Posted by: Liz Massey | December 7, 2011

9 Ways to Give the Gift of Creativity This Holiday Season

Photo courtesy of SXC.

It’s possible that I love posting lists of potential “creative” holiday presents even more than I love receiving gifts. It’s not that I am some sort of consumerist shopaholic – to the contrary, I get jazzed about Christmas giving in large part because of the many self-created gift options open to artists and innovators.

If you’re creative, you never have to worry about your budget or life circumstances cramping your gift-giving style. Applying your well-honed ingenuity can make it simple to craft presents that are beautiful, thoughtful and thrifty.

Here are a few ways to recognize your friends and loved ones, with presents that reflect the season’s generous nature and tap into the joy of discovery and originality.

Holiday gift ideas

1. Record an online video holiday greeting for your peeps and post it to YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook. You can also send it to them privately using a free service like DV Cards.

2. Go retro and create mix CDs for the people on your holiday list, or a customized playlist  for their MP3 player.

3. Create a “sample size” gift representing a work in progress: a snippet of poetry, a tiny painting, a short song. Fans of your creativity will be thrilled to see what you’ve been up to.

4. Invite 3-4 friends to start a creativity-focused mastermind group, in which you all provide accountability and encouragement for each other’s projects.

5. Organize an afternoon of Skype caroling with far-flung friends. Go Caroling Day is December 20!

6. Host a discovery-themed holiday potluck or cook-off. Invite some of your more adventurous friends over, provide a culinary theme, and organize your pals into teams to create delicious new holiday dishes or treats. The emphasis should be on learning and sharing, not out-and-out competition.

7. Offer to teach a friend how to master a creative discipline you’re good at, such as playing the guitar or photography.

8. Bless an aspiring artist with some real-world advice – perhaps “Ancient Wisdom: Emerging Artist: The Business Plan (not just) for the Mature Artist” by Sue Favinger Smith (which features an interview with yours truly) or “I’d Rather Be In The Studio” by Alyson Stanfield. If you know lots of aspiring creatives, you could start a study group using one of these volumes.

9. Finally, make it a point to create “experience” gifts with your loved ones, which will definitely stick in people’s minds longer than store-bought fruitcake or a gift card. You and your gift recipient can craft a day customized to your common interests and budget.

The question to you

How do you use your creativity or artistic abilities to create holiday presents for family and loved ones?

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