Christmas is 2 weeks away. Did you know? Rather, does your dwindling bank account know? We’re gearing up for the last minute gift scramble, and if funds are tight, this can only add to an already stressful time of year.
But gifts don’t have to be expensive. Here are some quick tips on how to give your friends or family that perfect gift from you without breaking the bank.
1. Gather some of your friends for a cookie exchange. Bake some of your favorite cookies, instructing your friends to do the same. Then come together and enjoy a cookie party, enjoying a wide variety of homemade treats made with love. (By the way, shameless plug for BiteClubEats.com here – check out the Holiday Cookie Contest for some scrumptious recipes that Heather has been baking all week long from reader’s recipes, and grab some ideas for your own kitchen!)
2. Take over someone’s stress. Everyone has those items on their to-do list that they are putting off because they just don’t want to do them. So why not let someone else do them for you? Get together with some friends, each of you writing down the top things that need to get done on your list. And then take over some of your friends’ stresses while they cross off some of yours off your list. After all, wouldn’t you rather be rid of that messy closet that needs organizing than receive another vase to be placed on a shelf?
3. Trade expertise. Your funds are tight. However, you work as a hairdresser. Why not give the gift of a haircut? Or if you’re especially great with kids, package up a gift certificate for a night of free babysitting. Have excellent culinary skills? Cook a couple freezable dinners for a friend as their present. Or great with style? Offer a shopping day with your undivided attention towards fashion advice. You’re good at something – so share that wealth with others as your gift this year.
4. Host a White Elephant party. Regifting at its finest…. We all have some unused items that we’re struggling to find a use for. Why not wrap them up and give them to someone else? These kinds of parties can be hysterical as friends choose a wrapped gift without knowing what’s inside. It can be anything from a beautiful scarf to an ugly sweater, or even a VHS tape of some cheesy 80’s movie. Make it more interesting by making it a pirate gift exchange, allowing friends to either choose a gift, or steal one from someone else. The first person to choose gets to be the last one with a chance to steal.
5. Make your gift. Some of the most beautiful things I have ever received are handmade. My grandmother sews blankets for all the grandkids. A friend of mine has a way with crafting jewelry. Another friend is an amazing artist and makes a calendar of her artwork. And me? I write a Christmas story every year that includes every member of the family as a character. A gift made is a gift given from the heart.
What are some of your tips for making it an inexpensive Christmas?