If you’re anything like me, then you probably hate shopping for Christmas gifts. It’s not because you don’t like buying things for people—it’s just that it can be very, very difficult to know what to buy. Nowadays, it can sometimes seem like people have everything. It also seems like it gets more and more difficult to get people things that they can actually use. Unless you know them very, very well—you are more than likely going to be taking a shot in the dark if you buy them anything other than a gift card.

 

But gift cards also tend to be sort of ‘blah’. I mean, their nice—but to me, it always seems like I’m saying “Hi, I don’t really know you well enough to know what to buy you, so here’s a gift card.”

 

Again, I don’t want to knock the gift cards—but sometimes I want to give people something that’s a bit more meaningful.

 

Here are three possible gift ideas that are a little bit different—but that just might solve your problem. As it turns out, you might not have to buy the right thing—and here’s why. The greatest gift of all might be made of something better than plastic, steel, or wood. Giving someone a little bit of your time might be all that is required to give the very best Christmas gift possible.

 

Cook a Christmas dinner for your friends and sit down to visit afterwards

Inviting someone over for a Christmas dinner might seem sort of ‘normal’, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be appreciated. Plus, once dinner is over, you can make it a point to sit down and to spend some quality time together. Ask them how everything is going. Catch up on current news. Display interest in who they are and what they’re doing. Take some time to learn about them, and make them feel like you truly value their company.

 

Have a play-day with your children

Kids can be tough to buy presents for sometimes—but this Christmas, try to make sure that they get some quality time with you as well. Spend some time playing with baby dolls or action figures. Take them to lunch or treat them to a milkshake. Ask them how their day has been. Some of the most rewarding conversations I’ve ever had have been with my 3 year old daughter. She always has something to say, and I’ve never regretted taking the time to let her tell me what’s going on in her life.

 

We don’t always do a good job of remembering that our children really value time spent together—so try to keep that in mind, and remember that your relationship is more important than toys or gadgets.

 

Make a phone call to a distant relative

Sometimes talking to distant relatives can be awkward—but picking up the phone and doing it anyway is good for everyone. Try to catch up and take an interest in their life. Invite them over for dinner and tell them how much you miss them. Let them know that you’ve been thinking about them, and wish them a merry Christmas.

 

It might seem like a simple gesture—but sometimes the simplest gestures are the most memorable ones.