Thoughtful gift ideas for this festive season

The most memorable gifts are the ones that come straight from the heart.

Sarah Chan
Sarah Chan

Likes museum trips and is sometimes artsy. Can be found in pattern prints.

Published: 18 December 2020, 3:55 PM

It’s the season of giving and what better way to celebrate this festive season than gifting something special to your family and friends.

Be it big or small, it is the thought that counts. The best gifts are not always the most expensive, but rather, they are the ones that express our true gratitude to the person we are gifting too.

Don’t fret if you are still undecided on a Christmas present. Here are five meaningful gifting ideas to make this Christmas season extra memorable.

1. Becoming a penpal

Staying connected this holiday season is not just limited to social media and video calls over Zoom. It is not too late to make a card and post them out via snail mail to someone you love or even to a stranger somewhere out there in the world.

The magic of handmade gifts and penning your words into a letter can mean a lot to someone to help spread the festive cheer and combat social isolation in a time of a pandemic.


Be it a simple or decorated letter, sending a postcard filled with your heartfelt words can work wonders in connecting people via penpalling. PHOTO CREDITS: GUILIA BERTELLI VIA UNSPLASH


Participate in local initiatives like Hey, You Got Mail! or join a global letter-writing community at More Love Letters where strangers come together to send love letters to those in need.

2. Supporting local businesses

With a bit of research, you can discover the big community of local makers online. PHOTO CREDITS: INSTAGRAM/@FACETSBYGARIMA, INSTAGRAM/@JEWELLERY_HAVEN


2020 has been a rough year for many small businesses and it is ever more important that we show our support for the many online and offline local businesses around us this holiday.

Shopping local not only supports a business economically, but it is also supporting the hard work of the creator behind the piece. Often, your item might also be something that is unique and exclusive which gives it a memorable personal touch.

Discover these hidden gems through hashtags like #ShopLocalSG and #SGMakers on Instagram, or check out our guide to local sustainable brands here.

3. Virtual gifting

Besides friends and family, you can extend the spirit of gifting to the community this Christmas via virtual gifting.


The season of giving extends to helping the less fortunate and your contributions can make a difference especially in this uncertain year with the pandemic. PHOTO CREDITS: KAROLINA GRABOWSKA VIA PEXELS


While you are online shopping, you can support wishlist campaigns like Amazon X Retail for Good and SPCA to shop and donate items directly to the various beneficiaries or organisations.

You can also make monetary donations to various organisations on or support the annual Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift campaign that was shifted online due to the pandemic.

4. Book exchange

Organising a Christmas book exchange among your friends or family is a fun yet inexpensive gift giving experience. There is a certain mystery and excitement in receiving a book, which makes it memorable especially for avid readers.


Book exchanges are great ways to refresh your reading materials while discovering new genres and authors. PHOTO CREDITS: DEBBY HUDSON VIA UNSPLASH


If you are interested in supporting a good cause, check out Books Beyond Borders, a social enterprise that collects and sells donated books to raise funds for education.

Still looking for a perfect book for Christmas? Check out our book recommendations here!

5. Personalise a handmade gift

If you like to get down and be crafty, why not consider making a handmade gift this season. Handmade gifts are budget friendly alternatives and all you need are the required materials, a Youtube tutorial for help and some free time.

There are plenty of craft options to choose from: Pick up a new hobby and crochet a nice warm pair of socks or get some fancy beads to create your own mask strap and beaded flower rings.


Nothing beats the personal touch of a handmade gift and you can customise the designs to fit the receiver too. PHOTO CREDITS: ANNIE SPRATT VIA UNSPLASH


Not as crafty but still looking for a handmade gift? You can check out platforms like Social Gifting, a non-profit social enterprise that aims to enable their community of differently-abled crafters through craftwork.

There are more ways than one to celebrate the spirit of giving this season. What are your favourite gifting ideas?

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