these few creative gift ideas get you sparked to play with the holidays. Make some of them or let your mind roam and come up with some other ideas.

If you enjoyed these creative gift ideas and tips you might also enjoy "To the Point" my monthly e-newsletter.

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Lisa Kellogg
Rosendale, NY 12472
845.658.9120

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