Qualified advisers answering your
Financial Questions
call 0800 092 1245

Finding ‘that’ alternative Christmas present


Come on…hands up who has already finished their Christmas shopping?

I would hazard a guess that over 25% of our readers have probably finished their shopping, 50% have bought at least two or maybe three Christmas presents and the rest are leaving it right up to the wire – Christmas Eve! Am I close?

Asking around towers I’ve established that most of us know someone who has finished all their shopping, their gifts are wrapped and they’ve started planning for Christmas 2015.

Organised or crazy, I’ll leave you to decide…

The idea of heading off to a manically busy department store, then looking for a parking space, then traipsing around the perfume, clothes, underwear and toy departments is enough to bring some people out in cold sweats and ugly hives. Thank goodness for the internet (hoorah we hear you cry!), where you can shop from the comfort of your sofa with a luxurious hot mug of chocolate at your side, whilst catching up on the weekly soaps.

However there is a large ‘BUT’ to consider if you decide on the latter; you might have to contend with restrictive delivery dates, decide on where to get your parcels delivered to and then returning the gift if it’s not quite right. Stumped…! Yes so were we, so that’s why we starting thinking about how to go about finding ‘that’ alternative Christmas present.

An ‘alternative’ Christmas present

Firstly, what actually is an ‘alternative’ Christmas present? Well we came up with the following:

“A gift that cannot be replicated easily by another and on receipt of said gift, the receiver is overwhelmed by emotion, as the gift fits with a personal memory or future goal.”

Our top ten alternative Christmas present ideas:

1. Give the gift of saving
Something that we’re huge advocates of here at towers. This gift is perfect for young children, especially when they’re still too young to understand the concept of Christmas. It’s also a brilliant idea for any teenagers in your family who have aspirations to go to university, go travelling or who are saving up to buy their first car.
The good thing about this gift is that it has no validity date, you can just keep topping up whenever you like, birthday’s, Easter and so on. It’s also extendable beyond you. You can invite family and friends to top up their accounts too, so a single present can turn into a big valuable one.

2. A memory jar
A wonderful idea for someone who has everything. A simple yet effective gift that can be created over a period of time, whereby you collect a variety of memorable items that mean something to you and the person receiving the gift.
This idea appealed mainly to those at towers with small children. They saw it as a great alternative gift for grandparents. There is some planning needed for this item though, so it could be a good idea for Christmas 2015!

3. Plant pot surprise
A gift with an excitable twist for all those cooking entrepreneurs out there, which involves planting seeds of a culinary nature into a couple of plant pots; herbs or chilli seeds come highly recommended. Then along with a hand-written recipe card or two, which ideally should contain your ‘plant pot surprise’ seeds, with instructions on how to nurture the plant, should round off this alternative Christmas present nicely.

4. Lottery Scratch-card or a lottery ticket
This alternative Christmas present has been around for a while but it still ranks in the favourite of many here at Known for its simplicity and its originality this alternative Christmas present could make someone a millionaire overnight! Imagine that..?!?

5. Family tree
Similar to the ‘Memory Jar’ idea the family tree gift will take some organising and planning; however with a little bit of creativity and help from other family members, you should be able to create a very unique Christmas gift for that someone special.

6. Christmas treasure hunt
Spark a little bit of fun into Christmas this year by organising a Christmas treasure hunt. It’s up to you how you organise it, from clues or simply walking around the house looking for Christmas trinkets; it should keep children and adults entertained for a good hour or two.

7. Charity donations
A very emotive alternative Christmas gift that could potentially create a tear (of happiness hopefully), as the charity chosen could mean something to the person that is receiving the gift; however there are other alternative ideas:
• Instead of buying, writing and sending Christmas cards why not donate to a charity instead
• Adopt a pet. Many animal sanctuaries and zoo’s offer this service, which sees you helping towards the cost of an animals upkeep for a period of twelve months

8. Reuse or recycle
If you took some time out and sorted through the draws, tubs and baskets hidden away in wardrobes, kitchen cupboards or in the bathroom, I reckon that you would find a collection of treats that you have purchased at some time or another and never used.
From a bottle of nail polish to fluffy socks that have never been worn. From extravagant and expensive tins of coffee that have never been opened to unwanted birthday gifts that you simply forgot about, we reckon you could probably find at least half a dozen alternative Christmas gifts in your own home!
Just remember if you do end up exploring this alternative Christmas present option, and you re-use an unwanted birthday present, don’t give it back to the person who originally gave it to you.

9. Do it yourself
Yes you heard us, ‘Do it yourself’… With artisan, shabby chic and crafting returning as one of the UK’s favourite past times during 2014, a DIY present might not seem like a unique alternative Christmas present.
A carefully crafted and well thought out DIY Christmas present could go far, especially if it is packed with tokens of memory and emotion.
Websites like Pinterest and Etsy are crammed with alternative Christmas gift ideas if you’re a little stumped on where to start or short of ideas.

10. A day out
Whilst waiting patiently in a queue the other week in my local supermarket I noticed at the end of one of the aisles a wall of multi-coloured cards. On closer inspection I realised that they were gift vouchers. Maybe a little naïve but I never realised that you could buy vouchers for so many different things.
From the traditional retail shopping vouchers such as M&S, Debenhams, and River Island, to restaurants and the local cinema. Perfect, I thought, for someone who you always struggle to buy for.

There we go, does that help you a little?

One of the things we noticed whilst researching this blog article, is that many people seem to prefer a gift that has had some thought behind it. On some websites there were even suggestions of banning Christmas presents altogether, which some here at towers are in agreement with.

Christmas is usually a happy time of year for many, with plenty of eating and catching up with friends and family; however it can also be a time of great loneliness and financial hardship for some. Over the next week or two we will be talking about how to save and budget for Christmas, as well as discussing what not to do at Christmas.

If you do want to talk to a qualified adviser about your finances or find out more on how to save effectively for annual events such as Christmas, then you might want to speak to one of our financial advisers. You can either call on 0800 092 1245 or ask us a question online.
Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Share this..

Financial Guides

Financial Calculators

Our useful calculators can help you get your finances in order:

Latest News


Helpful new tax year facts that could affect you and your money

Blog | Seven helpful new 2016/2017 tax year facts that could affect you and your money. Our recent online blog shares a brief outline on how to stay up to date.

Read more

Useful Links

Popular Searches

Please Enter More Details

Enter More Details