Gifts with an impact

Happy week before Christmas (if you celebrate)! ‘Tis the season for buying gifts for your loved ones with hopes they don’t use the gift receipt you almost forgot to get them, because you typically only buy for yourself (or is that just me?)… This year, I’ve been feeling really good about how productive I’ve been with shopping for my family and friends and luckily I don’t have a lot of last minute shopping I still need to do. I enjoy getting people gifts. Whether it be a grand gesture gift that cost me hundreds of dollars (lol that almost never happens) or even if it’s as simple as the ones down below, I genuinely enjoy trying to think of something someone will appreciate. It also brings me great stress, but we can just ignore my anxiety for this post…

Sometimes, I find the most simple gifts leave the greatest impact. Sometimes you don’t need to spend more than five dollars to give someone the gift of their year. Typically, if you just put a little time or thought into a gift, the response you’ll get can be well worth it. Here are some gifts I’ve done in the past that haven’t cost much and were a good use of time.

Compliment jar

Sometimes, all someone needs is a little jar filled with encouraging messages from friends and family or just quotes to get them through the day. I once did this for a friend and filled the jar with over one hundred little pieces of paper with quotes, bible verses, messages from friends, etc. and to this day she says it’s one of the nicest gifts she’s ever been given. This can take a little or as much time as you want. All you need is a jar (I always go for a Mason jar) and some scrap paper (I use scrapbook paper or anything lying around really).

What you need:

  • Jar with lid
  • Scrapbook paper/spare paper
  • Pens
  • Patience
  • Probably a Pinterest account for quotes

Letter Book

This takes time. A lot of time. And a lot of effort. When my friends were graduating college, I reached out to their families and other friends asking them to write the person a letter and send over a picture they love of them with the person. The amount of tears and joy these little books have brought to my friends is priceless AND they ended up surprising me with one in the long run. Truly one of the most thoughtful gifts.

What you need:

  • Scrapbook/Journal
  • Glue or tape
  • Pens
  • Letters from family and friends of loved one
  • Photos of loved one with family, friends, and you (duh)


  • Cute stickers
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Fancy pens

NOTE: This does eventually add up if you choose to print extra photos and buy quite a bit of scrapbooking supplies. 

Quality Time – Choose Your Own Adventure

This can be whatever you want it to be. Start with a card explaining what this means. “Today, we’re going on an adventure totally chosen by you.” Stick to your budget and pick different options. Maybe it’s “Ice Cream” or “iPhone Photo Shoot“, “Walk around the park” or “Coffee by the fire“. All you’d need is some scrap paper to make the different options and no more than $20 depending on what you think would be a fun day together — your friend/family member then gets to choose along the way.


What you need:

  • Scrapbook paper (or any paper)
  • Knowledge of things to do around you
  • A budget
  • Card
    • You can make your own card if you feel up to the task

And there you have it! Three simple gift ideas. Now, I get it, not all of these are simple (we’re looking at you letter book), but overall, if you choose to put some time and effort into a gift like this, you’ll make a huge impact on a friend or family member, while staying on a budget.

It’s so easy to fall into the materialistic things during this time of year…I’m definitely someone who typically falls into wanting all types of new “things”, but as I sat here and thought of the best gifts I’ve been given, these are what came to mind.

I hope this season brings you a lot of joy, adventure, and time with loved ones. Next week we wrap up 2018 (finally, amirite?) and then we’re into the New Year!

Happy holidays everyone & thanks for reading,


P.S. I forgot to ask, what’s the best gift you’ve been given or what’s the most creative gift you’ve given someone else? Let me know in the comments!

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just a girl inspired by traveling, dogs, and the people who surround her.

2 thoughts on “Gifts with an impact

  1. Best gift was a check for 3 grand from a dead great grandmother I didn’t really know well, ha. I remember laying in bed on a Saturday afternoon watching TV and my dad comes in and tosses an envelope on me and walks out. That was a great day! I mean it was a bittersweet day. But just give me the money! That’s all I want for gifts. Theres nothing like opening a card and having a brand new 50 or 100 dollar bill fall out.

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