Monday, November 10, 2014

Meaningful Gifts for the Holidays

Every year as the holidays approach I start collecting gift ideas on Pinterest.  I LOVE giving gifts to people, and as I got older and the holidays became more about the spirit of giving rather than material things, my favorite gifts to give now are gifts that have some sort of meaning.  “Meaningfulness” can vary, whether it’s a gift that’s personal and sentimental, a gift that’s handmade, or a gift that has a greater purpose attached and gives back to the community. I love those because no matter how small or extravagant the gift is, and no matter how much or little was spent, gifts with meaning have an intangible weight and depth to them.

So when I heard about a partnership between a couple of my favorite companies--Target and TOMS (*squeal!*)--that came up with some really cool meaningful gifts, I was eager to get on board.  Today I'm teaming up with them to bring you ideas for meaningful gifts you can give this holiday season!

1. Handmade / DIY Gifts
I’ve had the most fun over the last few years making gifts for people.  But if you're not DIY savvy, fear not!  DIY gifts can range a ton in terms of needing to be a craft-pro or being a craft-hazard. 

Some of my favorites are mason jars filled with ingredients to make a yummy dessert (cookies, brownies, pie, etc.), themed gift baskets (coffee/tea lovers, breakfast items, ice cream lovers, bacon everything, bath set, gardening kit, baking kit, etc.), handmade coaster sets, chalkboard anything (mugs, coasters, frames), and Sharpie anything (mugs, pillows, totes).

sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

The jars and gift baskets are particularly easy to assemble, and while you could probably go out to a store and buy them there’s something special about having assembled it yourself.  It adds that personal touch to the gift. And it’s usually cheaper!

Find details, how-tos, and more ideas for DIY gifts on my DIY Gift Pinterest board.

2. Personalized/Sentimental Gifts
My mom is THE hardest person to give a gift to because she never needs anything and often does not use gifts she is given. A few years ago I started giving her personalized gifts and she has eaten them up every single time! Sometimes they're sentimental and sometimes they aren't sentimental but are personal. Among them have been a cup I painted for her, a shadowbox I made with family pictures, and a cutting board inscribed with a cute message.

Personalized gifts can be either DIY/handmade or bought (like the cutting board I gave her), but that personalized aspect carries a lot of meaning and packs a big punch. My mom would not have cared about receiving another cutting board, but because it’s personalized she uses it all the time!

sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

You can easily make personalized or sentimental gifts by adding photos to anything (keychains, magnets, coasters, collages--Instagram pics are great for these!) or creating photo books through Apple or Costco.  Or on the DIY side, make personalized cups with Sharpies, create a year of planned dates, or monogram or inscribe anything (totes, cutting boards, cups, aprons, etc.)!

More personalized gift ideas on my DIY Gift Pinterest board.

3. Gifts That Give Back
And lastly, gifts that give back to others.  How can you not love a gift that allows you to not only show your friends and family love, but extends that love and blessing to others in need?

sporting my trusty ole TOMS!

Like I said, Target and TOMS have partnered this holiday season and created a TOMS+Target line with some reallyyyyy cool gifts that give to others. Just like TOMS' One for One model (for every item purchased, TOMS gives one to someone in need), starting November 16th, for every Target+TOMS limited edition gift purchased, Target is giving shoes, a blanket, or meals to those in need.  As if I needed a reason to love Target more...there it is!

TOMS+Target is more than just shoes.  The limited edition line has clothing for women, men, and kids, as well as home goods.  The products in this line are legit, and the fact that they help someone in need is ideal!  

What are your favorite kinds of gifts to give during the holidays?

Compensation for this post was provided for by Target via AOL Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target or AOL.


  1. Ooh this collaboration is amazing - I wish it was available in the UK as I need that jumper and scarf. I also love the present suggestions! I'm making something for all my family this year, as well as making Christmas decorations to decorate each gift I give, so gift suggestions are always needed. I love the look of the ice cream sundae kit. It's just a shame no one in the UK would need it until July! Thanks for sharing some great ideas. Fi xxx

  2. I am so excited for the Target + Toms line! There is a sweater I have my eye on!

  3. Thank you for this post. I get so tired of (and bored with) gift posts that are like "wallet, golf stuff, watch, tie for the guy". My sister-in-law loves TOMs, I'm thinking that something from the Target line will be a perfect gift for her. But I am terrible at gift giving, so my favorite ones to give are the ones that people have specifically asked for. It's a win-win.

  4. I love TOMS, they are my go-to for stylish flats!

    x. Sabrina | Simply Sabrina

  5. You guys need a itty bitty pair of Toms in that pic! Love Toms and Target, win win.

  6. Toms are my favs, I got the ones with all the coloured elephants on I love them sooooo much . Loved all your ideas and I love the way you take your pictures xox


  7. This was such a cool post! You really chose some unique and realistic gifts--I LOVED the 'Year of Dates' idea. I absolutely am going to do that for my husband this year.

  8. I like personal, handmade gifts. I actually may DIY those scrabble coasters for my MIL.

  9. I made those for my cousin a few years ago. Super easy! I think I bought the scrabble tiles on amazon.

  10. I want to do something person / DIY for holiday gifts this year but I can't decide what!!! I'm definitely going to follow your Pinterest board for inspiration!



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