After the holidays, the clutter from gifts can be one of the most overwhelming and stressful parts of the holiday. If you have kids, it can be even more hectic. Many families try and model for their children that relationships are far more important than material possessions but it is very difficult to do so in the material driven culture of today.

To cut back on the clutter, here are some creative ideas for thoughtful gifts this holiday season.

  1. Food items. Homemade is appreciated by many. Jams, jellies, breads, cookies and other baked goods. Always take into consideration that those you are gifting might have allergies or medical issues restricting them from certain foods.
  2. Gift cards. Some people think this is too impersonal but remember it can be a great way to support local sales.
  3. Events. Tickets to a local play, museum, concert or other event is a great gift. You can even give a season pass or annual membership as well.
  4. Lessons. Often people are interested in learning to play an instrument, take a cooking class or want to try a photography or painting class but don’t splurge in themselves. Do it for them!
  5. Services. These are more options that people would love to do for themselves but won’t splurge: car detailing, house cleaning, massage, pedicure or manicure.
  6. Give time. Make coupon books and homemade gift certificates for a coffee date, babysitting time, or a walk in the park.
  7. A family photo or portrait session. Some grandparents (and other family members) just want an updated family photo. Sometimes giving a photography session allows a family to take the time out to get that family portrait finally done.
  8. Subscriptions. This can be good for kids or adults. Kids LOVE getting mail and adults enjoy receiving mail other than bills.
  9. Local charity.  Consider donating to a charity in the gift receivers name. You can give a monetary donation or something as thoughtful as making blankets or crocheting preemie hats to your local hospital.
  10. Books. Giving your favorite book or a classic with a handwritten note inside is a thoughtful idea. This is great for both children and adults.