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Creative Gifts for Our Loved Ones

How we turned our time and talents into meaningful gifts for family and friends

A gallery of gift ideas.

— Illustration by: Greg Clarke

En español | Like works of art, gifts can reflect unique expressions of our love. This season, we at AARP VIVA share with you the creative ways we’ve turned our time and talents into meaningful gifts for our friends and family. We hope our stories inspire you to draw from your own creativity.

See also: Get a head start on the holiday shopping.

Order from chaos

“Discard stuff. You can open space in your mind and your soul.”
—Gabriela Zabalúa-Goddard, vice president and editor

Perfume cosmetic organizer tray box

— Illustration by: Greg Clarke

Show her a mess, and Gaby will find a way to straighten it out. Often, as a gift, she shares her innate talent with friends and family — like her sister Silvina. Recently divorced, Silvina found herself with a walk-in closet stuffed with his-and-her items. "She was having a hard time making it feel like it was her own space," says Gaby. "So I went in there and turned it upside down."

Dozens of perfume bottles were neatly arranged on a tray. Clothes were organized by color. Silvina's worn (but still prized) shoes were sent to be repaired. "His" items were packed up and returned to the ex. "This was a way to help her liberate herself," says Gaby.

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