The great gifting season is upon us, and we’re all scrambling right now to find just the right gifts for all the important people in our lives. Shopping for gifts takes time, effort and money. Of course, it all pays off in the end, when we’ll see the joy on the faces of our loved ones – but let’s face it, it’s still a lot of work. And this year things might be even more complicated, as widespread supply shortages might interfere with your gift buying plans.

In other words, you might know exactly what toy can make your child jump up and down with joy, but whether you’ll be able to actually purchase said toy is another thing entirely. Hint – unless that toy is already hidden in a drawer in your home, there’s a pretty big risk of not having it delivered by Christmas. Of course, that’s true not just for toys, but also for tech, home décor, accessories and many other popular and typical gift items.

That’s why we decided to come up with alternate gift ideas for family and friends, ones that should not be affected by the current supply chain issues. From experiences to DIY gifts, there are plenty of things you can give, even if you started Christmas shopping a bit late.

1. Gift tickets to events, museums or concerts

Fortunately, tickets to various future events or to museums, amusement parks and other such venues are not subjected to supply chain issues. You’re still able to buy them and give them to your loved ones. And it might even be a better idea than gifting some sort of gadget or novelty that ends up unused in a drawer.

In fact, Millennials appreciate experiences more than any other type of gift, according to a recent survey. So, if you have Millennials among your family and friends, these types of presents will probably fit them like a glove (assuming you know their tastes and hobbies). But it’s a great gift for any age group – most children will be thrilled if they get tickets to an amusement park.

2. E-books and other digital media are always in stock

E-books and digital media are other types of gifts that are always in stock. And we’re talking about anything really, from e-books to access to streaming services and to other types of digital media.  Subscriptions to streaming services are a fun gift: there are so many great movies, shows, music or podcasts out there. You’re not offering an object, but something much better, in the form of hours upon hours of entertainment and fun. You could also offer subscriptions to various classes and online courses that would allow your family and friends to take their hobbies and interests to the next level.

3. Create personalized calendars for grandparents

This is the type of gift that takes a bit of time but very little money, and, in return, will make grandparents (and other family members) feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Select the cutest and funniest pics you took of your little ones over the past year and create a personalized calendar that will brighten the days of grandma and grandpa throughout the entire 2022 year.

4. Regifting is controversial, but don’t write it off just yet

Regifting is generally frowned upon – and, indeed, it’s not recommended to simply dump bad gifts you received in the past on someone else. However, if you already own something that’s good quality, new and unused, and you know that a friend of a family member would love that particular item, why not give it to them? You might have a nice set of tableware in your storage unit, toys and children’s clothes and accessories, or brand-new kitchen appliances still in their original packaging. Whether you got the items as gifts in the past or bought them yourself and ended up not using them, you should consider regifting – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

5. Peruse vintage shops for unique finds

From old vinyl or comic books to smurf figurines or Pez dispensers, people can be obsessed with so many things. If you have family and friends that are collectors or simply into items that are not available in regular stores, perusing vintage shops or flea markets will help you find the ultimate present for them. Vintage shops are also great places to find gifts for the fashionistas in your life. Vintage clothing is all the rage right now; they will be a lot more impressed by a unique scarf from the 50s than by some fast fashion items.

6. Put your talents and DIY prowess to work

Do you love baking, or maybe you make jewelry, soap, or scented candles? Then you’re all set for gifts to offer to your family, friends or coworkers. Who would say no to a delicious basket of baked goods or to amazingly smelling soaps made by you? However, not all of us are creative in that way – but that doesn’t mean we don’t have other skills or talents.

If you find yourself backed up in a corner gift-wise, with Christmas fast approaching and the items you were planning on purchasing sold out, it’s time for some “out of the box” thinking. Maybe you’re an accountant, and you could offer to do next year’s taxes for some of your friends or family members. Or perhaps you’re a professional photographer, or a hairdresser or even a web designer – offer access to your talents as a unique Christmas gift this year. You’ll be surprised at how much people will appreciate such a present.

7. There’s no better gift than the gift of time

This might be the perfect gift for families with children. The past almost two years have been difficult on everyone, but particularly on young families. Parents had to fill in as teachers and caretakers all day every day for months on end, on top of doing their jobs and housework. So, if you have the possibility to provide a few hours of respite to the exhausted young parents in your life, offer to do so – it might just be the best Christmas present ever.

As you well can see, there are many gifts you could give this year, even if the holiday season caught you on the wrong foot and you started shopping a bit late. The most important thing is focusing on the person you’re trying to find a gift for, their hobbies, preferences or needs. That’s the ingredient that makes the difference between an average gift and a heartwarming gift that truly stands out.


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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