Christmas is just over a month away. It is a holiday that brings joy to my heart. Christmas is an extra special day to celebrate the birth of our saviour Jesus. But for many people it’s a time of stress. You want to give gifts to all of your family and friends. But money is tight, or the stress of shopping this time of year is overwhelming. You need to take a step back and make a game plan. This will keep you from over spending.
1. Make a list of everyone you feel you need to give gifts to. Your children, spouse, parents etc. It’s YOUR list and everyone’s will be different.
2. For extended family and workplace friends organize a secret Santa exchange. Set a dollar limit up front. With a little thought you can easily find a low priced but special gift for that person, or make one!
4. Make themed gift baskets. Look at the people on your list, what hobbies do they enjoy? Are any tea or coffee lovers? Go to the local thrift shop or dollar store and pick up some baskets. Add some coffee or tea mixes a pretty mug etc. Maybe tuck in some cookies to go a long with them. For a gardener a pretty flower pot (paint it yourself!) seeds, mini garden tools etc. work wonderfully.
5. Give the gift of time. Do you have elderly neighbors? Maybe elderly family members who have a hard time getting out. Go and spend a few hours with them. Share a tea, read together they will treasure your visit.
6. Share a skill. Do you knit, crochet, quilt, bake, can, garden etc.? There are many people who would love to learn these things. Volunteer to teach them. Perhaps a gift basket with the tools to practice along with a coupon book for “lessons” would be a nice surprise!
7. Before heading to the stores check the facebook and twitter pages for your favorite places. Many put up coupons, sale codes on these sites.
8. Shop online! Many stores offer free shipping and have products lower priced online then in the store! Take advantage of that. Besides it’s nice to shop in your jammies with a hot coco isn’t it?
9. Buy gifts of items that are needed. When I’m going to spend money on something it has to be practical and something we would use anyway. A new coat, winter clothes, replacing an old or broken appliance. I needed item will be used and remembered for a long time.
10. Gift cards! I love gift cards, but you need to buy them wisely. Find out where the person likes to shop. You don’t want to give a gift card to a store that they never shop at. If they are online users sites like Amazon are great. They sell a wide range of items, at a low price and have free shipping. Gift cards to favorite restaurants are a nice treat to.
11. Make your own coupon books up for family and friends. If you love kids you could make up a baby sitting coupon book. That would be so much appreciated by the tired mom’s and dad’s on your list! You could also make up booklets with a variety of coupons. Some for yard work, spring cleaning, walking the dog, lunch out, a movie etc. Think about what would be special to that person.
Remember don’t let the holiday stress you out. This is a special time to share with family, friends and thous in need the love of our Lord Jesus. Don’t let over commercialism bring down your holiday!