Gift ideas for the freelancer in your life from an actual freelancer

10 gifts to give the creative in your life that’s not another notebook or tote bag.

The last thing the freelancer in your life needs is yet another pen, notebook, or tote bag. So, here’s a practical list of gifts they’ll actually appreciate, ranging from free to inexpensive. And please, if you can, shop local and shop small.

1. Coffee

Most people run on coffee. An extra jolt of caffeine is always a welcome gift, especially when someone’s on deadline. I recommend two of my favorite coffee shops that ship: West Lou and The Caffeinery

2. A babysitter

Childcare is expensive, ya’ll. Give your freelancer friend time away from their kids to relax, create, and have a little peace. If you live nearby, this makes a wonderful no-cost present, but you can also pay for their regular babysitter.

3. Books, books, books!

You can never go wrong with a gift card to their favorite locally-owned bookstore. If you don’t have a local bookstore in your area, I suggest buying from Carmichael’s Bookstore, which ships anywhere around the U.S.

4. Website domain

Just about every freelancer, writer, and independent has their own website. Offer to pay for their yearly domain subscription! It shows that you believe in them and in what they do.

5. Referrals and recommendations

One of the best gifts you can give the self-employed person you love is referrals for more work. Tell people you know about their services, and give the person you love good reviews on their social media channels, Yelp, Etsy, etc. Of course, this is something you should do outside of the holidays as well!

6. Subscriptions for magazines and newsletters they love

Subscriptions are always nice, and something they will love for months to come! It’s best to ask for recommendations before buying subscriptions.

If you need a few ideas:

For writers: The Writer, Writer’s Digest

For freelancers: Freelancing with Tim newsletter, Sonia Weiser’s Opportunities of the Week

For anyone: Their favorite industry magazine! Ask!

7. Gift card for food

Give them the gift of a Door Dash or restaurant gift card so they don’t have to stop mid-project to make dinner and wash dishes. If you live nearby, a home-cooked meal never hurts!

8. Affordable accessories that provide comfort

We’re all spending more time at home, so why not make their home more comfortable for them? A few accessories that make life better:

  • Noise-cancelling headphones
  • Lap desk
  • Mug warmer
  • Heating pad
  • Wrist rest
  • Throw blanket
  • Live plants (Ideally, a gift card to plant shop like Mahonia or Euflora for succulents)

9. DIY writing residency

Sometimes, the best gift you can give someone is more time to do what they love. Trips and writing residencies tend to be costly, so if you can, pay for a night or two away to a hotel or Airbnb. For a more economical option, invite your friend over to enjoy snacks, tea, and time to themselves.

“Sometimes, the best gift you can give someone is more time to do what they love.”

10. Subscriptions for online classes

Trust me, anyone can find a class they’d like to take on Skillshare or Masterclass. The Writers’ Co-op offers an affordable subscription for freelancers to learn about the business of freelancing.


My content is always free, but you can help support my work by buying me a coffee. Your support allows me to write blog posts and create resources for freelancers. I appreciate every penny.

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