By Helene Wechsler, MD
- Give a memory. Instead of a present, give someone the gift of a great memory. Disconnect from the internet and spend quality time with a loved one. Cook with them or teach them how to cook your favorite meal. Take them hiking. Research has shown that exposure to the natural environment is linked to improved mental health. Read why Vitamin N(ature) is important!
- Give away a treasure with a personal note. Most of us have too much stuff, or at least we have treasured mementos of days gone by. Your family may cherish these items, especially if accompanied by an interesting story.
- Put together your own cookbook. Include with your favorite personal recipes and favorite family recipes.
- Give what you do best. Cook a romantic dinner or give baked goods to friends. Offer to clean a house or wash a car. Offers of babysitting are always appreciated. If you’re a good shopper, take someone to a department store and be his/her personal shopper. Help them pick out a wardrobe in the latest style.
- Create a photo album. It’s always nice to have pictures to look at and share. Consider adding ticket stubs and mementos from your times together.
- Get crafty. Show off your internal artist. Here are some websites with hundreds of crafty inexpensive gift ideas:
- Find a free event. Look in the newspaper or online. Every city has no-cost cultural events such a festival, a street market, a lecture, or visit a museum or art gallery.
- Make a movie with your phone. Record your words of wisdom to a younger generation. If you’re the younger generation, you can tell your grandparents, parents, aunts or uncles how much you love them. Be creative. This can truly be a long-lasting gift of love.
- Create a Family Calendar. Design a calendar that includes your family’s important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. Be sure to include family photos. There are websites that can help you with this.
- Grow a vegetable garden and give away the fresh or canned goods. Additionally, you can grow a flower garden and make a nice bouquet.
Download the Infographic: Non-Monetary Gift Ideas
Dr. Wechsler completed her medical education at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio in 1987. For fifteen years, Dr. Wechsler was the co-founder and medical director of Scottsdale Holistic Medical Group, a multidisciplinary group offering conventional and alternative medicine. In 2004 Dr. Wechsler converted her practice to a “concierge” model, thereby limiting her practice to a few hundred patients and giving each one her undivided and unhurried attention. She was the inspiration for the creation of Natural Partners and is a member of the Natural Partners Board of Directors.