There is no better time than the holidays to let those we love know we care. Cards and gifts convey special messages of goodwill, good health and love to friends and family near and far. 

Many gifts, while well-intended, might not turn out to be as ideal as the giver may have thought. The week after Christmas, retail stores report the most returned gifts include board games, toiletries and fragrances, slippers, christmas sweaters, fitness DVDs, selfie sticks, shoes, kitchen appliances, candles and glassware.

A gift everyone is sure to appreciate is the gift of cash. Impersonal as it may be, the recipient can use it in any way they please. Gift cards also offer flexibility, but mind the fine print – some gift cards lose value over time or charge fees, so it’s important to choose wisely.

If you’re wanting to give something with a more personal touch, here are some suggestions for meaningful gifts that could very well suit most everyone on your list:


Concert tickets, sporting events, movie passes, theater tickets, golf rounds, a night in a backcountry hut or B&B, snowmobiling or rafting all make for memorable experiences.

The Gift of Time

A babysitter or house cleaner offers a welcome break from the day to day grind. Making a special dinner (complete with doing the dishes), gift certificates for a massage, mani/pedi or a car wash/detail all give back precious time.


A gift membership to a local museum, parks pass, rec center, theme park, zoo or “of the month” club provides year-round engagement.


Cooking, painting/art, pottery, music, dance and sports lessons offer opportunities to learn something new or hone skills.


Scrapbooks, photos (book or digital frame), a family cookbook or calendar give a lifetime of memories at a glance. 

Food & Drink

A fruit basket, bottle of wine, growler of beer or favorite liqueur, homemade cookies and breads, restaurant and coffee gift cards are thoughtful items everyone appreciates.


Unless that special someone is totally onboard with adding a new member to the family, it is never a good idea to give anyone a pet they did not choose. A trip to the local shelter is a great way to introduce the commitment.

It is always said that “it’s the thought that counts”. No one will like you less if you didn’t get them that ‘perfect’ gift. Knowing the special people in your life, a little thoughtfulness makes gift giving much easier. Happy Holidays!