Fed up of putting lots of time and effort into buying something for someone that they don't need or want? How about creating memories and not till receipts this year: take a look at our list of alternative gifts for some inspiration.

Elfless Acts

Give the gift of time! 

  • Take the stress away from Mum and make your gift the Christmas washing up.
  • When the weather clears gift your Dad help painting the gutters.
  • You promise to paint your sister’s nails before her year 11 prom.

Want to share your gift in a creative way, head over to our Elfless Acts page to create your bespoke voucher.

Plan a local adventure

Teapot and cup. Photo by delfi de la Rua on UnsplashMaybe you pass a coffee shop that you think is oh so them. Maybe there’s a museum exhibit you think they’d love, or a patch of graffiti they would find cool. Why not plan an adventure in your local area taking them to all the spots you’ve been meaning to share.

Why not share the thing that makes you happy with the people that make you happy. Whether that’s taking them along to the football with you, passing on your much loved book, creating a list of film recommendations or showing them your favourite spot for quiet contemplation.

Spending that time together is a great gift and they get to appreciate all the thought you’ve put into it.

Make things they'll love

Making something for someone allows you to create that bespoke item that is perfect for them in every way.

The right size AND the right colour? Amazing!

Not sure exactly what they would like? Send them a voucher offering to make it for them, and include time for the two of you to pick materials out together. You could even offer to teach them how to craft something themselves at the same time.

Learn new skills

Don't have many crafty bones in your body? This could be the time to learn.

There are loads of one off workshops covering things from jewellery making to DIY, pastry skills to leatherwork. The two of you can both learn a skill while getting to spend some quality time together. 

Never mind the toys, show them the set!

Instead of the toy why not give your family a walk through their favourite film/TV set. Then they can re-enact all their favourite bits - no Lego necessary!

Have a look at the Visit Britain blog for some fantastic movie locations that you can visit in real life, and here are a few more of our favourites:

Expand your network

Why not expand your giving network this year, or give to those in need on behalf of your family. Then you all get to experience that warm glow.

You can donate an item (coffee, a warm meal) to a local homeless person and use your Christmas gift to help someone in need and make a difference to the UKs social problems.

Flower PowerSucculent. Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Tempted to buy someone a bunch of flowers? Buy them a plant instead, so they get to enjoy your gift for longer.

If they’re not very green fingered, succulents, orchids and cactus make great plants for beginner plant parents.

Meet the local wildlife

Bird and bird feeder. Photo by Edoardo Busti on UnsplashDoes your friend have a garden, or any little outside space? How about buying them a bird feeder or an insect home to give them the opportunity to see some wildlife up close.

Second Hand Tech

Maybe you were thinking of buying a younger family member their first phone this Christmas. Why not make it a second hand phone? Envirofone offer pristine condition, second hand phones at a fraction of the price.

Or maybe tech that has been repurposed and found a new place as jewellery would fit the bill .

Not forgetting pets

There’s no reason your puss and pooch can’t also receive a well thought through present this Christmas.

There are suppliers that carry everything from biodegradable food bowls and hemp collars to beds made from recycled plastic bottles.

Check out our Inspiration List for ways you could give your time as an Elfless Act!