Just 10 meaningful gifts to give this Christmas that cost almost nothing.

Growing up, I associated Christmas with family, ham, cherries, and most of all - presents

I knew that every year when I woke up on December 25th there would be toys under the tree (thanks to my epic parents). 

As I grew older and I had some money from odd jobs and birthday cards, I would spend it on presents for my siblings and parents. It was never much, but it was money that I had put aside to let someone know I loved them.

Watch: Things Aussies Never Say at Christmas. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

But with every year that passes, the sentiment that gift-equals-love morphs so far away from its original state, and I become more and more confident that there are many ways to show someone you love them that doesn’t involve swiping your card. 

I would take a night out with a girlfriend over a gift any day, or a home movie night with my family, or a thoughtful gesture from someone who loves me.

I also know the feeling of being given a gift and having nothing to give them back. And it’s a certain kind of squirmy discomfort. 

But in 2021 our wallets have been hit pretty hard, so I’m here to swoop in with some last-minute low/no cost gifts that you can give your loved ones.

1. If they have children, give them a babysitting voucher. I hear from my friends with kids that finding reliable babysitters is a bit of a nightmare, and it’s also expensive. For you? It costs nothing but time. For them, it’ll mean the world.

2. Home-made baked goods OR dry ingredients in a jar with instructions on the side for them to make their own baked goods. This is a great gift if you have a few people to tick off the list. 

Buy the ingredients in bulk and split them into cheap jars from op-shops or corner stores, or fill the jars with pre-made goodies if you’re going down that route. Tie a piece of twine around the top and add a label.

3. Here’s one for the heartstrings: recreate old family photos, print the photos and pick up a cheap frame, or put it in the spare one you’ve got lying around. 


Every family has an iconic sibling or relative photo. Maybe in a human pyramid formation, or with one child screaming and the other smiling. 

An adult recreation is guaranteed a laugh and maybe even a sentimental sob.

Image: Supplied. 

4. Dried citrus cocktail garnishes. These are becoming more and more popular and are so cheap and easy to make. Plus… they look gorgeous.


5. Donate blood in someone's honour. Your blood is literally free. Take a selfie with your post-donation muffin and milkshake, and pop the pic in a card for them on Christmas Day to let them know that they saved a life… and that it’s time for another champagne to celebrate.

6. Create a custom playlist. Remember mixtapes? Burning CDs with a perfect curation of songs? Bring it back. 

This is great for someone you’ve shared a lot of memories with: think of it like a soundtrack to your relationship. Include some of their favourite songs, songs that have been important to you both, songs that have framed significant moments, or songs you think they might like. A completely free and feel-good gift. 

Listen to Lucy on The Undone share her top low-cost gifts. Post continues below.

7. Donate whatever you can to charity on their behalf. I’m talking just a couple of dollars. I know it never seems like a lot, but it all adds up.

8. DIY sugar scrubs. If you have coconut oil, brown sugar, vanilla and a strong arm for mixing, you can give the gift of self-care and soft skin. There are heaps of recipes online, and again, you can pop it in a nice mason jar with a ribbon.

9. If you’re someone who's crafty, think outside the box. I reached out to my Instagram audience about this topic and two submissions were particularly excellent. One said that their artsy friend picked up a $2 apron and hand painted it for them, and another went to an op-shop, gathered a bunch of beaded jewellery, cut the wires and redesigned them - making some completely unique pieces of jewellery for their friends. All they needed was some fishing wire and jewellery clasps.

10. Time. This is kind of cheating because it’s not something you can put in a box and wrap up, but how often do we let life get in the way and consume all of our time? I know that all my friends and family want from me is my time, energy and love. So make (free) plans to spend time together around this time of year.

A final reminder that no one that loves you would expect a gift that could compromise your financial stability. 

If you feel the need to let them know ahead of time that you're not in a position to give gifts this year - do that. 

Something wrapped in a ribbon doesn’t make you any more special, gifts are a ‘nice-to-have’, but you are infinitely more valuable than a scented candle. 

Love the joy of Christmas? Take our survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher.

Feature Image: Supplied.