Christmas Gift Giving on a Shoestring Budget


With Christmas just around the corner and the not so merry state of our purses and wallets, it is time to start worrying about where the money is coming from to buy all those expensive gifts for your loved ones. However, if you subscribe to the old saying that it is the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving, you need not be concerned about not being able to provide those pricey gifts. After all, the most memorable gifts are the ones that money can never buy. Here are some helpful tips that will get you through this Christmas season with a smile on your face and hugs from those you have given gifts to.

Create a Collage Photo Frame

Spend some time making a collage of memories for your friend by cutting out photos and framing them with various decorations. Colorful markers and construction paper in your desk can be the beginnings of a great present. You can cut up the preceding year’s calendar pictures and attach them to your collage. Enlarge words that describe how you feel about your friend and present this collage as a gift from you heart. Your friend will most likely keep this longer than a store candle bought on impulse.

Decorated Cookie Gifts

If you enjoy baking, this can turn out to be a great gift to many folks. Bake cookies and cake during a relaxing afternoon and wrap them up with colorful, festive plastic wrap. Tape each batch with a Christmas card and present this affectionately to your relatives who will no doubt love to eat your double chocolate drop cookies. If you have relatives who are always asking you for the recipe, print it out and tie it with your gift.


Give Coupons of Service.

When your friend is overwhelmed with her four toddlers at home, give her a coupon to redeem an afternoon of babysitting while she goes out for a manicure or a movie by herself. If she is not willing to ask for babysitting, then just go to her house and say that you will help with housekeeping without any comments on how messy the house is. She will definitely appreciate this gift.

Gift of Love in a Poem

If you enjoy writing, pen a few lines of poetry for your loved ones. Knowing calligraphy helps to make your poem look lovely, but if you do not know this art, a nice font on the computer works equally as well. Print out the poem and decorate it with your loved one’s favorite color and pictures that have meaning. Remember to sign your name at the bottom of the poem. You may get a few tears with this gift, so be ready with a nice box of tissues.

Gift of Time

Give the gift of time to those whom you truly love. Write that your gift to them will be to spend the day sitting with them and doing whatever they want. After you write this promise down, follow through as soon as possible. Tell them that you are there for them and that you will listen to them. Even though this is just one day, your loved one will never forget this day and will treasure this gift for the rest of their life.

Cook a Special Meal

Make your friend’s favorite meal and enjoy it together. Print out a little menu and create the ambience of a beautiful restaurant. If you can get the help of your friends, have them serve of the wait staff to bring the menu and the meal. This way, you can just spend some quality time with your friend without the hassle of running around the kitchen to make sure everything looks perfect. If your friend does not mind, then have him or her come over while you are making the meal, and you can make it together while you laugh and enjoy memories over the stove.