A Gift Doesn’t Always Need to Be Something You Can Hold.
With Thanksgiving coming up, we’re well into the holiday season again, and you’ve no doubt started thinking about some of the gifts you can buy for friends and family this year.
It seems that Christmas and other holiday gift giving celebrations become more commercialized every year, and many of us are weighed down by too much “stuff” anyway. It’s said that it’s better for the environment, our wallets, and even our mental health not to buy random knick-knacks year after year just for the sake of it.
But there’s no need to forgo gift-giving entirely.
Consider giving one of these alternative gifts. These are gifts that have true significance and will mean more than something that ends up forgotten in a landfill.
1. Create an Online Photo Book
In today’s world of Instagram and phone cameras, traditional photo albums have become somewhat of a rarity. Instead, people are turning more and more to digital photo albums and online photo storage. Many people don’t know how to get started with this though.
Capture those memories with your family or friends in a way they can enjoy time after time with an online photo book you’ve personally curated and designed yourself.
There are many online photo services available that are easy to use. You just upload your photos to their website, choose a format, and add text and extra design elements if you wish. Then you share it!
You could even create a family photo collection for each year or even with a theme, such as a wedding or vacation. Maybe create a heritage book with old photographs, newspaper clippings, and a family tree.
The one trick with this plan is where do you get the pictures? If you want this gift to be a surprise, you need to gather pictures from somewhere besides the person directly.
A popular way to find pictures is from their social media accounts. You can use pictures they have decided to share publicly on their Facebook, Instagram or other accounts. Note: Make sure the pictures are something they would feel comfortable sharing. Even though the online photo album will be a private gift for them, they might not want that silly Snapchat picture to be included. Be sensitive with the pictures you choose.
You can also scan physical pictures you have. Dig deep in your physical photo albums. You might be surprised by what you find! And of course, any pictures you have taken together on your phone.
There are many great photo storage sites that let you arrange the photos in a digital album. Then you can set the privacy just the way you want so the world doesn’t see them.
One common site is Flickr.
You can upload pictures, organize them in albums and share them privately.
2. Make a Donation to a Charity or Organization
One popular gift for people who have everything or don’t want more items to put in their home would be a donation to a charity or organization in their name instead.
This gift is particularly significant if you choose a charity or organization that has special meaning to your loved one. Perhaps they’re an animal lover, or they are caring for someone fighting cancer or are passionate about education.
If they are already involved in a charity or do volunteer work, you might want to start there. If you aren’t sure where they would appreciate your gift, you can always sneak in some probing questions, such as, “I’m thinking of donating to a charity this year but am not sure which one. I can’t decide between the Red Cross or the Humane Society.” Then see what they say. Or you could even bring up a local charity such as the local homeless shelter.
Some charities will even pledge to use your donations in a very specific way. You can plant a tree in someone’s name, adopt or sponsor an animal at the zoo, put a disadvantaged child through school, or fund a business loan for an entrepreneur in a third-world country. There are so many options!
This type of gift might not be the right one for everyone, but it might be the perfect gift in some situations.
3. Gift a Secure Future with Life Insurance
Life insurance may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you’re considering holiday gifts, but it could potentially be one of the most meaningful gifts you’ll ever give.
Some common recipients of life insurance would be new parents, new homeowners, and newlyweds. But truly, life insurance is a good gift for anyone.
Life insurance is one of those things that many people put off until later – or think they don’t really need. By getting someone a life insurance policy, you are giving them the gift of peace-of-mind that their family will have financial security if the unthinkable happens. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better gift.
One important fact to take into consideration is who will continue to make the monthly premium payments to the insurance company. Once you buy the policy, someone is going to have to make payments to keep it. If the gift recipient has been talking about getting life insurance but hasn’t gotten around to doing it, they may be happy to take over the payments after a certain period of time. Maybe you decide to pay for the first year.
But if it’s truly a surprise and the person may have not thought about fitting a monthly payment into their budget, the best course of action might be to make the payments yourself as an ongoing gift.
You usually have the option of making monthly or yearly payments. There are some types of policies that can be paid in full with one up-front payment, such as “single premium” life insurance. There are many life insurance policy types, so definitely meet with an insurance agent before making any decisions.
Something else to keep in mind, many policies will have to involve the person you are buying the insurance for, so you may want to write a note and wrap it up, saying what the gift is and then get the actual policy after the holidays.
If you are the main breadwinner of the family, the gift of life insurance might be the peace-of-mind gift your family might love and never knew they wanted. In this case, you would be purchasing a life insurance policy for yourself and making the gift recipient the beneficiary.
The best way to purchase a policy for someone as a gift is to speak with a licensed insurance agent in person. There may be special requirements or certain limitations. You need to be fully aware of what is and isn’t available before making a purchase.
Happy Gift Giving!
Asurea offers Life Insurance, Mortgage Protection Life Insurance, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Final Expense Insurance, Disability Insurance, Long-term Care Insurance, Retirement Planning products and more. For additional information, click on the ‘Learn more’ button below. Want to have articles just like this delivered to your inbox? Just enter your email address in the box below and click ‘Subscribe.’
This information is provided for general consumer educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice.
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