Cheap and Easy Holiday Gift Ideas
Posted by Sarah at 2:34 pm in DIY, Events, Shopping

I don’t mean to be a scrooge, but I am already sick of the holiday season. I’m tired of the decorations, the Christmas carols that have been playing since October, and the constant pressure to demonstrate your love by buying the most expensive holiday gifts. Truly, when did it become okay for kids to write itemized, annotated lists for Santa and then throw tantrums when a certain gift isn’t found under the tree?

Okay, enough. I’m sorry for the rant. It’s hard to be a poor secretary during the holidays, but here are a few ideas for inexpensive holiday gifts that I’ve used over the years:

Volunteering – Giving your time can be more valuable that giving your money. If you and a loved one have a shared passion, find an organization that supports your cause and offer to spend a few hours working together for them. Your loved one will appreciate the time you get to spend together and you’ll know you’re supporting a good cause. If you don’t have the time to commit, consider making a donation to a favorite charity in lieu of a gift. If you would have spent $25 on a gift, donate that to a special organization instead.

Baked Goods – Homemade treats can be a wonderful holiday gift if you have any kind of culinary talent. Just a word of caution, though. If you know the recipient has recently lost weight or is currently dieting, try to put together some healthier treats. Nothing is more frustrating for the weight-conscious than the constant stream of holiday goodies.

Offer Your Services – Are you a good cook? A talented dancer? Blessed with a green thumb? Instead of giving expensive gifts, share your talents! Give a loved one the gift of a fabulous dinner to be hosted in their home at a mutually convenient date. Or offer to plant a garden around a loved one’s front door if that’s where your skills lie. You can even throw in some free weeding throughout the year.

Homemade Gifts – Okay, forget about the popsicle stick birdhouse. Making homemade gifts can be easy, tasteful and cost-effective. You can get cheap picture frames at a dollar store, hot glue some ribbon on and mount a favorite picture of you and your loved one. Or find a nice box, cut up some fancy paper and a few pencils and you’ve got a stationary kit. Just wander around a craft store for awhile – you’re sure to find something you can make.

Dollar Store Finds – While we’re on the subject of dollar stores, you’d be amazed at the quality of merchandise you can find there. Personally, I’ve found some great Christmas figurines and a small snow globe that could have passed for more expensive department store products. These items are great for gift giving opportunities where you don’t know the recipient well, like an office gift exchange, presents for teachers or other acquaintances, or for extended family members you don’t know well.

With the holiday season upon us, don’t go massively in debt trying to prove your love with material possessions. Be creative and show your family and friends that you care with a gift that comes from the heart. They don’t have to know how much money you saved!

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