Receiving gifts is one of the five main love languages. Actions mean so much more than words. When the people around you say they want nothing for Christmas, they probably mean that. They just want quality time with you. Regardless, I’m here to help you find inexpensive yet personal gifts for these people in your life.

First, spend some time thinking about each person before you go out to buy presents. Give them a call and learn of little things that may annoy them. Step into their shoes to find a gift that could make their days a bit brighter.

holiday gifts

Dad, I love you.

We’ll start with our fathers. Finding the perfect sentimental gift for my dad is definitely a challenge each Christmas. I try to avoid the inevitable tool set he will no doubt receive. A convenient gift, of course, but not as sentimental. My dad is notorious for repeating the same words every year when I ask what he’d like for Christmas. “All I want is to spend time with you.” Although my dad is pleasantly the least complicated person in my life, it is always complicated to find him that perfect gift.

Since college, most of us don’t spend near as much time at home as we used to. Dad’s live for quality time. Consider a nostalgic gift that reminds him of a past bonding moment between the two of you. For example, if you two used to fish together when you still lived under his roof, invite him to go with you while you are home over break. The more personal, the better. If your dad loves to watch football games, ask him to go throw the ball in the backyard for a bit. A gift doesn’t have to be the traditional box wrapped under the tree.

If you wish you could get your dad concert tickets to see his favorite musician:

  • Buy him a CD to play while driving.
  • Make a mixtape for him.
  • Sit down and catch up with him while his favorite songs are playing in the background.

I don’t know if I’m speaking for most dads, but mine hates to shop. This leaves him with a limited wardrobe. You can never go wrong with getting your dad another one of those shirts you always see him wearing or a new pair of jeans. If you do get him clothes, maybe leave a little note in the pocket for him to find later.

Mom, you're the best.

Moms are selfless. They are always doing something to take the haul off of everyone else and they deserve to know just how valuable they are. Just like dads, they rarely reveal what they really want for Christmas. They probably haven't even stopped to think about it. Try to think of a gift that will take away some of her stress.

Things to make her day a little less chaotic:

  • A nice calendar that suits her
  • A journal
  • Gifts to show your appreciation:
  • A simple love letter
  • A hand with housework during the holiday break
  • Breakfast in bed

Sister, you are so beautiful.

My younger sisters are the lights of my life. There is something about watching a younger sibling grow up knowing we are their role model. The siblings you are close to really just want to be around you for the holidays.

  • If you want some quality time with them:
  • Bring them out to eat or shop together
  • Watch your favorite movies
  • Play some board games. You could also gift a new game for the two of you to play.

She’s not that complicated:

  • She probably wants a new makeup palette or some nice hair products. Just ask for the specifics.
  • Buy her unique jewelry that reminds you of her.
  • Perfume can be tricky but if you get it right, she’ll love it.
  • Unique socks, simple yet effective.

Brother, sorry I called you an idiot.

Older brothers are like mini dads. They like to give you a hard time, but you know they’d do anything for you. Brothers, younger or older, know when you need to be called out. Think of gifts that might emphasize an inside joke that you have. My brother can’t grow facial hair and I’ll never forget his reaction when gifted beard oil. Gag gifts are a cheap and memorable way to go.

If he plays video games:

  • A new mouse pad.
  • Rechargeable batteries for his controller.
  • A new headset
  • T-shirts
  • Posters

Grandparents, you sweeten my life.

There is never a conversation between my grandparents and I without us picking on each other. They love you to death and want to see you happy.

  • Corny, I know, but they’d love a framed headshot of you.
  • Spend a day baking with your grandmother.
  • Get them to tell you stories of when they were young. I know they can get long, but you’ll be the same way someday.
  • Get them a cozy blanket.
  • A bird feeder

Significant other, thank you for understanding me to no end.

Your significant other often becomes your rock. You can go to them with any concern and know there will be no judgment. You know each other better than anyone so find a gift that shows them just that.

  • Do your research and find an engaging book for them.
  • Take them out to do their favorite things.
  • Sneakers, jewelry, hoodies.

The last thing your loved ones want is for you to stress over finding them the perfect gift. Keep it simple but make it personal. Just make sure they know how important they are to you.

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