In our materialistic society we often feel so much pressure to spend a lot of money during the holiday season, that we do ourselves a financial injury. Credit cards we don't want to use get pulled out of the freezer, the bills pile up, and we're left in January stuffing our faces full of stale candy canes and wondering how we managed to overspend. Again.
This year we are all in the same rocky boat and the accompanying motion sickness is becoming more of a fixture than a passing state of discomfort. If your boat is financially stable, hurrah! and enjoy - but surely someone you love or know is going through changes and, at least in deference to them, not making a showy splash is probably in your best interest as a tasteful and caring person.
Here are a few suggestions for giving gifts on a budget. You don't have to show up anywhere empty handed, and you won't be crying at the ATM come January.
1 - use family pictures or pictures of your friends to create a mug, t-shirt, calendar or card. These can be silly and whimsical or touching and poignant. The software programs and layouts available even at your local Wal-Mart are really creative. Adding your own poetry, letter, phrase or other wording can personalize these and really make them special.
2- Bake Someone Happy! Sure a store bought cake is gorgeous, but putting together an old recipe from scratch or a box of cookies with a beautiful ribbon can really make someone feel that you've put some time, attention and thought into making something for them. Cheering and heartfelt, homemade gifts are some of the best around.
3 - Cocoa Coffee Combo - Buy an inexpensive but lovely mug, take a packet of cocoa, coffee or a combo of both, put it in the mug, and wrap with a bow. Add a card with some real words from the heart, and you've just given someone a warm cuddly smile.
Remember, if a $100 dollar gift is not in your budget this year, stand up for your right to be a loyal and loving person without damaging your finances.
Finally, invite a bunch of people over for a beautiful brunch or dinner, and make a little "goody" bag for everyone to take home.