The gift of presence, not just presents, this Christmas

"The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence" - Thich Nhat Hanh

Christmas is a time for love, kindness and giving. In fact, we’re so generous that the average Australian household spends around $963 on Christmas presents each year!

But with research suggesting $620 worth of these gifts will be unwanted by the recipient, and with our society craving deeper connection more than ever before, perhaps the most generous gift we can give is our presence. True, connected, special time to really be present and make memories with our nearest and dearest.

Presence vs. presents

Gift giving is a deep-rooted human tradition that can be seen throughout ancient civilisations used to show appreciation, affection, respect, support, allegiance and much more. The psychology driving gift giving is simple: it allows people to connect.

In a study of 177 people aged 18 to 80, more happiness was reported when experiences with loved ones was the prominent element of Christmas, and lower wellbeing was noted when spending money and receiving gifts took president.

See, although gift giving allows us to connect with our loved ones, it can’t trump great times and great memories with the people we most love and adore.

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Gifting presence

Nothing beats showing up fully on Christmas day, disconnecting from technology (yep, phones off) and connecting deeply with your loved ones.

If you want to take it a step further and you’re not sure how, we’ve got you! Gifting presence isn’t something we’ve all grown up with. To help you break the mould, here’s 30 ways you can gift your presence this Christmas.

“Your presence is a miracle” – Thich Nhat Hanh


Gift your presence with:

  1. A yoga class together at your local studio.
  2. A delicious dinner made by you at home, jam-packed with love and goodness.
  3. A walk in the great outdoors.
  4. A morning spent without clock-watching at your local café.
  5. An afternoon spent baking together.
  6. An afternoon spent with a teapot and your bestie.
  7. Enjoy a picnic at the beach or the park.
  8. A dark chocolate fondue evening.
  9. A doona day with your loved one.
  10. A sunrise swim in the sea with your mates.
  11. A sunset swim in the sea with your mates (after all, we’re not all morning people!).
  12. A day spent getting creative – why not make your own Christmas cards or gifts together?
  13. Dedicated time to try something new together – an art class, a trapeze lesson, a surf session?
  14. Pick a spot in the sun, place blankets on the ground and relax in the warmth, side by side, without needing to say anything.
  15. Turn off all technology and dedicate a full morning to just talking and catching up with your best mate.
  16. Go on a spontaneous adventure – get on the bus, train or jump in the car together and see where the wind takes you.
  17. Go off-grid together – book a weekend away in a remote location where there is no electricity or phone signal.
  18. Teach each other your favourite skill or hobby.
  19. Volunteer for the day together for a charity or NFP.
  20. Walk a dog together – if neither of you own a dog, offer to walk a neighbour’s or friend’s dog. You’ll be helping them out while getting some quality time together.

“Slow down and be present” – Unknown Genius


Gift your presence with:

  1. An afternoon making the world’s biggest den and eating dinner in it.
  2. An adventure night, camping in the garden.
  3. An afternoon spent building an igloo in the sand or the snow.
  4. A morning baking their favourite treat together in the kitchen.
  5. A night time bike ride together made fun with torches.
  6. A disco afternoon for them and their friends.
  7. A fancy-dress day that the whole family’s involved in (mum and dad too!).
  8. An epic treasure hunt around the house, the beach, your town – wherever!
  9. A BBQ on the beach with special food you prepared together at home first.
  10. An evening reading your favourite books to each other.

Download gift presence vouchers

Make the gift of presence extra special, extra formal and extra exciting with a unique gift voucher for your loved one. We’ve made some of our favourites that you can download here, as well as templates you can use for any presence gift of your choice!

Make the world’s biggest den and have dinner in it!

Gift Presence Voucher - Make The World's Biggest Den!

Have an adventure night camping in the garden!

Gift Presence Voucher - Adventure Camping Night!

A yoga class together

Gift Presence Voucher - Yoga Class

Take a hike together

Gift Presence Voucher - Hike

A delicious dinner at my place

Gift Presence Voucher - Delicious Dinner

A blank template for food-related fun

Gift Presence Voucher - Food Fun

A blank template for outdoor fun

Gift Presence Voucher - Outdoor Fun

A blank template for beach-time fun

Gift Presence Voucher - Beach Fun

A blank template for any activity

Gift Presence Voucher - Blank Template


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