Mother Theresa said: “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” I think one of the hardest parts about giving gifts is moving away from the idea that a gift needs to be bought for it to be a ‘proper’ gift.

Getting someone a non-monetary gift takes a lot of time, effort, patience and thoughtfulness. This year, I will try to move away from the idea that a gift needs to cost money and try to craft gifts, tailored to the receiver.

If you want to go down the same route and need some inspiration, I have rounded up some ideas you might want to try. Let’s try to put as much love into giving as we can!

Grow love

If you have a plant-lover in your life, this gift will be one they will truly cherish. Grow them a plant!

It sounds simple, but it actually requires a lot of time and effort and will definitely show that you care.

All you need are some seeds, soil, a pot, water and a good dose of patience. I am sure if you have a look around the family yard, you will find everything you need to grow your plant.

Try to up-style your plant by making your own plant labels or markers. You can even go a step further and make a card in which you describe the planting process you went through.

With just a few weeks left till Christmas, I suggest you get planting straight away.

Send love

Letters are a thing of the past for many, but maybe because they are now such a novelty, they mean so much more. ‘Just in case’ letters are a great gift that will bring the receiver joy, comfort and lifting throughout the new year.

The idea is to have a bunch of envelopes, titled ‘just in case’ with subtitles like ‘you feel lonely’, ‘you feel unmotivated’, ‘you miss home’, ‘you want a good laugh’.

Each envelope contains a corresponding letter to the topic, offering advice, quotes, love or jokes.

The creative aspect is endless and this will definitely be one of those gifts that keeps on giving.

Play love

Mixtapes are out, but that does not mean that playlists are. This one requires a bit of time if you want to make it stand out from your ordinary playlists.

Sit down and make a list of all the songs you know your loved one likes and of the songs that the two of you have fond memories of.

Whether you were listening to them when you were backpacking in Australia, dancing in your local club, a wedding song or the song that was playing when you had a deep talk at 3am in the morning, I guarantee you it will transform them back to that point in time and put a smile on their face.

Cook love

It seems so simple, but is so effective. A home-cooked meal, prepared with love, care and time is a gift from the heart.

Although eating out can be fun in the festive season, it is often combined with a lot of stress around getting in, time limits on the table and the dilemma about getting home after a few drinks.

Put on a show-stopper meal and bring the restaurant to your home. Design a menu with all of your loved one’s favourite meals, decorate the table, use that Spotify playlist to set the mood and have some quality time.

We all need some proper downtime this Christmas and sometimes home, good food and a loved one will give us exactly that.

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