| Today is the start of our series Christmas on the budget. I think many of us will be on a budget due to job loss, retirement or like my family, the closing of our business.
I grew up in a family that the holidays were always way over the top. Many happy memories and my mom always made them very memorable and my kids will have those happy memories from my mom like I did.
Here are a few thoughts on gifts:
– Gift Cards: My parents always love Gift cards but, this year with many stores closing I will need to be aware of the financial state of each restaurant.
– Homemade Gift Cards– In my Sunday school class we make homemade gift certificates. Mind you they are only three but they love to come up with ways to help Mommy or Daddy. Example: Gavin will help do dishes, 1 free hug, Make my bed and we make a cover for them and staple them together.
– Gift of Time: I clean houses for a living and I have given my mom a gift certificate for a free cleaning and when she had a party it helped her out and me because it was just the cost of a little time and gave my mom time to work on other things.
– White Elephant: On my husband side we always have a white elephant and we have a max and minimum amount you can spend and you only buy one per person. The first year we tried this we had such a wonderful time laughing and enjoying each other. Here are the rules if you would like to try this year.
– Time Together: This year on my husband side we aren’t exchanging gifts because last year there was 42 people and the exchange took 2 1/2 hours and we really didn’t get to visit. We are opting for time together this year.
– Gift exchanges: when you pick a name out of the hat and you only buy for that person. This way everyone gets a gift and you can stay in your budget.
– Host a Cookie Exchange: This is a great way to get a variety of cookies with the minimum of effort. You have to make a set amount of cookies and your guest make the same amount and you each get 1 dozen of each. This would cut baking of varieties and cost of all the different ingredients. I found a great site and here are the rules for a cookie exchange.
– Gift Baskets: This is one of my favorites. I would make a gift basket for my Mother in law of all her favorite things. She loved to take pictures. This would be a some of the things I would put in her basket; film, VCR tapes, batteries, photo album and maybe a picture frame. She also loved the lottery so I would add a few tickets.
– Homemade Ornaments: We have made Huner Originals for about 17 years. We make one style of ornament each year and give them to Grandma, Aunt and Uncles. I think my mom would be happy if that is all she got, she looks forward to them every year. What is neat about this idea is we have one special ornament for each year.
Look for more ideas in the coming weeks!