One of the most stressful parts about the holidays is giving meaningful gifts without busting your budget. It would be nice to give your loved ones the extravagant gifts they most desire, but those gifts are not always the ones that come from the heart or the ones that they will cherish the most. So, if you are trying to manage your bank account while still making everyone’s holiday a little brighter with just the right gift, our five tips will help.
- Give personalized gifts
Personalized gifts don’t have to be monogrammed towels or wine glasses – unless, of course, you know how to embroider or paint stemware. One of the best ways to personalize gifts is to think about what means most to the recipients. If your parents or grandparents love family photos, grab a few from throughout the year and create a calendar of family photos on Shutterfly. It’s free to create an account and upload your photos, and the company often offers free shipping or sales during the holiday season. They also have an app so you can do most of the work right from your smartphone or tablet.
For the music-loving friend or family member, burn a CD of favorite songs or make a digital mixtape. You can use an online service like Everyone’s Mixtape to create a digital mix for loved ones this holiday season.
- Make a homemade gift
If your parents and grandparents still have your homemade gifts from when you were a kid, chances are they’d love another homemade gift from you now. Think about your talents or learn a new hobby to turn into a gift. Maybe you have a friend that can teach you how to knit a scarf or bake delicious cookies. Or, put your art classes to good use and make a sketch, painting, or model for a loved one. If you have a knack for arranging flowers, make a holiday centerpiece using pine boughs, ribbon, and pinecones.
Some homemade gifts are even easier and only require a bit of paint, glue, material, and ingenuity to transform an existing item into a special gift for the ones you love.
- Create coupon books
Rather than purchase gift cards that aren’t meaningful presents for people, make a coupon book that gives your loved ones time to spend with you. They could redeem the coupons for a homemade dinner, movie night, a day of running errands, and more. If your brother loves watching a sporting event with you, design a coupon for a day of football on the couch. The possibilities are endless, as long as you make sure to include coupons for activities that involve some quality time.
- Frame your memories
Photographs aren’t the only items that you can put into a frame and give to someone. For example, you may have attended a concert with a friend and saved the ticket stubs. Glue them onto some decorative paper or make a collage of photos to serve as a backdrop and frame them. Most thrift stores and discount stores have a large selection of affordable frames. You can also frame a loved one’s favorite music lyrics or quotations, your children’s hand or footprints, or anything else that is meaningful and can be placed in a frame.
- Send handwritten notes or cards
In today’s day and age, we often don’t take the time to sit down and write to our loved ones the way that people did even a decade or two ago. If you have overcome a struggle, met a milestone, or grown thanks to someone’s help, sit down and write a thoughtful note or card to let her know what her support and love have meant to you. This meaningful gift won’t cost a thing other than some time and postage.
To make the holidays sweet with thoughtful gifts, you do not need to spend a lot of money or stress yourself out about breaking the bank. Take a little time to consider your loved ones’ favorite things and you’ll be on your way to creating affordable, meaningful gifts for them in no time.
Image via Pixabay by klimkin
Jennifer Scott is an advocate for opening up about mental health. With SpiritFinder, Ms. Scott offers a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can discuss their experiences.