I think most of us would like the gifts that we give to be as beneficial as possible. For me, that means I prefer not to give a gift that takes up space on a shelf for 5 years and never gets used.
As a giver, I love seeing a gift get used and enjoyed, but even better than that is when a gift has lasting value in a person’s life.
In an attempt to help you and I find some gift ideas that aren’t typical consumer goods, I put together this list of Christmas gift ideas (or really any occasion) that will have lasting value in the life of the recipient.
These are perfect Christmas gift ideas for those who have everything or who don’t want anything.
Oh and if you want to just see the most popular typical gift ideas from Amazon, you can just click here, but in the rest of this article, I am focusing on gift ideas for people who don’t want anything, minimalists, and really anyone who would enjoy an atypical gift that has lasting value.
1. Give the gift of Stock
Did you know that you can now buy someone a share (or a partial share) of their favorite company? And in some cases, with a gift card?
Check out this video to see how it works with Stockpile:
2. Buy a goat in honor of someone
Heifer is a great charity that works with more of the approach of “teaching a man to fish” rather than just “giving him a fish”. They allow you to give cows, goats, chickens, and other livestock to those in need in developing nations. The recipients then have a sustainable source of milk or food that they can obviously use themselves, but also help others in their community.
They make it really easy to give gifts in honor of someone, so for the charitable-minded person on your gift list, this could be a win-win.
3. Audible Subscription
“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
While I don’t 100% agree with this quote, I think we all get the point. Reading is one of the best ways to change the trajectory of our lives. Reading changes our thinking and as such changes us.
I do enjoy reading actual books, but I find that listening to audiobooks with Audible helps me greatly increase the number of books each year.
And Audible lets you gift books (or credits) to anyone you like. If you aren’t a member yourself you can get a month free and get my 31-day devotional for free with it. 😉
4. Contribute to 529
If you want to offset some of the typical gifts for kids with something that will have lasting value, consider contributing to (or starting) a 529 College savings plan for them.
Each state is different, but I have found that it really is a pretty simple process to get started. Here is a quick tutorial on how to do this.
5. The Passion Translation Bible
I have been reading this Bible paraphrase lately and am really loving it.
It is fresh and modern, but is a bit less of a paraphrase than the Message version.
If you are looking for a gift for someone who loves studying the Bible, this would be a good one!
6. Spotify Music Subscription
I have been using Spotify for nearly 10 years and I love it. I listen enough that it is well worth it to me to pay the monthly subscription to get rid of the ads.
If you are looking for a gift for the music lover in your family, this would be a good one.
7. Amazon Prime Membership (3-months)
I really don’t want to love Amazon as much as I do. But the truth is that there are so many items that seem to be only found on Amazon. And for those out in rural areas, it really opens up a lot of options that the local stores don’t have.
For those who don’t know, a membership is far more than just free 2-day shipping. You also get:
- Streaming video (a very worthy Netflix competitor)
- Streaming music (like Pandora)
- Unlimited photo storage
- Free Kindle books
- And a ton more stuff
8. DNA Test Kit
This might sound like an odd gift, but this is actually a really popular gift idea. I did one of these tests and was fascinated by the results. There are 2 big players: Ancestry DNA and 23andMe.
Both give you a report showing you where your ancestors migrated from – which may not be the same story that has been passed down in your family.
And the 23andMe test provides info on genetic predispositions to certain health issues. You may not want that information, but for those who are curious, it is available with the test.
Oh, and it doesn’t hurt – you just have to mail back a saliva sample. 😉
Butcherbox is how I buy almost all my meat. Once a month I get a box in the mail with all the meat that our family will eat for the month.
We get grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and Alaskan salmon delivered to our door. I absolutely love the quality and simplicity of this service and if I didn’t use it already this would be a gift I would love!
I created a video showing how it works if you want more info:
10. Buy a mug from Haiti
We have partnered with FMSC for the last few years and I love these guys. They are a great Christian organization feeding millions around the globe each year and they have a marketplace of goods made by people in developing nations that you can buy.
Each item bought provides a number of meals to those in need. In this case, with one of these mugs, it will provide 56 meals!
The mugs are just one of the dozens of items they have available for sale, so definitely check out their marketplace here!
For more ideas:
Ok, so I now have some Christmas gift ideas for my wishlist, how about you?
This is a great list! I want them all My top picks would be the I pad and computer. The day of getting clothes must be gone.
ST from Lansdowne,PA says
Personal clothing items might be needed.
Other clothing is bought on SALE or from a thrift shop. I bought a summer dress form a thift shop (at least five years ago and it still looks great).
I am not a small size so I must try on all items. I just looked for a pair of jeans the other day (mine are over 5 years old) and I went into “STICKER SHOCK.” They wanted $50 for a pair of jeans with holes in the thighs. I think I”ll just keep trimming the threads on mine and keep on wearing them. I tried jeans from other stores and they just did not fit “RIGHT.” I’m tired of trying on clothing and not have it fit. Where did I put my sewing machine ? 🙂
Craig Grella says
I asked my wife for a guitar a few years ago and was surprised when she actually got it for me. I’ve been playing every since. Alot of fun!
I said three stuff there
Craig Grella says
Yeah, David. Now the trick is getting the spouse to buy them as gifts for you!
The Kindle Fire was on my list, but I ended up winning one in a contest on another blog. Just received it via UPS yesterday, and love it so far! Great little device – especially for the price!
Otherwise, I understand about it being hard to come up with something – I feel like I already have everything I could ever need – I’m so blessed!
They are good ideas but how about listing more reasonably priced items.
Deborah, like I mentioned earlier, I just took the information that all the readers said they wanted and turned it into a list.
Joan V says
Thanks for putting the list together and doing a lot of the research. I had a camera on my list. Thanks for pointing out a different one that I had thought I wanted.
Oh, never thought about the running shoes. I love NB shoes. I love that they are still made in the USA!
Also, thanks for the couch-to- 5k web site. I just started running this year and any inspiration or information I can get to better myself is wonderful. Thanks.
Thanks again for the list.
Though I want a few things on that list, they are just a bit more than I want my wife to spend on me. So… my list is still mostly blank. Do have a few books on there, though. 😀
Thanks for putting this list together!
(My wife’s been wanting one of those mixers for some time now.)
ST from Lansdowne,PA says
Don’t forget to get a “personal item” for your wife.
Does she like music…what is her favorite group/singer ? Does she read….favorite author ???
A mixer is nice for the kitchen but buy something for “HER”.
j webster says
So, you didn’t mention who won and what they won.
I’ll be waiting by my email for the one that says you got me the ipad. ;-p
So three out of 10 gift ideas are from Apple. I wouldn’t mind receiving an Apple laptop this Christmas!
Carol J. Alexander says
I’m so amazed, Bob, that 7 out of 10 of the top gift picks are electronic toys (unless,of course, you use the laptop for business). Whatever happened to clothing, jewelry, sports equipment, or musical instruments? I’m seriously getting concerned about the ability of the typical American to enjoy things that are not plugged into an outlet.
That said…thanks for the reviews because a camera and a laptop are on my list. 🙂
I agree Carol, that is pretty funny. You will be happy to know that while I do have some electronic goodies on my own list, I also have a seed starting kit, a pocket knife, and a hand grain mill 😉
Carol J. Alexander says
We have a Country Living Grain mill. With the extension bar, my teen boys used it by hand for a couple years before hubby attached a motor. We love it cause it can do any fineness (like grits to flour) and if we lose power, we can still use it.
I love board games! My husband picks out a new family game each year. We play & play over the holiday break and have great memories teaching friends our new game.
Just last night, my college daughter had friends over for Game Night and they loved the selection. It was fun hearing them laugh sharing their answers while playing their game pick of the night.
Mo Dolan says
Some of these are great, but I’m thinking of getting Scarffish for most of the people on my list. They’re gorgeous handmade scarves, only $35, and come in spectacular colors.
Hey, i just wanted to say how cool your website is Bob. Also this page made me, a thirteen year old girl, think about what i want for the holidays and guess what? I have a (old fashioned :3) digital camera, Guess who? board game, and a couple of other simple things on my list. Reading all the other comments made me realize that I should go easy on my mom and just ask for what I will actually use and what will be the easiest on her bank account. 😀
vinish parikh says
Nice ideas, this year I am going with amazon prime membership for my wife. I hope she likes the gift this year as I have been not succeeded in making her happy from past 2 Christmas.
It’s truly very complicated in this full of activity life to listen news on TV, so I just use internet
for that reason, and get the newest news.
Great list! Thank you. The Stockpile idea as a gift is fun and potentially profitable too.
Caitlin Skinner says
One of the things my dad instilled in me and I used it when I request things for myself (although now that I am older and there are other littles in the family we don’t really do gifts for adults) is: if it’s going to sit an collect dust on a shelf; I don’t want it. So I would prefer things like: something I can eat or an experience or something I will actually use (like a journal or snail mail cards etc etc). It’s help to save alot of headache. This year I am gifting my sister’s family a year long pass to the state aquarium. It’s the gift that keeps on giving because they can go multiple times over the year and not have to pay anything but parking!
Megan Buerkle says
Legitimately great list!!! Thanks Bob!