Cheap, Creative and Thoughtful …


For how do we beat the holiday rush?  What is supposed to be a retail therapy has now ballooned to a stress trigger shopping frenzy.  7 more days before Christmas! I haven’t even shopped for Christmas gifts yet! I need a brown bag, more than anything else, to calm me down from my anxiety attack!  With little budget to spare for a long list to shop for loved ones, Budget 101 is getting out of whack! (Calm down, breathe in, breathe out … You can do this!)

Look at your Christmas list again, versus your budget.  In as much as you would like to give everyone a token of appreciation for all the good times and deeds they have done the past year, sometimes you will find that going through the elimination process can be relieving and takes the burden off of your stressed shoulder.   Don’t play the guilt game with yourself, and don’t even try to rationalize why you shouldn’t scratch one off of the list.  Just think of how it’s going to make your life simpler and easier without overspending and maxing out your credit cards (well, it’s inevitable this time of the year, isn’t it?)  The good thing is, there are cheap and creative ways to show how much you care for the people who didn’t quite make it to your list this Christmas. 

In weddings, etiquette dictates that when you have not seen Uncle so and so for 2 years or more, then they don’t make the final cut.  I would say that the same thing applies for Christmas.  This may sound too cold, but you can always send them personalized Christmas cards to let them know that they are still in your thoughts, and hopefully you could reunite with them in the future. 

Determine your budget.  Divide the number of people on your list versus the amount of money you are spending for Christmas gifts.  Though, equal budget do not usually work out for each person, at least, you know how much money you are playing with overall.  

 

 What is it that they really want or need or would use and not re-gift?  If you can’t buy them a new cell phone, a cool app or funky faceplate would be nice.  If you can’t afford a KOBO reader, an interesting book works out just as well. There are alternate things to at least fulfill their wishes, or come close to what they are hoping to receive, if you can’t afford to give it at all. 

 

Sometimes the best gifts come in envelopes.  For someone who has worked really hard this year, a gift card for spa treatments like facial or a massage would be a welcome treat!  Other irresistible gifts that come in hard plastic or certificate include a Yoga class or Gym passes, or a store card so she can make her own choice for a Christmas gift.  For someone whom you think has already everything, make a donation to a charity in his name.  A ticket to her favorite singer’s concert would be sweet!  Theatre tickets as well as coffee gift cards are cheap and thoughtful, that’s for sure! 

Personalize it!  With little inspiration and imagination, why not consider themed baskets.  Fill them either with wine and cheese for the wine enthusiasts, cigar, or chocolates and playing cards for a special guy who needs a break from work so he could spend time to play with the rest of the boys.  For cheaper options, bake cookies and pack them creatively that screams “I did them myself!” personal touch notion.  (Wrapping the present quite ingeniously, most of the time, scores a lot in presentation!)  Another creative idea would be home-made spa soaps in cool shapes and sizes.    

  Framed work of art is a smart and creative option like this item above from CheapArt.  (Source:  www.etsy.com)

 Home-made scented soap bars in cool colors!

Home-baked cookies in festive holiday shapes, hooked on to the side of  travel mug filled with cocoa packet and marshmallows.  Embellish it with bow and a recipe of love! (Source:  www.cbc.ca/stevenandchris)

You see, sometimes whether you like it or not, the gift item you picked for someone depends on your personal feelings towards the person.  The mere fact that you remembered this person this Holiday season, whether he/she makes it to your list or not, shows that this person means something to you. Christmas is not about consumerism madness, nor an occasion that pressures the obligation to give, it is actually a time that gives us the POWER … to express!  (our love,  forgiveness and willingness to renew … whether through a Christmas card, gift, text message, email, or telephone call, even more with just a tight squeeze!  Yes, it’s Cheap, Creative and Thoughtful, you can say that again!)

May the force of Christmas be with you all!

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