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No Cost Christmas Gifts

Last post Tue, Dec 20 2011 11:32 PM by sissy. 10 replies.
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  • Mon, Nov 21 2011 5:16 PM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    No Cost Christmas Gifts

    Christmas is not all about how much we spend but being together. This year, try a gift of love or memorable experiences to bring cheer the season and your loved ones.

    What gifts can you give of yourself, time and experiences?

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Sat, Nov 26 2011 11:09 AM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: No Cost Christmas Gifts

    I am old enough to remember when there were NO computers/email/chat, long distance calls on the land line were pricey.  Therefore, with much anticipation, we looked forward to receiving handwritten letters in the mailbox from loved ones that had moved away.  It was such a pleasure to open the mailbox and find a letter from a loved one mixed in with the bills and flyers. 

    Now, the art of letter writing/mailing is a rarity, imho.  The only time we receive something similar is holiday or birthday greeting cards.  Hand writing a letter to a loved one, and sending it to their mail box via the postal service, is one way of giving year round for the cost of a few sheets of paper, an envelope, and a stamp. 

    We also give cute handmade coupons for snow remvoal, cooked meals, help with tax preparing.

    Here is a great site that is ALL about alternatives to consumerism at Christmas time: http://buynothingchristmas.org/

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • Sun, Nov 27 2011 11:35 AM In reply to

    Re: No Cost Christmas Gifts

    I agree, Brandy.

    It is sad that society seems more focused on determining the value of something by its price tag. Is it me or has this gotten worse the past decade or so?

    I don't remember the poster's name, sorry, but I also remember when getting a letter in the mail was a big thrill. But at the same time, I realize what I value isn't necessarily going to be what the intended recipient would value. Are we obligated to give what we know they want or what we are able to give? Ok I'm getting too philosophical again.. heh.

    I don't spend beyond my budget to win approval, and that has gotten me removed from a few people's gift lists. I don't know if they realized at the time it was more of a blessing to me than not.

    I bake from scratch for people I'm very close to, and I know their food tolerances/dislikes, and I bake what I know they love. I don't whip up something that is so simple that they could do it in a couple minutes, but will make something that is too time consuming for them to make on a regular basis. i.e. my sister loves stollen and made from scratch it is time consuming, so I give her that every year, two loaves. She lets me how know much better it is than store bought.

    So I agree whole heartedly with giving of self vs cash as long as some self is put into it. It bothers me to get a plate of store bought cookies. It isn't the thought that counts. DH and I rarely eat sweets anyway and would prefer no present than something I have to toss out. It is just me personally, nothing wrong with them if you gift them, but I personally would be embarrassed to give that to someone I knew. I would definitely invest some time in finding out what kinds of food the recipient really enjoys.

    For people I don't know well, I buy inexpensive picture frames and wrap them nicely. This is the best I've ever been able to come up with that is not gender specific. So easy to reach into a basket and just hand someone one to reciprocate when I get an unexpected gift from them.

     

  • Sun, Nov 27 2011 1:24 PM In reply to

    Re: No Cost Christmas Gifts

    I give homemade food for coworker gifts - usually dried fruit from the summer and cookies.  I give them out either on small paper plates or in baggies.  The fruit in particular is always well-recieved, especially by people who don't like or are trying to limit sweets.
  • Sun, Nov 27 2011 2:43 PM In reply to

    Re: No Cost Christmas Gifts

    Karen,

    Wow. That is a great gift idea. Someone like me would use the fruit cut up to add sweetness when cooking, say homemade bbq sauce or something, or as a snack.

     

  • Mon, Nov 28 2011 2:09 PM In reply to

    • RAO
    • Top 200 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Fri, Mar 27 2009
    • Illinois
    • Posts 207

    Re: No Cost Christmas Gifts

    I was discussing this with 2 of my sisters this past weekend.  We have a family gift exchange for the adults and older kids, which involves a game called yankee swap where a gift can be "stolen" - so my goal has been to get something that others would want to "steal".  I was going to go with a canning book, and offer to garden on a 15x20 plot.  I'm just not a talented crafter/sewer, but I'm a pretty decent gardener.  My sisters mentioned they was thinking about doing a monthly baked gift or eggs from their chickens.  Both were worried how these would go over - though it sounds like they would be well-received.  Personnally love getting home-baked goods for Christmas.  Last Christmas one sister made potholders for everyone, made from felted wool from old sweaters.  They were really really cute. 

  • Wed, Nov 30 2011 5:57 AM In reply to

    Re: No Cost Christmas Gifts

    The gift of love is the greatest gift we can give each other. I know some people like to give material items though and there are many fun things one can give that don't cost an arm and a leg.

    Baking/cooking and homemade art/craft goods are very sentimental and personal. Last year I crafted cinnamon scented pinecones I got for free off the side of the road and enhanced with cinnamon so they smelled wonderful. I put the scented pine cones along with fresh cinnamon sticks in tall vases with beautiful ribbon bows. People loved them. They were simple but elegant and a wonderful way to bring holiday cheer to a table, desk, counter top, etc. They were cheap to make too. If you have items like this on hand you can use them. If not then find a substitute. Maybe you have extra large canning jars or mesh bags to hold them... baskets work great too. What's also fun too is going through things you have at home and then making personalized gifts from them so no two gifts are the same or similar. Got some extra tea bags on hand? a cup to spare? Create a holiday tea-cup-gift. Got some old clothes? recycle them and re-invent them into things like tote bags, pillowcases, prayer quilts, etc... Do some inventory and do some crafting!

    When I was younger and did not have money to buy Mom and Dad gifts because I was a kid I use to make them coupons good for services and things I could do to help them...As I have gotten older I have continued to carry on this sentiment. Coupons have ranged in time from things like doing the dishes... folding laundry... manicures... facials... cooking dinner... car wash... etc.

    They are still fun to do. They can decorate them all pretty and even create a fun coupon book to give out with various coupons. It can be a VERY intimate gift between those who are close and well appreciated. Think of your loved one and ways you might be able to help them out and create a personalized coupon book for them. Be creative!

    Personalized scripture books are always heart warming - IMHO. What a great way to share God's Word by collecting favorite scriptures and making a little book of them!

    I also LOVE giving from my garden, whatever I can - bouquets of rosemary... fresh herbs... fruits and vegetables... beautiful gifts from God to us to share with others.

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • Fri, Dec 9 2011 8:48 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: No Cost Christmas Gifts

    Cheryl:
    Is it me or has this gotten worse the past decade or so?

    It seems worse to me than when I was a kid.

    I had some big Christmas gifts but other material things didn't seem as important as they do now.

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Tue, Dec 20 2011 9:47 PM In reply to

    • babs
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 2 2007
    • Vermont
    • Posts 10,988

    Re: No Cost Christmas Gifts

    Some great ideas , Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • Tue, Dec 20 2011 11:31 PM In reply to

    Re: No Cost Christmas Gifts

    rolo:

    I am old enough to remember when there were NO computers/email/chat, long distance calls on the land line were pricey.  Therefore, with much anticipation, we looked forward to receiving handwritten letters in the mailbox from loved ones that had moved away.  It was such a pleasure to open the mailbox and find a letter from a loved one mixed in with the bills and flyers. 

    Now, the art of letter writing/mailing is a rarity, imho.  The only time we receive something similar is holiday or birthday greeting cards.  Hand writing a letter to a loved one, and sending it to their mail box via the postal service, is one way of giving year round for the cost of a few sheets of paper, an envelope, and a stamp. 

    We also give cute handmade coupons for snow remvoal, cooked meals, help with tax preparing.

    Here is a great site that is ALL about alternatives to consumerism at Christmas time: http://buynothingchristmas.org/

    Now this I like you totelly rock rolo....

    chrissanne
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