Christmas on a Budget Tips
Winter is traditionally the darkest and coldest time of the year – it’s no surprise that so many of us look forward to the bright lights of Christmas, spending time with family and sharing gifts. However, gifting can soon add up and – suddenly – Christmas makes us feel stretched, stressed and puts us under financial strain. This year, why not give the gift of time and love, sparing your pennies but still showing people how much they mean to you. We’ve got some amazing gift ideas that will make sure Christmas stays merry.
Make Or Bake
There’s nothing that says ‘You’re special to me’ than a home bake. Home-baked – and cooked – gifts taste much nicer and Christmas offers a lot of festive options to choose from. Mince pies, gingerbread, peppermint creams and fudge can all be made easily and popped in a gorgeous bag with a ribbon. If you have someone who lives alone, you could even make them something savoury that they can pop in the freezer. Cooking for one isn’t much fun, so a meal already to go for a cold, wet January day could be just the ticket.
Make a set of promises that you can keep
You know that you can buy gift vouchers for shops, but imagine what you could do if you made gift vouchers for people. A year of taking the bins out? A weekly shoulder massage after a hard week at work? A promise to pop round for a cuppa twice a month? You can decorate your personalised gift tags and make sure that your giftee has something to look forward to all-year round.
Kit Them Out With a Knit
If you’re handy with a pair of needles or a crochet hook, you could make someone you love something that will keep them warm this Winter. A wooley hat or a pair of gloves – made by you – will mean so much more than anything bought in the shops. If you’re not convinced with your knitting skills and think a hat might be too much, then why not make a Christmas tree decoration for them. A knitted or crochet Christmas tree or star can be brought out every year when the tree goes up and will make them smile and think of you.
Christmas will be over in a heartbeat and our focus will turn to Spring. Taking the time to clean out old jam or food jars and plant them with some seeds could make the perfect gift. They might open a jam jar full of soil on Christmas Day, but trim basil leaves for pasta sauce come the summer. Giving people the gift of seeds gives them something to watch and get joy from all year round.
Pretty As A Picture
There are many companies that produce stunning photo album books that can be pulled off the shelf and looked through – but, in reality, they spend much of their time closed and on the shelf. This year, you could make someone you love the gift of a picture that they can look at every day. Charity shops have lots of frames that you can pick up cheaply, with a print taken from a phone for a few pence. This picture can sit out for them to look at every day at a fraction of the cost of photobook.
Make a Movie
Many people have a smartphone these days, so making them a video that they can enjoy on their phone time after time is a fabulous way to show them that you care for them. Easily sent, videos are very simple to make with straightforward video editing software available for free on the internet. Take a look at Shortcut to get started. You could either make a video of your time together or a video of any children in the family. It’s a great way to stay together, even when apart.
Scrubs and Rubs
Have you ever splashed out on an expensive looking body scrub that promises the world? Next time you are in the shops, take a look at the ingredient list – it’s endless, however most of the active ingredients that make a difference to your skin are in your cupboard. The other ingredients are simply additives and preservatives. You can create a homemade salt scrub by filling a clean jam jar with some coarse salt, olive oil and a dash of lemon juice to create a body rub that will soften skin and leave it feeling supple. If you have old muslin scarves that you no longer wear, you can create your own bathbombs, full of porridge oats, that will soothe irritated skin, naturally.
Look forward to 2021 with a calendar
Many people will be happy to put 2020 behind them, looking forward to 2021. Perhaps this is the year that a handmade calendar will be the best present under the tree. Not only does it represent hope and a brighter new year, but you can also mark days that can be celebrated and looked forward to. There are many templates available for free, downloadable from the internet, and you can personalise it with children’s drawings or much-loved photographs.
Light Up Their Life
At Christmas, the focus seems to fall on giving something, rather than doing something. We all know how great if feels to be delighted and surprised, so why not think about doing something deeply thoughtful but oh so fabulous this year? Tea lights may be cheap but they are very cheerful and look amazing in old jam or food jars. You could surprise someone by lighting their way and bringing a little light into their life.
Put Pen To Paper
A gift like this might be more appreciated than you will ever know. Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of hectic every day life, we forget to pay attention to the small things. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we must also take time to focus on the details – the taking the time to let someone know that they matter to you or marking a point in time by putting pen to paper and capturing your thoughts. A letter that lets your giftee know just how much you mean to them and why they are so special to you costs nothing, but it will mean the world.