The Gift of Giving – How to do Christmas for pennies

(Photo Source:  Loren Javier – Flikr Creative Commons Attribution License)

Ah, Christmas.  What a wonderful time of year, no?  Of course it is, and anyone who says otherwise is a Grinch!

But it’s a stressful time.  Especially if you  have kids and I’m lucky enough to have two of my own and an adult step-daughter.  I love them with all my heart and soul, but they make me crazy.  They figure Christmas is a license for greed and judging by the annual rise in consumer spending at this time of year, they may be right.

Cookie Cutter and Scrapbook Paper
Cookie Cutter and Scrapbook Paper

I like to make gifts and am fortunate to be very crafty and handy.  If anyone is planning to make gifts, better get off your butt and start today – you only have 24 days left!

We’re on a super tight budget this year and really there’s no money at all for gifts.  Even making a gift costs money.  So this year, I’m looking for ways to give gifts that don’t cost a cent or only a few cents but are still on the spectacular side of the scale!  Especially if they realize I made it rather than bought it.

For neighbours and friends, I’ll be offering the gift of time.  I’m making home made cards and providing time to them.  Want me to weed your garden in the spring?  Done.  Shovel your drive? Done!  Go dreaded window shopping with you while you try on clothes?  Done and done!  It’s the gift of my time, which is something I’m very selfish with.  This is simply a variation on the coupon book theme.

Kids are a little tougher.  They want to unwrap something.  Here’s a little gallery of gifts I’ve made from collecting stuff around the house.  True, I’m handy and crafty so these may not all be easy.  But I’m trying to spark you to see what you can do, not say “copy what I did!”.  And even if you’re not on a budget, hand made gifts add a layer of sentimentality.

horse and owl food angry wallet

There are lots of ways to make gifts for next to nothing.  I do a lot of baking.  Stick with home made oatmeal cookies and a dollar store tin and it stays below $4 per gift!  Gifts from the heart say:    “I thought about you while I made this, you’re special to me.” Have you ever made a gift for someone?  Did they think it was more special than a store bought gift?  Did you? 

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