5 DIY gift ideas for heartfelt holidays

5 DIY gift ideas for heartfelt holidays

Around here, we live by the mantra “Pure. Simple. Real.” It’s not just on our packaging, it’s who we are. It’s how we live.

As the seasons turn and the holidays approach, it’s a great time to reflect on the things you value. If you come from a gift-giving tradition, it’s especially important to remember that what we give is often a reflection of what’s within.

Here are a few of our ideas for pure, simple, real gift giving.


write a letter as a holiday gift

1. Handwritten letters

In the age of social media, text messaging and email, there’s a profound joy in receiving a handwritten letter. Sharing a memory or something you’re grateful for with someone you love is a gift they’ll savor.


Gift an experience

2. Experiences

Studies show that when we spend money on experiences, the joy we get out of that purchase is far greater than the joy of purchasing physical items. Share this joy with a loved one by gifting them an experience.

Take them on a hike, visit a museum, or listen to live music. If they love surprises, take them on a “mystery trip” to the zoo or their favorite cafe. If they have a sweet tooth, do a donut tasting around town and discuss nuances in flavor and texture.

The key to gifting experiences is to make it personal. The more you demonstrate you’ve listened to and truly care, the better. Before gifting an experience, ask yourself, “Is this for me, or them?” If you can definitively say them, you’re good to go!


holiday gift homemade dinner

3. Share a meal

Breaking bread has been a way humans have connected for centuries. Whether you prepare a meal or go to a restaurant, dedicating time to sharing a delicious meal is a great way to show your love. Be sure to ask questions, hide your phone and be present. 


holiday gift charitable donation card

4. Charitable donations

Whether you’re practicing minimalism, stumped on what to give, or simply wanting to support causes that are dear to your heart, charitable giving makes a wonderful gift. There are a couple of ways to do it.

The straightforward option: Make a donation on the behalf of the person receiving this gift and then include a proof of that donation in a card. It’s best to choose a non-profit that reflects their preferences and values. A few of our personal favorites are Columbia Riverkeeper, Women and Children's Alliance and Rewild Portland.

Give them a choice: This is my personal favorite, especially when introducing kids to the idea of charitable giving. Designate a certain amount and let them select where the funds go. Kids love options and they LOVE to give. Giving kids the opportunity to choose how they’d like to be generous is incredibly rewarding. And the process of making that donation together can be a really fun experience!


holiday gift homemade DIY present

5. Homemade presents

Making something with your hands not only shows your loved one that you care, but is a GREAT way to de-stress during the holiday season. Working on a project, especially for someone else, has a special way of helping you become present.

When you disrupt your usual movement patterns, and use your body in new ways (i.e. wrangling a glue gun, tying a really intricate bow, etc.), you create a shift in your physiology. This creates an opening for new possibilities.

We’ve created a list of all of our favorite DIY gifts over on Pinterest. Get inspiration here.


If you try one of these ideas, please let us know how it goes in the comments below. And if you think it may be useful to others, share it with a friend or two.