Year after year, you accumulate tons of new stuff over the holidays that you don’t have room for. Maybe some of it you don’t even want! It collects fast and can overwhelm you and your home. In our house, we celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas and we also have two December birthdays (mine and my youngest son’s). So as you can imagine, we often end up with a heap of stuff that we don’t need.
If your goal is a holiday that’s more about experiences and creating memories with family than adding more clutter, then my 2020 Holiday Gift Guide will be perfect for you. It’s a combination of unique and clutter free items that won’t take up a ton of space in your home.
Unique Group Experiences
Planning a group experience can be such a blast, and my favorite type of gift to receive is one that allows me and my loved ones to do something together. So of course my 2020 Holiday Gift Guide includes adventures that you’ll remember for years to come! There are so many options for in-person and virtual experiences to keep you entertained through the winter no matter where you live.
If you don’t already know, my family and I love escape rooms. As of today, I have done 39 escape rooms, and my husband has done even more than I have! Escape rooms are a great challenge for small groups to do together, especially now during the pandemic. The Escape Game is my family’s favorite, and there are 17 locations nationwide. If you can’t find a convenient location near you they also offer virtual escape rooms that you can do with friends and family no matter where you are.
Seasons passes or tickets to nearby attractions such as amusement parks, museums, gardens, and other family-friendly centers make great gifts. Some of my family’s favorite adventure spots include iFly, Treehouse World, Crystal Cave, and Delaware Children’s Museum. If you don’t live in the Philadelphia area you can find similar places where you live. If your family loves to ski, a gift certificate to a nearby ski slope is a great gift. Many ski resorts also have spas, so if someone in the family isn’t into skiing they can relax at the spa instead.
If you love Christmas lights, then take your group to Longwood Gardens to see over half a million outdoor lights, or look for similar adventures in your area! If you prefer the warmth of the indoors, find a cooking class near you or a paint and sip studio where you can get creative.
Relax, Unwind, and Connect
For your loved one who enjoys unwinding with some spa time, a gift certificate for a massage or to a nail salon will make their day! A personalized coupon for babysitting will be appreciated by the couple with small kids. Take it one step further and plan a date night for your favorite couple with all the details planned. The Adventure Challenge is a book full of date night ideas for couples. A monthly adventure box is available to add to the book that has everything needed to start date night. (There are 2 other versions for friends or family, too!)
Perfect For Foodies
No 2020 Holiday Gift Guide is complete without some delicious food options! For your loved one who enjoys experiencing new flavors, a gift card to a new restaurant they’ve been dying to try is a fantastic idea. Or bring the food right to their door with a gift certificate for a food delivery service like Door Dash or Grub Hub.
These days there are so many specialized food boxes that cater to just about anyone and it’s easy to find something that suits everyone on your list. Munch Pack is perfect for those who love snacks, Daily Harvest is great for those that like to eat healthy, and the Wine Down Box makes a great gift for wine lovers. One of the best food boxes that I’ve ever received was from Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. I’m a big fan of Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas, and a box of these frozen pizzas delivered to my door was something my whole family loved.
A gift of the month club is a great gift that keeps giving year-round. You’d be amazed at the variety of gift of the month options there are out there! Check out the huge list on Amazing Clubs. Even your furry friend is covered with a Dog Treat Club!
Streaming Services, Apps, and More
Now that many of us are staying indoors more due to the pandemic, we are running out of shows and movies to watch (or at least I am!). There are so many different streaming services available these days so it’s perfect for my 2020 Holiday Gift Guide. Gifting a streaming subscription is easy! The good news is there are so many different streaming services available these days, and giving these as gifts is easy. You can buy a gift card for Netflix, Hulu, or CBS All-Access and gift as much as you would like. You can also gift an annual membership to someone for Disney+ or Amazon Prime. If your gift recipient loves a good documentary, Curiosity Stream is an awesome option that streams thousands of documentaries for as little as $3 per month.
If you know someone who loves learning, try The Great Courses or MasterClass. These sites offer on-demand classes on a wide variety of topics that are sure to grab the interest of many on your gift list. Learn the fundamentals of photography at your own pace, or how to create restaurant dishes at home with Gordon Ramsey.
Another great gift idea is to give subscriptions for apps like Audible, Calm, and Spotify. If you’re looking for more subscription ideas, check out Cratejoy. They have something for everyone!
Fun Ideas For Kids
There are a ton of cool gift ideas for kids that won’t end up being ignored after the holidays. I have a ton of kid-approved ideas for my 2020 Holiday Gift Guide. For kids that love science, you can gift a subscription kit from MEL Science or Club SciKidz Labs. My kids are huge fans of the subscription boxes available at KiwiCo and have created everything from a walking robot to a pinball machine. KiwiCo offers kits for kids from 0-104 so it’s easy to find something for everyone on your list no matter what their age.
Since most of us aren’t doing much traveling now, Little Passports offers kits for kids interested in culture, travel, and science which can make them feel like they are escaping their everyday world. For kids who love video games and computers, check out Bitsbox that will teach them how to code. Make something delicious with your kids using cooking kits from Raddish, Kidstir, or Baketivity.
DIY.org has a ton of options for girls and boys to learn about everything from acting to zoology with step-by-step videos. It’s a great way for kids to explore new interests. A few other gift ideas are Mail Order Mystery, Escape Room Geeks, and Cubcoats. Check them out if you need any more kid gift ideas because they are great!
Things That Make Life Easier
One of my favorites on my 2020 Holiday Gift Guide is the type of gifts that make life easier or more organized. One of my favorite types of gifts to give and receive are those that make life easier or more organized. As you can imagine, I have a few gift ideas that fit the bill. Just to let you know, I own all these items and have found them to be super useful myself. These extra long phone chargers are so handy. I have one by my bed and the other floats around in the kitchen or living room for my family members to use. I also have a battery organizer and a personalized return address stamp which I am thankful for each time I use them.
A few other ideas include a bedside caddy, which my son has in his room, and a running belt to hold my phone, keys, and other items. Don’t let the running belt fool you, I am not a marathon runner or anything! I wear leggings almost every day and they rarely have pockets, so the running belt has been a game changer. I can actually go in and out of stores without even carrying my purse. Another idea which I have given and received a few times is car detailing. Having someone come to your house to clean your car inside and out is a fantastic gift and one I highly recommend! And of course, don’t forget about a gift certificate from Dawn George Organizing so I can help you or your loved one with getting organized after the holidays!
Upgrade the Little Things
One of my favorite ways to re-think traditional stocking stuffers or small gifts is to think of items someone already owns that could be upgraded. For example, most people have a specific type of pen that they prefer to write with. It’s the kind of pen that you’ll hunt for in a pen cup if you know it’s in there. Why not get rid of all the disliked pens that are all clutter and replace them with a favorite?
Think of items you use often in the kitchen that could be replaced or upgraded. Water bottles, measuring spoons, and food storage containers typically get a lot of use. Most people will keep old items as a backup, but replacing them with a higher quality item could actually cut down on the clutter.
If you give stockings for the holidays, a few useful items to stuff them include clip magnets, earbud cases, or a key holder from KeySmart. Also, the Identity Theft Protection Stamp is a helpful little tool that is great to use on all the junk mail you get before you throw it out.
If you have some great ideas for unique gift ideas that help cut down on clutter, please share them below. Don’t forget to check out last month’s blog How To Use Evernote To Save Gift Ideas for tips on keeping track of gifts for your loved ones. I know it’s a very different holiday season this year due to the pandemic, so I hope you and your family are staying healthy and sane as we head into 2021!
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WOW!!! What a great compilation of clutter-free and fun gift ideas! You’ve included ideas for all ages and interests – thank you!! Also, what a genius idea to suggest using a slap bracelet to keep a roll of wrapping paper neatly rolled-up!!
I love the science kits for children, and may I suggest one more? Mad Science, a worldwide organization, has a wonderful kids club. Here’s the link https://www.madscience.org/kidsclub.aspx
I love reading your posts, Dawn, and thank you for sharing your wisdom and innovations with the rest of us!
Thank you so much for your kind words Jocelyn, and for the recommendation of Mad Science. I just checked it out and it looks fantastic! I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. Thanks for reading!
This is beautifully presented. Thanks for the stocking stuffer ideas!
Thanks so much Becky! Glad you liked the ideas. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!
These are great ideas! Who needs more stuff, right? I offered to take knives and scissors to be sharpened as a gift to my friends. Pick up and delivery included!
That’s a fantastic and very creative idea Mimi. Thanks so much for sharing! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!