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Celebrating a Simple Christmas: Give a Homemade “Club” Membership

club memberships.jpg

Here are some great (and inexpensive!) gift ideas submitted by Kasey from The Beautiful Thrifty Life which would thoroughly bless the recipients:

A couple of years ago, my husband and I decided that we should
each give one another a "love present," with the caveat that it should
not cost a lot (if any) money. As I thought of what to give him, I
started remembering all the times he had been looking through a
magazine or a cookbookand
he had come across a recipe for some decadent dessert and say, "Mmmmm! That looks good! You should really make
that sometime!"
Inspired by this, I decided to enroll him in his own personal
"Dessert of the Month Club". I gave him a fancy looking scroll stating
the terms of his enrollment (dessert must be requested by the 5th of
the month, etc.), along with a few potential dessert recipes I had cut
from magazines.
Needless to say, it hit the sweet tooth right on the
You could do something similar with this idea for others, as
well. You could try a "Dinner of the Month" club for a special friend,
in which
you could have a set day of the month (like the 2nd Sunday) that they
would come to your house for dinner. It gives them a break from
cooking, and allows you to strengthen bonds of friendship on a regular
basis. You could do a 6-month, 12-month, or whatever other enrollment
period works best for your family. For extra fun, fasten the
"enrollment certificate" to a plate, then wrap it like a normal gift.
A husband could enroll his wife or girlfriend in a
"Car Care Club" and wash and vacuum out her car for her once a month and attach the
certificate to a sponge.

For your children, you could give them coupons for things like, "Get out of cleaning
your room", "Pick your own dinner menu", or "Special date with Mom."
Decorate a box or an envelope for them to keep their coupons in.

If you have friends with young children, give them a gift certificate for 6 months
of free babysitting, planning one night a month they can leave the kids
with you and have a date (this is also a great baby shower gift!).
Attach the certificate to a rattle or another baby toy.
The wonderful thing about these "gifts that keep on giving" is
that it spreads the time and expense out over the course of several
months to a year. The only thing I would recommend is to, if at all
possible, plan the dates for service in advance and put them on your
calendar, otherwise they can be easily forgotten.

you ever done something like this before or do you have other homemade
"club" membership ideas? If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Related: Kasey has some other fun and unique ideas posted here.

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  • Rae says:

    That is a great idea, I love it! I’ve done the coupon type thing as a kid but never really thought of doing it as an adult for other adults or kids

  • Rachel says:

    I am actually planning something similar for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. They live together and they are BAD with making dinners. So I am giving them 7 coupons… 7 dinners for 7 weeks.

    People say I am crazy, but I think it will cost less than getting each one a gift. Even if it doesn’t, it’s something they REALLY need… and I can spread out the cost.

  • monica says:

    Wow…what a great idea.

  • This is exactly what we do in our home. We barely spend any money, but we do a lot of thoughtful presents.

    Another great idea is to do a family theme gift basket.

    Do a movie theme..In the basket buy one movie or coupon for a rental that the family wanted to see when it was in the theater, put their favorite snacks, popcorn, and a pair of soft fluffy socks, and a coupon that allows the family to order out pizza. With all the clip art available, you could really snazzy up the coupons to look professional. If you have young girls, you could make little bath baskets, where you buy/request little samples (I get a lot free by free sample offers) with a nice smelly bath soap and a new scrunchy for the tub along with a nice pair of slipper and pajamas. You could even include a nice new CD in it for after their bath.

    Just some ideas we have done.

    Deb @ Frugal Living And Having Fun

  • Carolyn says:

    I did this one year for my brother, a dessert a month. For Christmas I made his favorite cookies and attached a card stating that once a month for the next year, he would get a delivery of goodies. Being a single guy, he really appreciated it! Plus it had the added benefit of keeping us in closer touch, which was as much as blessing to me as the goodies were to him.

  • shelly says:


    I love this idea! This would be great for my Thrifty Thursday!

  • Sarah says:

    I have made something similar for my husband using a deck of cards. I pull the cards out of the box, decorated the box with scrapbook materials and made 10-12 of the cards into coupons for various things (e.g., you pick dinner menu, foot rub after long day at work). He still keeps it and uses the coupons!

  • Love this idea! Particularly great for the friend who has everything!

  • Dee Wolters says:

    The first Christamas after my mother-in-law died we were at a loss of what to purchase for my father-in-law. We thought about the fruit-a- month club, but it is very pricey. We just wanted something that would remind him through out the year that we were thinking of him. BTW we live in TN and he is in CA. So I did a box-a- month for him. Each month I would buy or make things and mail them to him. Some months were food or candy, others had a holiday theme, once was 2 puzzles, etc. As the year went on it got more difficult to be creative, but I stayed with it. He said it was fun to see what surprises would arrive with the post man.

  • Wanita O'Donohue says:

    I am following on Twitter as well….

    Thanks for this opportunity!

  • Jane says:

    My husband loves pie. As part of his bday present last year, I enlisted 11 other friends/family members to be a part of his “pie-of-the-month” club. I assigned everyone a month and then sent them reminder cards. We just finished the year. It required little effort on anyone’s part, but made his 40th year a lot sweeter!

  • Kerry says:

    Great ideas, not so sure the husband should give the girlfriend anything but the royal boot . . . teehee.

  • Becky says:

    There are always a few “couples” on our list. It always causes the “give them a gift together or give them each a separate gift” debate. I like to give a date-night package. I put together a gift certificate for each of the things needed. For example, I recently gave a gift certificate to dinner ( a restaurant), a movie (theater gift card), and dessert (GC to Cold Stone Creamery – right next-door to the movie theater).

  • Deanne says:

    We did this one year for the grandparents. It was a “surprise of the month” club. There were 12 coupons, and each month they sent one to us, and in return they received a handmade surprise from their grandkids. I had picked out themed crafts for each month, and the kids and grandparents all loved it.

  • Kim says:

    My husband LOVES fresh organic salsa and chips – sometimes it doesn’t quite fit into our measly grocery budget, so this year I decided to make it a Christmas gift – a bag of nachos and a jar of fresh salsa every month. This he will be VERY excited about, and I won’t all year about how there are never chips and salsa in the house. 🙂

  • Ellen says:

    I left a comment yesterday, but maybe it didn’t go through? I wanted to say that we did a Photo of the Month Club for my parents one Christmas. For each month of the year, they would get a photo (of the grandkids) in various formats: a silhouette of each, b&w, collage, etc. It was a great idea & it had several benefits: helping me to take pictures of the kids, practicing my skills as photographer & learning some stuff on Photoshop Elements. (Unfortunately, we sort of fell behind in the delivery aspect – you know, “this item is backordered and the restocking is unknown 🙂

    Anyway, as I mentioned before – even if you don’t have access to Photoshop Elements, there are several free online sites where you can change around your photo (I used I’m sure there’s lots of others. I printed the photos from home on an inkjet printer & used watercolor paper, colored paper, etc.

  • Delores says:

    For my kids, for many years of Christmases and birthdays, I have given them 3 certificates: 1 for no school day, 1 for no chores day, and 1 for no school and no chores day. They love them!

  • Jessica says:

    We’ve done this. My sister-in-law gave me a Taste of Home subscription and I in turn would make her family a dessert out of it every month! They looked forward to “Aunt Jess’s” treats – and loved looking in their own copy of the magazine for the recipe!

  • How do you get people to actually USE the coupons you gave htem? I’ve given several of these gifts, and not once has someone taken me up on my coupon! Even when reminded!

  • Susan says:

    What a great idea!

  • Carolyn says:

    My Boaz’s Ruth – I didn’t do coupons for my brother. I just picked a day – I think it was the 3rd Friday/Saturday of the month – and took him his dessert. If I waited for him to “redeem” a coupon, he never would have done it. I considered this part of his gift, too – my remembering and thinking of him and what he would like without him having to ask.

  • Katrina says:

    For every event during the year, my husband wants a coupon book and nothing else. Of course, I usually get him something else, but he likes the coupons I come up with most of all. Examples are: make your favorite dinner, do the bills for a month, take out the trash, etc. but his all time favorite is one massage. He collects these so much that I’ve stopped giving him anymore until he uses the ones he’s got!

  • Jenn L. says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! This is a great idea and something I hadn’t thought of. I’m looking forward to trying some of these out as well as coming up with some of my own! Thanks!

  • Julie says:

    What great ideas, in the post & in the comments. Thanks for all the ideas! 🙂

  • Kristin Belland says:


  • Loan N says:

    This is so thoughtful. I’d seen the coupon book idea elsewhere, but it always sounded so cheap & cheesy. But I like how you describe it as a — of the month club membership, such a great way to strengthen relationships & show someone that you really care about them. Thanks for the great ideas!

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