If you’ve not felt the pinch of the economy then consider yourself amongst an elite few. Across the board people are finding themselves having to find ways to make the most out of whatever they have, no matter how much or how little. One season where we need to start thinking with the heart to outdo what’s in our hands is the Christmas season. So many times people go out of their way and out of their minds spending money they simply do not have. My thought, even before the changes with the economy is that a memory will outlast money any day.
Accustomed to completing my Christmas shopping by October, I began to feel overwhelmed this year because I wasn’t able to tackle my list early on like I had been in the past. I haven’t even started. I’m used to off-season and outlet shopping that will rival any barganista. Maybe I was to take my Christmas giving to a new level by being even more frugal and even more creative in celebrating those I love as we remember the birth of Christ.
So I decided to share some Christmas shopping secrets with you:
- A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words and Doesn’t Cost a Thousand Dollars.-Print photos from events throughout the year and present them in inexpensive, yet beautiful photo albums.
- Leave a Love Note.-Present your loved ones with a handwritten, heartfelt letter telling them just how much they mean to you. Kick it up a notch by placing it in a frame or rolling it in a scroll with a dainty (or masculine) ribbon.
- Give a Sweet Treat.-You can’t beat a sweet! Assemble their favorite sweet (or savory) homemade or purchased snacks in a gift bag or box. Attach with a handwritten note that your loved ones can cherish long after the sweets are gone.
- Food, Glorious Food.- You can’t lose with food! Print custom-made food coupons and present to your family and friends. Offer them a redeemable coupon to use that will allow them to receive their favorite meal, baked good or specialty prepared especially by you. Who wouldn’t want to be able to redeem a coupon for Grandma’s Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Macaroni and Cheese, Sweet Tea and Peach Cobbler at some random time in the year?
- Go Coupon Crazy.-Coupons are all the rave! Take your couponing to the next dimension by taking a cue from the above tip and creating personalized coupons from you to your family and friends. Offer to babysit, wash a carwash, treat to a spa, or do breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. The good thing about this is that they can redeem it long after the Christmas season has come and gone.
- Give the Kitchen to Your Kin.-Organize favorite family recipes and present members with an inexpensively printed family cookbook.
- Share the Days.-Make an inexpensive, personalized calendar with photos and birthday reminders on sites like walmart.com to give to loved ones.