This Christmas, we seem to find ourselves in recession, but so what? This is the perfect occasion to test our creative capabilities.
So let's get back to basics and make this year's Christmas both personal and affordable--these two definitely don't have to be mutually exclusive!
Do not underestimate the power of the homemade cookie. After all, Christmas is the season of indulgence, comfort and nostalgia... perhaps a plain old chocolate chip cookie hasn't got the right Christmasy taste to it, but with just a little bit more effort, we can turn this old-fashioned home baked gift into a sweet celestial Christmas surprise! Look up Christmas cookie recipes online, or perhaps you feel fudge is the way to go this time around...
You can bake a big batch of whatever it is you're making, so you have several gifts to give to different people, get out some clear or bright colored cello wrapping paper, tie together with a nice Christmassy ribbon, and you have got yourself a truly delightful gift that you know will be cherished. It may not last a lifetime long - or well, we better hope not - but the effort will definitely be appreciated!
Gift cards--why not?! Is there anything more personal than your first morning coffee? Didn't think so... Why not get someone that you know is a Starbucks addict a gift card--this will definitely be used and loved on those cold winter mornings. Guess who they will be thinking of when they take out their gift card to purchase their gingersnap latte with extra whipped cream?
Take a trip to the thrift store. You might not be a regular there, but this Christmas, give it a go... if you have the time and the will, I promise you, there are little treasures there to be found. You might just walk into something that reminds you of a friend, and the wonderful thing about thrift stores is, you will always find things that have been taken off the market a long time ago--this turns thrift into antique or a novelty! Outlet stores may also fall into your budget.
Give yourself. Oh yes, this might just be the most frugal of them all...
This can be anything you wish: offer your babysitting, car washing, chore doing, errand running, website building, yoga lesson giving (etc.) services! Just to make this a gift to give, write it down on a pretty card, with warm Christmas wishes--who wouldn't be thankful?
Picture this. This can be for anyone, really--a grandparent, sibling, friend, lover. Find a picture, preferably with them and someone they love, like a family member, friend, pet, or... you, in it -- print it on photo paper, and put it into a simple cheap storebought picture frame which you have decorated yourself. You can glue little Christmas ornaments to the frame, or perhaps sea shells, anything you like!
The gift of regifting. I know there seems to be a common taboo on this phenomenon, but it doesn't have to be a shameful ordeal. In fact, nobody has to find out about it--just remember who you got this gift from, and make sure you give it to someone who cannot possibly know about this. This is not bad gifting karma, if you honestly believe that this gift will have a better home at the person you intend to pass it on to.....when you see it like that, it almost seems like well doing, doesn't it?
A quote book. All this requires is a simple binder that you can decorate yourself, the Internet, and your time!
Find motivational, inspirational, historical, beautiful and moving quotes online, there are many websites dedicated solely to quotes, so this should be easy. Write them down with, for example, colorful pens, and you can find pictures to print or cut from magazines to fit with the quote. The end result can be a truly stunning collection of memorable quotations.
Buy a gift for a couple (this can be a real cash saver).
Champagne or wine glass set (with a nice bottle if possible)
Perfume for him and her - pay attention, some stores have gift sets with perfume and colognes for both sexes, this always turns out cheaper than buying individual fragrances.
Movie ticket coupons - couples who love going to see movies together will love it!
Knit it. If you are a knitter, why not make someone a nice warm sweater, scarf, a pair of mittens or a beanie hat?
It has Christmas written all over it, and it certainly doesn't have to be dusty and old-fashioned. You can find patterns and ideas all over the Internet. And just in case you have been sleeping the past year, I have news for you; knitting is in!
Say it with music. The mixed tape is still a popular frugal gift, even though we have evolved from tape to CD. You can make this a Christmas theme, or just go buy music you think or know the person you're making it for will like. To make this a nice gift to give, create a nice and personalized cd cover.