Meaningful Gift Ideas For Friends And Family 2019/2020
As we cruise into a new decade in 2020, you no doubt will be reflecting upon your life.
I've been doing this myself and I've asked myself this question:
What are the key events that have changed my life this decade?
On my list were such things as meeting my wife and getting married, starting side businesses such as The Humble Penny, etc.
One additional thing on that list was the quality of gifts that I received in the decade.
In particular, who they were from, how they made me feel, and what they helped me do.
It's easy to think of gifts as just some chore that you need to tick off the list.
The thing is, if you gave the idea of seeking out meaningful gifts your time, it not only has the capacity to change your life but the life of the receiver.
Some of my most meaningful gifts in the current decade include:
- Life changing books – These have caused game-changing mindset shifts in my life.
- Photography course – This helped me understand the importance of framing and seeing the beauty around.
- Hans Zimmer concerts – These have helped me better connect the music I love to my life.
- A digital camera – This has helped me start a YouTube channel to better discover my voice and share my message.
- An iPad Pro – From this I do all my mindmapping and journaling every single day.
- Charitable donations – These have helped me experience joy.
- A domain name – This has helped me believe I can be a voice in the world.
- Weekends away – These have helped me reduce stress, appreciate and plan my life.
That list continues.
This time of year presents an opportunity for us to consider friends and family, and give gifts that are meaningful.
Gifts should be a personal thing, and some thought applied makes it more special.
They should be given cheerfully and with nothing expected.
Although as we know, generosity has power and does pay in one way or another.
I’ve previously written about why money and friendships should never mix.
The research showed that gifts keep our relationships in the social dimension.
They don’t introduce the complexities that come into play when money is involved.
For this reason, you should where possible, give gifts (without a price tag) rather than cash.
It also helps giving gifts through the year, especially if they’re not expected.
No matter what your budget is, there is always something special you can find for your loved ones or people you want to build a relationship with.
Personally, I really like handmade gifts or gifts that have been bought to help me grow or improve in some way.
Gifts of experiences are also a lot of fun.
Given that we aim for this site to help you grow holistically, we’ve selected gifts that you or loved ones will find useful with the new year around the corner.
Gift Ideas For Friends and Family
Here are our recommended meaningful gift ideas for friends and family members.
In an ever more connected world, experiences are of greater importance to collecting things.
Here are some recommendations:
If you are part of a family with kids, then the National Trust is gold!
They're essentially home to lots of festive adventures.
Everything from heritage, nature and wildlife, beautiful
I particularly love it because if you use it rightly, it forces you to make the time to explore new places, to learn history, eat, etc.
You can buy Gift Memberships for as little as:
- £72 a year for adults (over 26 year olds)
- £36 a year for young persons (18 – 25 year olds)
- £10 a year for junior memberships (6 – 17 year olds)
- £0 for pre-schoolers (0 – 5 year olds)
A number of my friends have done the Extreme Character Challenge (XCC) and have come back as transformed people.
This is a physical and spiritual outdoor challenge specifically for men.
Here is how the site describes it:
“An XCC is a mind, body and soul adventure – an active and challenging endurance event for men, out in the wild.
The XCC is set up like one endless day; for 72 hours men are confronted with significant physical challenges, deep comradery and profound moments of moral and spiritual input.
Through the XCC process men find perspective; they evaluate who they are and they find a purpose worth living for.”
My very close friends are on a mission to get me to sign up for this and I'm pretty sure I cannot say no any longer.
Each XCC costs £249 for what is surely a life changing experience. Book here if you're interested.
I particularly love events held at the Royal Albert Hall.
The variety here is impressive as you can see anything from sport and film, to classicals, musicals, etc.
Some of my most memorable events were to see Cirque du Soleil and Hans Zimmer perform the scores from Gladiator.
Dinner Gift Card
Gourmet Society is a great way to give your loved ones savings at fantastic restaurants.
Everything from Michelin-starred fine dining to national chains or local family favourites.
You can get 2 for 1 deals, 25% off the total bill or 50% off the food bill.
This would make a lovely gift at only £34.99 for a 1 year membership. They even donate £5 of the amount that you pay to charity!
Side hustles have the potential to liberate us financially, as well as give us an identified purpose.
I’ve become really passionate about online businesses and I’ve gained a lot from starting this blog.
One of the major reasons for this is because online business can offer a really high return on investment.
If you’re interested in starting either a YouTube Channel or creating video course content etc, then these are must have kits.
They’d also be very ideal to buy and encourage a partner to venture out in the new year.
Check out the below gift ideas for friends and family who might be considering side hustles:
Gift A Domain Name
It was my 10 year anniversary with my wife Mary in August 2019 and it took me a while to find a meaningful gift.
That gift came in the shape of a premium domain name that I felt would give her something so special that she'd never had before.
I spent a material amount of money buying TheHumbleKitchen.com
As Mary is super passionate about food and healthy living, this seemed like the perfect give and she LOVED it!
It will become a sister company to The Humble Penny in the near future.
Follow this link to gift a FREE domain name to a friend or family member.
Note that you have to pay for hosting to accompany the free domain name.
Canon EOS M50 Camera
If you’re anything like me, then the chances are you’re afraid to be in front of the camera.
This camera is a perfect one if you (or a loved one) wants to become a YouTuber or write courses to earn passive income.
The future will be all about video and audio, and this camera gives you the best of both.
It is small, light and simple to use.
Best of all, it has autofocus for video, and lets you add your own microphone.
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Rode VideoMicpro | On Camera Microphone
This is possibly the best microphone you can buy out there. It’s a condenser microphone and offers broadcast quality.
It is lightweight and mounts well on pretty much all cameras, including the Canon M50 above.
It’s what we use to create all our videos, etc. Highly recommended.
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This is the perfect organiser for carrying things like USB cables, headphones, chargers, adapters etc.
The functional and intelligent design provides endless configurations for all your digital devices.
It is perfect for travel, business, school, and is conveniently sized to fit into any laptop bag or travel case.
This will essentially help you save time on the go by easily find what you need without hassle.
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Business Card Holder
I recently bought this neat business card holder and I absolutely love it!
It now means that I’m more organised about getting the message out about this site and what we do.
This will be an excellent and affordable gift for anyone in business or someone starting a side hustle.
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I love this quote on productivity by Drucker:
Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.
Here are some of my best gift ideas for productivity:
Apple iPad (10.2-inch, 32GB)
This Apple iPad is the exact one that I use day to day for a number of reasons.
1. It is affordable for what you get. A cost of £299 but with huge potential for productivity. For me, it was a gift and an investment into my life.
2. It is compatible with the Apple Pencil for note taking.
3. I use the Notability app on it and WOW is my life a lot better for it! This app is the best thing ever!
Take notes with the Apple Pencil and record your meetings in audio and backup to cloud (Google Drive, etc).
When I'm not working, this iPad doubles up as a platform to catch up on recommended documentaries, etc.
The Productivity Planner
Productivity is a big part of what separates a successful person from one who isn’t.
The above productivity planner helped me achieve balance – Business, Family, and Life.
It will help you beat procrastination and focus on your Most Important Task “MIT”.
I enjoy this planner because it is clear and helps me actually achieve stuff.
It is based on the focused Pomodoro style work system. You get to rate your productivity at the end of each day.
Buy this if you want to increase your productivity and achieve your daily goals consistently.
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The 6-Minute Diary
We are big fans of gratitude journaling.
The 6-minute diary takes things a step further for a happier and more fulfilled life.
It takes a simple and scientific approach and is based on positive psychology research from over 150,000 users.
This diary helps you focus on progress and the good things in life. It also helps you do more with less.
You use doable portions of 3 minutes in the morning and 3 minutes in the evening to really focus on what matters to you daily.
Hense Alarm Clock
How many times do you snooze your phone alarm every morning? I personally have suffered from this a lot!
Until, I moved away from using my phone as an alarm, and investing in a dedicated alarm to wake me up!
One way I’m able to keep up the consistency of producing blog and video content is to wake up early.
This Hense alarm clock helps me stay ahead.
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I highly recommend this Creativity+ kit, which exists as a catalyst for Creative Thinking.
I’ve previously written about the direct link between creativity and your ability to make more money.
You can watch this video below to learn more:
Creativity is like a muscle and needs to be worked at for you to get better at applying your inbuilt creativity.
The above books helps you unlock your creative forces, curiosity and questioning skills.
It goes beyond just being a toolkit and is essentially a philosophy for infusing creative thinking into all areas of your life.
Plus it helps you bring ideas to life, covering the four phases of innovation – Vision, discovery, ideation and momentum.
Finally, it covers the importance of skillset (knowledge), mindset (attitudes) and toolset (techniques).
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Starting this blog (and our YouTube channel) was something completely outside of my comfort zone.
I worried a lot about being judged and how I would be perceived etc. I even worried about my full name being difficult to pronounce.
Pressfield refers to this as “resistance” in this book.
The more resistance you experience with something you want to do, the surer you can be that it is the best thing for your personal growth and development.
The more scared you're the more you need to do it to honour yourself.
Having reflected on 5 Lessons from My Crazy Odd Jobs, I realised that –
Whenever I have been myself the most and seen success, it's usually the result of doing things I'm afraid to do but doing them anyway.
I highly recommend this book.
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Show Your Work
This small and beautiful book by Austin Kleon on creativity is packed full of motivation to show your work.
You might be a numbers person like me and believe you have no creativity.
Or perhaps you grew up never being told you were creative.
This book will transform your life and ignite the creative person within you.
I wholeheartedly love this book. It is written to transform. Do also check out his latest book called Keep Going.
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Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera
This fun Fujifilm Instax camera produces instant credit card size photos.
It would make a great present for anyone who likes to print pictures rather than accumulate digital files.
They’re especially great for parties and other social events.
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The Marriage Book
Marriages can be successful if both people understand each other and how they can be appreciated and loved.
This is one of the best books that I have come across for helping to build successful and loving marriages.
It covers everything from:
- How to build a strong foundation
- The art of communication
- Five expressions of love
- Resolving conflict
- The power of forgiveness
- Dealing with in-law, etc
And ofcourse, good sex!
The Marriage Book is simple, practical and effective, and something I'd recommend to anyone in a meaningful relationship.
It would also make a great present for any soon to be married person or anyone aiming for a long term relationship.
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Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Running
The wearable technology is now available to ensure you understand your body more than ever before.
The above Garmin watch is what I use, and I bought it because it is simple, super light and packed full of features.
Whether you’re into running, walking, cycling, swimming, it has something for everyone.
It tracks heart rate at the wrist, tracks activities such as steps, sleep, distance, pace, calories burned etc.
There are also connected features such as audio prompts, smart notifications and music control.
You can get these in different coloured straps. I have the black and red one.
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Vívofit Jr Spider-Man fitness tracker (kids)
If you have children or nephews, nieces or godchildren aged 6 and above, then this is something to consider.
The spider-man tracker watch is swim-friendly and offers lots of interactive options.
It motivates kids to achieve activity minute goals that then unlock games, adventures featuring Spider-Man.
Features include tracking steps, sleeps, and 60 minutes of daily recommended activities.
It also has a parent-controlled app, which gives access to chore management and reward tools.
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Money & Business
There are many life changing books that I can think of, and I keep them summarised here.
Three books that I'd recommend are these:
Your Money or Your Life
This very important book by Vicky Robin shares one of my life principles – To look at your life and all activities in the form of energy and connect that to how you use your money.
This is a visionary book that works as both a map and a compass, written with principles that will stand the test of time.
Ponder this for a moment – If you earn £20 per hour and want to buy a gadget that costs £300, how much of your life's energy is it worth?
Your Money or Your Life helps us look at money and life very differently. A highly recommended classic!
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The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
Jack Bogle is the founder of Vanguard and the father of passive investing.
This book is a wonderful insight into index funds and ETFs and is written in very simple language to be understood.
It was one of the books recommended by Warren Buffett in his annual letters to investors.
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This is an exceptional book if you have an interest in business and entrepreneurship.
Ray Dalio is known for his ideas around being radically open-minded.
This book covers everything from how to build a business for lasting success, and deep dives into both life and work principles.
An extraordinary business book!
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Have you given or received any unique or meaningful gifts lately? Do share some ideas below
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.