With Christmas just around the corner, most people are consumed with thoughts of gift-giving, and though watching someone open a coveted gift warms the heart, the monetary cost can create plenty of post-Christmas debts. This is why it is important to have a budget when shopping for those precious trinkets. This is especially essential for those who have gone through bankruptcy, or for those in the process of such. But store-bought gifts do not need to be expensive to have value. And a homemade gift can be more meaningful and sentimental, displaying the love Christmas is meant to be about.
- Photo gift ideas, such as a canvas print for family members, can be made online through various websites, for a decent price. Some places offer lower rates when more are purchased, so it is possible to buy for the whole family and not go over budget. And if the photo is taken by a friend rather than a paid professional photographer, then even more can be saved.
- For a coffee or tea lover, a couple of hand-painted Mugs can be a lovely gift. Nestle them into a pretty kitchen towel and tuck them into an attractive basket or bowl to create a lovely gift for all seasons. And if there is a bit of money left over, add a small tin of coffee or a box of their favorite tea.
- For those in a long distance relationship, or with children living far from home, Open When…Letters is a personal gift that lasts all year. Just write out a meaningful message to those on the receiving end of the envelopes, all of which are labeled with instructions on when to open them. The first would be labeled “Open When… It’s Christmas Day!” Others are for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, or when that special someone is just feeling lonely. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
- Hot Cocoa Mix Ornaments are a delicious treat for those on the gift list. Just fill a clear plastic ornament with the instant hot cocoa mix, sprinkles, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows. Attach a tag and a set of instructions for how to mix it to the ornament with a pretty bow. There are many varieties of hot cocoa out there, so each one can be personalized, and after the cocoa is gone, the reusable ornament is left to decorate the tree.
- Candles can be a great gift on a budget, especially for someone interested in home décor. A couple of scented votive candles, coupled with a set of pretty holders, is a lovely gift. And because those items are inexpensive, a nice addition is a pretty picture frame used as a tray to display them.
- If there is a writer in the family, or a teenager in need of a journal or diary, a DIY Marbled Notebook can be made for very little cost. All that is needed is a plain hardcover notebook and a bit of marbled contact paper. Cut the paper to fit the book, peel off the back, attach it, and trim the edges. A new, beautiful notebook is born.
- In this digital world, Touchscreen Gloves can be a blessing, especially for those who live in colder climates. Mini conductive pins called digits can be attached to the fingers of any gloves, eliminating the need to remove them when using a smartphone or tablet outside. The techies will put down their devices long enough to praise this gift, and those thoughtful enough to make them.
- For the kids, Homemade Playdough Mix can be made with just a bit of flour, salt, and cream of tartar. Stir them up, pour the mix into a pretty hand-decorated jar, and attach a set of instructions regarding how much water and oil are needed to complete it, along with cooking instructions. Children of all ages will enjoy this gift long after the decorations come down.
- If an old or broken guitar is collecting dust in the attic, use it to make a Guitar Shelf for the musician on the list. Simply cut out the front, sand down any rough edges, add some paint and a couple of shelves, and there is the perfect gift for any music lover that costs very little, but is more meaningful than anything purchased in an overpriced store.
- Cookies and Christmas go hand-in-hand, which is why Baked Christmas Gifts can be such a delightful treat. Make a big batch of a favorite cookie, put it in a pretty tin container wrapped in festive paper, and hand it out to friends, neighbors, or even a special teacher. It will be appreciated not only because it is such a tasty gift, but because of the time and effort that went into it.
Gifts are meant to be from the heart, to show those we care about just how important and loved they are. But this doesn’t mean it is necessary to clean out the bank accounts to do so. Thoughtfulness, sentimentality, and a bit of effort mean more than anything else, and gifts from the heart will be remembered long after Christmas ends.