Guest post from Elizabeth of ElizabethClareBlog.com
Christmas is fast approaching! Thanks to planning ahead, most of my gifts are purchased, wrapped, and under the tree. Inevitably though, there are always a few people on my list that I have no gift for… and no idea what to give them.
Running to the store to do last-minute shopping usually means spending more money than I want on something the recipient won’t even want. It also means fighting a crowd that steals my peace during this holiday season. No, thank you!
Over the years I developed a mental list of frugal gifts I can quickly throw together for anyone remaining on my list. This list of gift ideas is great for several reasons:
- They are consumable and won’t end up in the donation box come January.
- They can be used for all ages and types of people.
- They can be put together quickly.
- They are flexible based on your time and budget.
We all need to eat, but don’t always have the time to cook a well rounded, delicious meal. Preparing freezer meals for those on your list would be a gift many would love to receive. Maybe you don’t have time to prepare the meals. Providing recipe cards and ingredients for a well-loved meal or dish in a beautiful basket would be even easier.
Our family also likes to give specialty food items we don’t normally purchase for ourselves, like the following:
- Gourmet coffee or tea
- Specialty salsa and spicy sauces
- Dried fruits
- Seasoned nuts
- Dark chocolates
- Seasonal fruit basket
We all seem to be short on time these days. What about doing something to lighten someone else’s load? Here are some ideas:
- Babysitting children
Gift Card to Anywhere (AKA cash!)
Maybe it seems boring, cold, or thoughtless to some, but I have never known anyone to be disappointed when receiving cash as a gift.
Cash is what my father-in-law calls the “Gift Card to Anywhere.” You can suggest the recipient uses the cash for a specific purpose, or leave it up to their discretion.
This gift is the cheapest of all, and often the most appreciated. Take time to step away from the busyness of your life and really invest in someone else.
Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning:
- Coffee or lunch date
- Shop together for something special
- Do something active – skating, swimming, hiking, etc.
- Watch a movie
No matter who is left on your list, or what your budget is, I am sure this list will help you come up with something anyone would enjoy!
Elizabeth Clare is a dairy farmer’s daughter learning to navigate the ropes of Catholic homeschooling, mothering, and homemaking. She gives advice and encouragement on those topics at her blog ElizabethClareBlog.com. She also runs her Etsy shop, A Pondered Life, which specializes in creating beautiful family traditions.
The nieces and nephews are at the age where crazy socks don’t do it as a gift. My sister suggested cash, and I’ve been making it into origami. (Tutorials online.) A couple years back we started sending a Christmas ornament with the money. (Something we’ve done for our own kids over the years, so they have “starter set” when they leave home.) Those are great fun to shop for right after Christmas.
If you have an account with visa checkout (sign up is easy) you can get buy one get one free movie tickets at fandango.com with promo code “movietickets”. Just bought tickets for my husband and son to watch the new star wars in 3D the day after Christmas and only paid $12.99!!
A coffee date is perfect! I’m going to spend some time with a dear friend this afternoon and am looking forward to it so much. Food is a great idea, too.