I don’t know how many times I heard, “You aren’t buying the kids a PlayStation?” Nope, we didn’t. The very idea that we wouldn’t purchase the latest, coolest gaming system, floored many people. And last year, the whole idea of making Christmas gifts for everyone on our list was icing on the cake for some folks. I tell you though my family never worked so hard as a team pouring our love and devotion to the crafts we made…..and the end result was such a wonderful feeling of love……priceless!!
Taking a frugal approach for Christmas, isn’t just an idea out of necessity but one with meaning. Remember, I said in an earlier post that it isn’t what you gave as much as how you gave it. And I am not talking about in a pretty wrapped box with ribbons. It is the love behind the end product. Taking the time to sit down, plan, design, and create a gift out of love is a treasure.
I painted a skyline of New York for my hubby last year. It isn’t the most beautiful piece of art but it held meaning for the two of us. We met on-line. He lived in New York, a far cry from Arkansas. As I painted the skyline, I was reminded of all the wonderful things he showed me in NYC. I was in the best mood for weeks as I worked on it. I think he realizes how much it meant for me to paint that scene and how much joy it brought. But, he can proudly display my love in his office and remember the trip I made as well for many years to come……
I know…. not everyone is an artist (I’m not either…); but there are so many craft ideas that anyone can do out there….. Just take the time to find the perfect one……
Here’s a list of frugal ideas for Christmas gifts and fun:
1. Bake: bake your Christmas goodies and give them to your friends and family. Visit yard sales and resale shops for Christmas tins. You don’t have to buy new every year!!
2. Homemade: nothing says “I Love You” like a homemade gift. Have the little tots finger paint and you frame it…. of course using that bargain frame from the yard sale. Here’s a website full of ideas…. 101 ideas actually….. http://familycrafts.about.com/od/giftstomake/tp/HomeMadeGiftIdeas.htm
3. Send e-cards instead of mailing cards. Now this is a green idea and a cheap one to boot!! You don’t have to send everyone a card through the mail. The older family and friends who don’t own a computer can get the cards. Send e-cards (they are free) to your family and friends who have internet access. This will cut down on the postage cost and stretch your box of cards a lot further.
4. Spend time instead of money: During the season, spend time with your family. Go caroling or visiting a local shut-in. Take the time and write a heart felt letter on some really nice paper for your spouse. I would rather get a love letter from Mark than a sweater. It will keep me warmer…
5. Christmas Movie Marathon: Instead of a lavish Christmas party, borrow Christmas movies from the library, pop popcorn and make hot chocolate. Call your friends and family over and enjoy a Movie Marathon.
6. Christmas Dance: order everyone to dress up, throw on a Christmas CD, and dance in your living room with your spouse and kids.
7. Drive around looking at lights…..I know gas prices are high but it is well worth the money. You could bundle the family up and take a stroll in your neighborhood to look at the lights.
8. Christmas Tree Farm: Visit and spend the day at a Christmas Tree farm. You don’t have to purchase one. You can just walk the farm with your family. Most places have hot chocolate.
9. Make a Video: for family far away, make a Christmas video with the kids….. something similar to the ones the military sends to family back home.
10. Decorate with pine cones. Take a walk outside and collect cones. Bring them in and make Christmas tree ornaments or wreaths
11. Christmas Ornaments: make your own out of salt clay or paper. Just take the time to spend with your kids.
And please visit your local library. There are tons of books with craft ideas for every occasion and for every person. I already have several check out right now as a matter of fact. I am looking for some great gifts!
This year, our goal is not to spend a dime on any thing for Christmas. We are making do with what we already have…..material wise anyway….. I will let you know how it turns out!!