5 Great Gift Ideas That Will Save You Money … And Your Sanity!
Christmas doesn’t have to be about giving THINGS – I want to share with you “5 Great Gift Ideas That Will Save You Money. How about giving of ourselves…not literally giving ourselves away, but our hearts through good works and words.
It all starts on the day we call BLACK FRIDAY… we go out and spend our hard earned money while battling the crowds for that awesome deal. Yes, we all know and remember those days when standing in line for that ATARI video game console and that Cabbage Patch doll meant getting trampled on and maybe even a black eye in some cases.
But really? Is it really worth it?
To me, Christmas is all about celebrating the gift of love and life, and giving those gifts unselfishly. In the past, I have found myself totally STRESSED OUT about buying the perfect gifts for everyone…I always feel like I’m not giving enough of a THING, so I go out and buy another someTHING, to make my gift either more expensive or “better”. Have you ever done that? Try doing that for 15 people…it will break the bank and make a girl CRAZY!
I have realized as I am getting older, (and wiser…haha) that giving a gift does not have to be so flipin expensive or commercial. Being a single mom on a budget has caused me to reevaluate how I spend and give at Christmas. I also feel genuinely good about giving when I opt to do all or some of these things in place of just buying something.
Here are 5 simple ways you can give this Christmas that will save you money and maybe even your sanity:
- BAKING your favorite goodies can get to the heart of the receiver…if you put LOVE into your baking like I do, then you can’t go wrong! Who doesn’t love fresh baked goodies? My kids’ grandmother always makes her famous iced Christmas cookies and sends over a tray full. They are very time consuming, and sooo delicious…they are truly a gift of labor and love! This is a gift we can all enjoy, and she put time and effort into making them…you can too!
- Here is a great suggestion – wrap your goodies in a tin (dollar tree has some great ones) and slap on a cute card…and there you go! Your neighbors will never want to move when you give them your baked LOVE in a tin!! ..by the way…you can give baked goods to your family and co-workers too! Involve your kiddos, and you have some quality time with them as well! For healthy cookie recipies I like to use this great site. Happy Baking!
- I love when someone has given me something UNIQUE AND HAND MADE/HOMEMADE. This usually takes TIME and thought. With this, you find that you can make things with items already laying around your house. Say you had an abundance of wood and string in your house (or in the garage as my case was). You can google search “projects to make with wood and string…etc.” I did that last year…and I had the MOST FUN and …my gift were nearly paid for. I did several String art designs…something I never would have thought of. I spent about 4$ on wood stain, and 3$ on nails.
- Try these sites “Not Made Of Money” or how about “I Heart Nap Time” for ideas. It was time well spent, as my family LOVED the gifts. They were thoughtful and fun! (not sure if they actually HUNG them up for all to see or not) It was a gift of my time and thought that didn’t cost me much, and I was proud to give…because I made it. Again…involve the kids and family, and you have a group effort that can be fun for everyone!
- Shop at THRIFT STORES…yup…that’s right, people I said THRIFT stores. You may laugh, but remember…one person’s trash may be another person’s TREASURE! This gift idea is one that saves money and can cause you less stress.
- I just love going thrift shopping, and I find that not a lot of people go to thrift stores at Christmas time. That’s a plus in my book, and for my stress level for sure! Almost every town has at least one or two thrift stores. Many of them put a percentage of their proceeds to charity…so not only are you saving, but you are giving too! I am gonna tell you that it is hit or miss when you shop at one of these.
- I can say that I have found some AMAZING things from clothing, shoes, trinkets, housewares…you name it! You may even find things to make and complete your homemade project with (as described in the previous paragraph) at a thrift store! Sometimes you will find name brand items with tags still attached, especially with clothing. I say, give it a shot…you never know what you can find or SAVE here! Check out your local GOODWILL and SALVATION ARMY stores and your local HOSPICE.
- Giving of your TIME. How many of us actually do this? This is a gift you cannot take back and one of the most important ones. Giving of your time is a selfless, loving action that you actually get return on. I will bet that the time you give will make that person feel love, feel special and if at least for awhile…they will smile.
- Giving of your time can be many things. It can be as simple as sitting and talking to your children engaging in meaningful conversation with your teenager who you think hates you at the moment, to helping your neighbor or co-worker with a home project or yard work they cannot get to do because of an illness or injury. Homeless shelters and FOOD BANKS always need a helping hand this time of year.
- I called my local food bank this week and they need people to label and package food for delivery. I challenge YOU to step out of your COMFORT ZONE this year and give someone or some organization, your TIME. Who knows, the time you give to someone may be all they NEED this Christmas…and may impact their lives deeper than you may ever realize.
- Last but not least – LETTERS OF LOVE….or love letters. I believe that besides our time, and thoughtful gifts, the most important ones come from our kind words. When someone writes a card or letter and puts on paper his or her thoughts, it almost always comes from the heart. Instead of a “something” as a gift, you could write a beautiful poem or letter to that person. Maybe telling them what you appreciate about them and a funny story about a time together, and maybe include pictures.
- A Great little idea – you could always opt to read this letter aloud so as to show your respect and love to one and all. Recently, my two youngest boys were arguing in the car over who gets to sit in the front seat (shocker, I know!)…it lead to name calling, and so on and so forth. After breaking up the argument, I had what I call a FAN FLIPPIN’ TASITC idea! Instead of the boys shopping and buying each other gifts as we always do, ( the usual video games and gift cards) they boys will now be writing letters with the title: “ Why I love having you as my Brother”.
- The youngest…thought it was a great idea…the teen…NOT as happy. I have stuck to my idea, and I think they are warming up to it…just a little. I am having them read aloud to each other what they have written…I think this will be a gift that will make us cry as well as laugh. This can be an idea for a spouse, friend, or in our case, a sibling. An inexpensive way to show you care.
I hope that I have inspired you and your family to take the time to give of yourselves this holiday season. Hopefully you can take away something from these 5 great gift ideas and apply it to your Christmas shopping list! For my boys and me, we are making a conscious effort to cut costs by adding in more of OURSELVES this Christmas. I challenge you to do the same. Who knows…your Christmas gift giving idea may be the BEST someone has ever received. My gift to you is my “5 Great Gift Ideas” for Christmas.