Give Meaningful Gifts

Yes, the holidays are nearly here. But there is still time to go shopping, so don't fret and don't resort to a gift card! Everyone wants to give something meaningful and unique, but it can be tricky on a budget.

Remember, gifts don't have to be extravagant or costly, just thoughtful! Here are some last-minute gift ideas for anyone in your life, many of which give back to others as well.

1. Experiential Gifts

An experiential gift is great for the person who seems to have everything. You can join in on the fun or let recipient pick someone to go with.

Know an aspiring chef? There are cooking classes for just about every cuisine. From lasagna to sushi, you can attend a class at a local cooking school or restaurant. My favorites in New York are at Eataly, the Institute of Culinary Education, and Momofuku.

A spa day is the perfect gift for someone who needs to unwind. Depending on the person, a massage just might be the ideal treat for relaxing this holiday season. In New York City, I recommend taking the massage to the next level at Aire Ancient Baths. If your friend or family member is a fitness fanatic, try ClassPass. For $99, you can get unlimited fitness classes at partnering gyms for one month.

Just be careful if you have to commit to a date when purchasing the gift. The key to experiential gifts is flexibility, and the recipient should be able to pick when she would like to redeem the gift so it will work with her schedule.

2. Gifts That Help Others

What’s better than buying a gift for someone you love? Knowing that a person in need is receiving a gift, too!

If you know a stylish person who could use a new pair of sunglasses or reading frames, buy them a pair from Warby Parker. Warby offers prescription shades and reading glasses for $100 or less, and also has a donation program that bring glasses to those in need, based on the number sold.

One of my personal favorites, FEED's mission is to create good products that help FEED the world. FEED has bags and accessories, all of which are handmade and are perfect for those looking for a mix of style and utility. Every bag purchase provides meals through the World Food Program, and some also provide additional aid such as schoolbooks. When shopping FEED products, you can learn how your purchase will benefit others.

Giving to charity is a classic option, but give it a modern spin by giving to a charity you know the recipient will love. For instance, for a dog lover, consider a donation to Animal Rescue Fund. There are tons of charities out there, each supporting great causes. Find something important to your recipient and send a gift in the person's name.

3. Financial Gifts

As you know, some of the most meaningful gifts are those that contribute to your loved one’s financial security. So, consider a gift that can help her for years to come.

Shareswell is a simple and secure platform for gifting stock. All you need is an email address, and through Shareswell Give you can give the gift of financial security and help someone reimagine their financial future.

Another terrific option is a gift that will contribute to a loved one’s financial literacy, such as a popular financial book, tickets to an exciting lecture series or event, or a few meetings with a career or financial adviser. Supporting your friend or family member in seeking out expertise as she strives to achieve her goals is a great gift!

So many of us dread gift giving because we don’t know what to buy. Use the tips above to find your loved one that perfect gift.

Emily Washkowitz is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.