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It's been a difficult year for everyone. But when times are tough, what matters most tends to come into sharper focus. Family. Community. Health. Peace. This holiday season will be unlike any other — but that doesn't mean it can't be celebrated wholeheartedly.

This holiday season, giving and receiving may take on a different tone and meaning compared to years past. Here are some tips for giving gifts that reflect sincerity, hope, and a simple expression that you know what others really need this year.

1. The gift of wellness

During a year where our health has been front and centre, consider gifts that help your family or friends stay well — physically or mentally. A yoga mat to promote at-home fitness, a weighted blanked to improve rest, or an aromatic diffuser for a calming atmosphere can all be mood-boosting gifts that have lasting wellness benefits.

2. Tools to make at-home learning, working and living a little easier

As many Canadians continue to work and learn at home, having the right equipment can be a game-changer when it comes to productivity and efficiency. Plus, video calls with friends are a lot more fun when you’ve got tech that works. Through RBC Rewards, you can use a combination of points and cash to redeem for devices from the Apple and Best Buy catalogues to help your family get things done and stay connected.

3. Something special the whole family will love

This might not be the year of big presents for all under the tree … but maybe there’s room for one special item? Maybe it’s a blender you can all use — for everything from soups to milkshakes. Or a set of speakers for listening to music, books or podcast together. Before you shop for your family gift, remember to check and see what savings are available from great brands through RBC Offers.

4. Games to play together

While families may have been home together for several months, it can be easy for everyone to retreat to their own corners with their personal devices. A board game or two can get the family together for some old fashioned fun and bonding. And for those times when you need to expand your gaming network a bit? Consider finding digital games that can be played with friends or extended family members online.

5. The gift of choice

Gift cards may not at first appear steeped in meaning and sentimentality, but let’s face it — they’re highly practical and people love them! Let your friends and/or family do their own shopping on your tab. Even a small amount can go a long way (and RBC Rewards cardholders can redeem for gift cards starting at just 1,400 points). Plus, by buying gift cards from your favourite local businesses, you’re supporting the community at the same time.

6. Some holiday breathing room for you

Did you know you can use RBC Rewards points to pay down your credit card balance, pay your bills? If a bit of financial relief is what’s going to give you peace and comfort this season, it may be the best gift of all.

7. Support for someone in need

While 2020 has been difficult for everyone, some people have faced particularly tough times. Consider donating to a charitable organization that can use your support. Did you know you can use RBC Rewards points to donate to select charities?

Use RBC Rewards points to get meaningful gifts this holiday.

Load your RBC Offers before you shop, to save some money this holiday season.