31 Priceless Low Or No Cost Gifts

Judith Guertin Posted in Getting Organized

Gifts From The Heart They Will Remember All Year

31 Priceless Low Or No Cost Gifts

Make this holiday season memorable without breaking the bank. Let’s explore how you can make it personal and meaningful to the recipient.

First, I should tell you we have favored gifts of experience over “stuff” for a long time. We are all so very busy, getting to spend time with family or firends is what we long for. Going to a show with my family or even on a hike or bike ride is so much more meaningful to me. Spending time together is a genuine gift.


Here are 31 of my favorites some are great for families, others are perfect for the seniors on your list:

  1. Game night - board games, card games, trivia games; I bet you have them all. Pick one and have a family or friend’s game night. You will laugh and be high-fiving in no time flat.
  2. Movie night - pick a movie, make some popcorn, get the blankets and pillows fluffed up, and enjoy the time together.
  3. Make your own family trivia game. Weird or funny family stories make a great game of whodunit. How well do you really know your family, friends, or coworkers?
  4. Make a Memory Jar. Fill with letters and cards remembering your favorite experience with the person. Take turns reading the cards out loud and filling in the details of the story as you remember it.
  5. Pizza Night. Who doesn’t love a good pizza!
  6. Potluck night. Each person makes a part of the meal. Sit down together and enjoy every course.
  7. Go to your local library and explore whether they have a free pass program for local attractions. In our area we have a butterfly arm, a children’s museum, an aquarium, local university sports programs, science centers and even a zoo. You need to reserve in advance. Such wonderful opportunities for family fun. For FREE.
  8. Take them to see the holiday lights, a tree lighting ceremony, a free concert of holiday music.
  9. Create a family holidays calendar. Include the wedding anniversaries, adoption dates, birthdays, and other significant milestones. Search for photos to illustrate the events that month. A wedding, a smash cake, a picture with the judge at the courthouse finalizing an adoption. Santa or the Easter Bunny pics with the family, a group photo from a family event like a wedding or anniversary party, opening birthday gifts or holiday gifts, babies blowing kisses (my favorite) are perfect choices.
  10. Something that is meaningful to YOU!
  11. Help the kiddos make bookmarks! Tuck them into a book from a favorite author.
  12. The gift of your time. Especially for someone who lives alone, cannot drive, or get out to see friends very often. Take the time to schedule a visit. Visit with them over a cup of tea (or whatever you like). The gift is your time. Put your phone away, look at them, and really listen. In the end, we all want to feel heard and seen.
  13. Drive someone who has difficulty driving to an appointment, or to see a dear friend they have been missing. Take them to see the new grandbaby, great niece, or nephew.
  14. Help a senior relative or friend make cookies they can share with their friends at the senior center, their apartment building, or close neighbors. If they cannot deliver, you can do it for them.
  15. The gift of your talent. Help your favorite seniors with their computer, installing new light bulbs, holiday decorations, and changing the batteries in their smoke detectors.
  16. Older people may not see so well and the grime on the inside of their car windows makes for more glare and increases the risk of an accident. Clean the inside windows of their car for them. Actually, this is a splendid gift all around!
  17. Give them a coupon: They can call you to redeem it for snow shoveling, a ride to the doctor, for taking them to do errands, help them write greeting cards to homebound friends.
  18. Bring them some pre-made meals for the freezer. Make a double batch of their favorites so they have some to share with a friend or neighbor.
  19. Clean out their fridge. We all hate this job and it gets so much harder as you get older.
  20. Organize their pantry and help them get rid of expired items. (spices, canned goods, dry goods, etc.)
  21. Help them create a small scrapbook for each of the children or grandchildren. Record them telling the stories of the items in the scrapbook and why they are meaningful.
  22. Help them send video greetings to their nearest and dearest. What do they mean to them and what do they cherish about them?
  23. Set up a family zoom to include them on the holiday if they are far away from family. Nothing says I love you like someone saying it! Grammy, I just want you to know I love you Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa… You get the idea.
  24. Play a game with them. Make time to work on a puzzle with them. This is a great opportunity to share stories, a cup of tea, and the warmth that comes from being with someone you treasure.
  25. Kitty sitting, or helping them to get the kitty to the vet.
  26. Puppy Sitting or helping them to get the pup to the vet. Help clean up the pup’s area in the yard.
  27. Offer to take care of the children: nieces, nephews, grandchildren, neighbors, friends’ children, co-workers’ children so they can take time for themselves. You get the gift of time with those precious children!
  28. Send a handwritten card or letter. Hanwritten letters are so special! Thank someone who helped you, inspired you or you admire from afar. We all love getting a letter that someone took the time to craft just for us.
  29. Record grandparents reading a favorite story for their grandchildren so they can have the story “read to them” whenever they like.
  30. Share, share, share!!! Where is the hidden treasure? In the recipes, in the photos, in the ornaments, in the keepsakes, in the family jewelry.
    If you have not shared Aunt Sally’s recipe for double fudge chocolate cake, what are you waiting for??? You know your recipe box is overflowing with treasures. Make copies of the treasured family recipes to share. Have the recipe printed on a dishtowel or apron.
  31. Maybe this year you could make your own top 31 Recipes. One for each day of the month, or a 12 recipe collection, one recipe for each month. I know, you have more than that, but let’s start with the ones that you know are must haves for each of your family members.
    Here are some of my family favorites: The Chocolate Whoopie Pies, the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, the Thanksgiving French Canadian Stuffing, Aunt Dot’s Chocolate Fudge, Grandma Ruthie and Grandpa Joe's Kufte Recipe, Nana Estelle’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies., Chocolate Refreshers, Date Balls (both sides of the family have this one.)


Now it is your turn to make a list and capture those recipes. You have options to capture them. Use a Word doc or Google Doc, Evernote note, OneNote note, make them fancy in Canva, Record a video of you making the recipe with your phone or tablet. Share with your family and friends.

I bet you can even think of more ways to share. Tell us…

About the Author