The holidays are when we spend time with family and friends that we haven’t seen in a while. We sing carols, feast on delicious family favorites, and exchange gifts. It is truly a special time of the year.
But what do you do when your part-time job doesn’t give you enough extra cash to buy mom that gold necklace she wants or to buy your significant other tickets to the concert he or she has been talking about since October?
You could always sell an organ on the black market, but that sounds a little drastic to me. I think a better option would be to think of some budget-friendly holiday gifts.
Here are a few of my favorites that will delight your wallet and the recipient of your gift.
1. Cook to show you care. Everyone loves freshly baked cookies and brownies, but sometimes the prospect of spending at least an hour in the kitchen keeps us from whipping up some double chocolate-chip cookies or fudge brownies. So buy a mix, or make them from scratch, and spend an afternoon in the kitchen, baking your holiday gifts. It won’t cost too much money and you get to spend the day licking chocolate off your fingers. Just make sure to wash your hands between licks.
2. Become a gifting library. Do you have stacks of books you’ve already read but can’t bear to just throw away? Give them as gifts to your friends and family. Write a letter to each recipient, explaining why you think they will like the book or why you wanted them to have it. Wrap it with pretty paper and maybe include a new bookmark, and you have a sentimental gift that is sure to be one of a kind.
3. Practice your DJ skills. Personalized mix CDs are always a meaningful gift. You can include songs that bring back special memories or songs that will make the recipient smile. Blank CDs are pretty cheap, and the possibilities are endless concerning what you can make.
4. Take a trip to candyland. If you have a friend who loves candy, buy a cheap plastic holiday cup and fill it up with his or her favorite sweets. Add a candy cane and wrap it with red or green plastic wrap.
5. Spend some time with them. This is a very basic idea, but one that we often don’t think of doing. Sometimes the best gift you can give someone is time spent together. My sister lives out of state, so every holiday season, we make it a goal to spend some quality time together. Sometimes we just watch old holiday movies; sometimes we go shopping. It does not really matter what you do with this person, just as long as you spend time together.
Just because you aren’t rolling in the dough this holiday season doesn’t mean you can’t give a great gift. Sure, you have to be a little more creative than going to the store and buying the first thing you see. But, chances are, your recipients are going to remember the personalized gifts they received more than the gift cards or other ordinary gifts they receive this year.