20 Mostly Free Gift Ideas

20 Mostly Free Gift Ideas

This year’s holidays will be tough for many of us. Often the pinnacle of gathering and gift-giving, this December will instead be marked by quarantine and, for some of us, tighter budgets.

But as this year requires us to pause our normal traditions, get-togethers, and gift-giving expectations, we are given a unique gift in return. We are invited to rethink the very way we approach gifting this holiday.

Take a moment to reflect—why do we give? When we asked ourselves this question, our answers were overwhelmingly to connect with a loved one, to show we care, to bring happiness to others, and to deepen our relationships.

When we reflect on how to translate these intentions into gifts, it becomes clear that giving doesn’t always have to be synonymous with spending. Sometimes those gifts that cost nothing and can’t be bought in the store can have the most impact.

Here we share some of our favorite gift ideas, most of which cost nothing but your time and love.

Get Crafty—Make Something by Hand

We all have special talents we can tap into to make a meaningful gift. Some are obvious—painting, drawing, knitting, crafting, cooking—while others are a bit more subtle—gardening, organizing, and so on. And in the age of DIY, there are endless ideas to recycle what you have around the house into beautiful gifts. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Create a cookbook of special recipes.
  • Share seeds from your garden.
  • Draw (or paint, or write, or knit, or…) something that you know will make them smile.
  • Make your own DIY spice blends from the spices in your cupboard.
  • Make a homemade facial mask.
  • If you’re tech-savvy, record a video, or create a “mixtape” of specially selected songs.


Painting a DIY gift with watercolors

Write Something

This is a great way to share your love and appreciation for another person. How you choose to share—a letter, heartfelt card, poem, or perhaps song lyrics!—is entirely up to you. As you write, reflect on them. How have they impacted your life? What difference have they made in the world? What are your favorite memories with them? What are your hopes for them?

Offer Your Time

If you’re in the same area as some of your friends and family (and if they’re a part of your “COVID bubble”), you could offer your time in ways you know they would appreciate, or have some fun and make a voucher or IOU for a future date.

  • Offer to babysit, pet-sit, or plant-sit.
  • Pledge to be their moving buddy the next time they move.
  • Offer to help around the yard or house.
  • Volunteer in their name.


Pin cushion with multicolored pins

Regift Thoughtfully

Do you own something that you know a loved one would appreciate? When done with intention, regifting can be both beautiful and meaningful.

Tailor it to the person. Perhaps your friend once mentioned wanting to read a book you have on your shelf, or they told you how much they loved your scarf or tea mug. When they open the gift, they’ll know you were listening and that you care.

Offer the Gift of Health

Of course, we have so many ideas around how you can support your loved ones’ health! We have an annual gift guide and a self-care gift guide to help inspire your shopping, and many of these gifts are budget-friendly options.

Looking for additional ideas?

  • Become workout buddies and work out at the same time (albeit in your own homes).
  • Partner with a friend and explore Ayurveda together. As the science of life, many of the ways you can incorporate Ayurveda into your life is free.
  • Be a cheerleader for a loved one who is working to make healthy changes to their daily routine.

Take Time to Connect

With the isolation, stress, and uncertainty we’ve weathered this year, so many of us are craving connection and comfort from one another. Are you feeling this? What about your loved ones? Making time to connect with our loved ones is perhaps the best gift of all.

  • Text a daily affirmation to inspire and motivate them.
  • If you’re in the same area, go for a socially-distanced walk or outside gathering.
  • Give them a call. 
  • Schedule a video call.
  • Plan an online family reunion or game night. Don’t forget to help those who aren’t tech-savvy.


In closing, we can’t help but reflect on the lesson the Grinch inadvertently provided in Dr. Seuss’ immortal story—that the holidays aren’t really about the presents. They’re about coming together—sometimes in creative ways—and showing our loved ones we care.