AMOS & CELIA HEILICHER MINNEAPOLIS JEWISH DAY SCHOOL

Eight Unique Un-Gift Ideas for the Holidays

This year, why not opt-out of the holiday buying game altogether? Imagine no more trying to find a parking spot at the MOA, waiting in interminable lines at the stores, and trying to make room in your house for yet another gadget or toy. How about instead, you give a few meaningful gifts that will last? 

We compiled a list of our favorite holiday gifts that don’t require a trip to the store, but will still bring joy to your family this holiday season. 

1. Volunteer Together  - One of the best ways to practice the value of tikkun olam/תיקון עולם/repairing the world is to volunteer as a family. If you aren’t sure where to serve, choose an issue you care about and chances are there will be an organization that serves the need.  

Here are a couple of resources that can help you and your family find the right fit: 

Doing Good Together

Volunteer Match 

2. Have Fun Together  -  Spend a morning or afternoon with the family on a fun outing. Whether it’s a trip to one of the Twin Cities’s family friendly museums, your local bowling alley, or getting outside to experience the Minnesota winter with sledding or ice skating. Doing something new together provides the opportunity to laugh and make memories that last. 

3. A Letter - Write a letter to your child or partner expressing your love and gratitude for them. Don’t worry if it isn’t a literary masterpiece, putting to paper your feelings is a gift worth saving over the years. 

4. Photo Book/Print - With so many pictures on smartphones these days, print a few photos or make a book that your recipient will treasure. A great idea for babies and young kids is to create a family photo book with family members’ names and pictures. You can create one online or use an extra board book to make one yourself. For your own DIY book, cover the book’s pages with scrapbook paper. Using printed photos of your family member’s face, glue a picture to each page. Label each person’s picture using stickers or markers. You can even leave a few blank pages in the back, so you can include new family additions over the years. 

5. Recipe Collection -  Fill a small book or recipe box with a couple of your favorite Hanukah/חנוכה or other holiday recipes. Your recipient can try out the recipes and add their own favorites over time.

6. Make an honorary donation to your (or their) favorite organization - Research worthy charities and make a donation in your family’s/recipient’s honor. This type of gift is always appreciated and is a great option for role modeling  the mitzvah/מצווה/commandment of tzedakah/צדקה/charity for the young people in your life.

7. Something Yummy To Eat - You don’t have to be a gourmet chef for this one to be a hit. If frying latkes/potato pancakes or baking holiday cookies isn’t your thing, why not give a frozen meal or create a “cookie in a jar” type mix. Pair any of these options with a card and you have an easy gift. A great idea for those busy friends or family members. 

8. A Day Off - Not necessarily the most fun for the giver, but a fun one for the recipient. Create a homemade voucher for “A Day Off” of household chores. Whether it’s given to your kids or partner, it will be a day that person will remember fondly. And when redemption day comes, plan something fun for yourself. A fun activity or special treat will make those extra household chores a little more bearable. 



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