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Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

What do you get someone who has everything? It is becoming increasingly more difficult to find great gifts for people nowadays as we with a simple click we can buy it ourselves. This is making those of us who pride ourselves in giving good gifts to strive to do better every year. We have already talked about sustainable gifts and handmade gifts before, so this time we want to suggest some other, perhaps less object focused, Christmas gifts.

Memberships and Subscriptions

If your giftee has an interest in history and heritage, annual memberships for the National Trust or British Heritage might be greatly appreciated. There are memberships for all sorts of things, such as the RSPB, the RHS for keen gardeners, there’s also a British Cycling Federation they can join. If you are buying for a film buff, there’s bound to be a cinema nearby which also offer perks. Of course, subscriptions to newspapers or magazines are also a great idea.

Subscriptions boxes are a concept that that taken off. You can find subscriptions to practically anything: flowers, beer, alcohol, chocolate, food, allotment, crafts, beauty, books and even shaving. One we love the sound of is And Other Stories, which uses the subscription money to translate and publish works from authors and then sends them to subscribers before they launch: it’s basically editorial crowd-sourcing.


Image Credit: National Trust

Out and About

Organise a trip away centred on what they like. If they are into things such as vintage, museums, books or sport for example, plan a trip to London or another city that is popular for the specific activity your giftee is keen on. If it’s expensive, you can club some money together with other family members. You could also give them a course or workshop on sewing, cooking or woodwork.

Of course, you can organise a skydiving experience, zorbing, a visit to the Warner Bros Studio for an annual Harry Potter fix, dinner at the Shard, a visit to the theatre, a concert of a lifetime or driving a classic car. The list is endless. There are plenty of websites where you can find these types of offers.



If you’re still waiting for inspiration for that one special idea, you could look into naming a star after someone. There’s a bit of controversy as to how official this is, so you might want to do some research yourself.

If your friend has expressed or shown an interest in a new hobby, help them get started by either organising a practice class or getting them equipment they will require. There might also be a convention that brings together people with similar interests, look into them as well!

If you can’t really spend much money at all, a playlist is a really nice idea as well. It can be based around an idea, your relationship and memories, their life… Or, you could give them a coupon book with chores and favours they can call upon you whenever, such as babysitting, washing the dishes, making dinner, do the weekly shop.

Of course, if the giftee really doesn’t want anything and has made this clear to all, there charities such as Oxfam that give you the option of buying something specific for someone in need.


What other object-free suggestions do you have? Let us know in the comments! 

Zoe Allison

Zoe Allison

Writer and expert