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Memorable and Unique Holiday Gifts that Your Family and Friends Will Love. Blog Feature

By: America's Credit Union on January 13th, 2023

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Memorable and Unique Holiday Gifts that Your Family and Friends Will Love.

Seasonal | Life

The tradition of giving holiday gifts has become linked to mass-marketing campaigns with consumers urged to purchase this year’s trendy items. From the c Cabbage Patch Dolls to Tickle Me Elmo, these and other "trendy" hot gifts from previous years have largely found their way to back-of-the-closet shelves and tag sales. Rather than follow the latest fad, it may be worthwhile to think outside the box and select unique and memorable holiday gifts. Handmade and experience-driven presents require less strenuous budgeting on your part. They also let your friends and family know they are valued.

Why Experiences Make the Best Holiday Gifts

It may come as something of a surprise — given the barrage of advertisements — but people are not nearly as enthusiastic about receiving manufactured products as one might expect.

A few years back, a CBS News poll indicated that 79% of Americans preferred spending time with loved ones over receiving holiday gifts; 9% enjoyed the food and drink, with 6 percent favoring the decorations and seasonal music. Only 4% ranked holiday gifts as number one. Another survey discovered that 66% of family members between the ages of 25 and 34 prefer experience-based gifts over commercial products.

Adding to the good reasons to shy away from this year’s trendy, must-have gadget, more than 1,000 pounds of trash per household swells our landfills following the holidays. Environmentally conscious community members are trying to reduce the use of plastics and non-recyclables. By budgeting for experience-based gifts, you are also doing your part for a sustainable future


Meaningful Experiences and Handmade Gifts

It’s important to note that not all physical holiday gifts are poor environmental choices or feel less than thoughtful. Handmade gifts demonstrate the loving care people have for one another. And by gathering together the necessary materials, crafters and DIYers can create holiday gifts that suit individual personalities while minimizing the impact on our environment. These are heartwarming holiday gifts that keep on giving.

1:Online Learning Courses

Knowledge won’t end up in a tag sale or fill up local landfills. It’s a gift that lasts a lifetime and can be shared with others at no cost. That’s why online courses such as culinary arts, music, or learning another language are so valuable. Friends and family members can log on to a platform and experience something they're excited to learn at their own pace. There are endless options available online and you can choose something that you know your friend or loved one will really be excited about. This gift is great for anyone who has been talking about learning a new skill or exploring a new area of interest. You really would be gifting the ultimate gift of self-growth. Add to that the convenience of being able to pay online with a credit card to sign them up, and you have saved your loved one the hassle of registering.


Budgeting a memorable consumer gift for everyone in your circle can put a strain on your finances. But holiday gifts that involve services deliver a quality of life experience that is appreciated at a scalable cost. Consider using your credit card to pre-pay for one house cleaning or a babysitter for one night. Teenagers who are unsure what to get adults can also go this route. A young, thoughtful gift giver can create a homemade "coupon book" allowing the recipient of the coupon to cash in on various services from grocery shopping, filling gas, cleaning the house, and other kid-friendly chores. Knowing someone you care about has an opportunity to relax is priceless.


3: Entertainment

Concert tickets to a favorite band are always a memorable experience, and a gift adults often give to youngsters. But entertainment-driven holiday gifts for adults are equally appreciated. Ask yourself what a loved one truly cherishes and sync that idea with a pass. This may involve an annual museum membership, a hunting or fishing license, or a national park pass.

If you have loved ones who embrace the RV lifestyle, consider a Harvest Host camping membership. This program allows RVers to stay overnight at more than 4,000 wineries, breweries, farms, golf courses, and other attractions. It can be a veritable dream come true for retirees and digital nomads who want to experience America, as well as communities in Canada and Mexico.

4: Handmade Gifts

Handmade holiday gifts demonstrate a level of thoughtfulness that store-bought items cannot equal. They put your creativity to work with the singular idea of bringing joy and happiness into someone’s life. In terms of budgeting for the gift-giving season, handmade crafts and baked goods are typically less expensive because their labor costs involve love.

Treats such as chocolate chip cookies, roasted nuts, salsa, and sauces from long-standing family recipes are always a hit. Other homemade holiday gifts, such as stovetop potpourri, bath bombs, and salts, are gateways to relaxing experiences. They're a way to provide the care and comfort your loved ones may unexpectedly need.

And the DIYer in the family can craft items such as personalized cutting boards, leather wallets, or repurpose items found in thrift stores. Budgeting for homemade holiday gifts requires fewer dollars and is more of an investment of time adding tons of sentimental value to the gift. 

Purchasing items from e-commerce platforms, big box retailers, and local stores may make sense for certain items. But if you're looking for budget-friendly holiday gifts, add-ons to existing gift lists, or if you want to give something memorable on a personal level, experiences and homemade items may be the ticket.


Make Paying for Your Holiday Gifts Easy with a Visa Credit Card from America's Credit Union

While creating your holiday gift list and keeping an eye on your overall budget, make sure you're armed with a reliable credit card to ensure whatever gift you decide on, you have the supplies you need to make it or you have paid and registered your loved one and the experience is ready for them to enjoy.

America's Credit Union offers Visa Credit Cards to fit your budget with low-rate options to credit cards that earn rewards. You can apply today to start getting ready for the busy holiday season or contact us if you have questions about which card is right for you. We hope you find these gift options useful and are able to find the perfect last-minute gift that’s thoughtful, light on the stress, and something your giftee will truly enjoy.


Membership in America’s Credit Union is open to anyone who lives or works in Dallas, Rockwall or Collin Counties, Texas, and their family members. Employees of select employers may also be eligible. See our Membership page for details.

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