Nov 26, 2008
I’m absolutely shocked at what people seem to spend on Christmas presents these days! The idea of going into credit card debt for months after the holidays just to buy Christmas presents nearly knocks me off my chair! What ever happened to the days of Laura Ingalls where a hearty meal or a handmade doll was something special? When did we shift our focus from being with those we love to shopping ourselves to death and filling our homes with STUFF? I think we’ve bought into the lie that more is better and we’ve taken for granted the simple things. With the economy in the shape that it is hopefully more people will return to a life of simplicity where gratefulness and contentedness is the norm.
Christmas doesn’t have to be chaotic, expensive or stressful. Here are a few ideas for making your Christmas celebrations more peaceful and thrifty:
*Buy something that the person needs and would enjoy. - I remember how excited I was as a kid when I would get a new nightgown each Christmas. It was something I needed and because I grew up on hand-me-downs it was great to get something brand new!
*Give handmade gifts. I was totally excited when a good friend of mine gave me a set of fabric napkins that she had made. Not only are they a great way to save money, they’re a great GREEN option too!
*Don’t spend a lot on each person. - You might be surprised how far $20 can go!
*Give homemade goodies from the kitchen. Food and treats make excellent gifts because EVERYone eats! It’s a universal present! Some good ideas are cookies, fudge, home-made pasta, canned jellies, salsa, sweet breads, teas, or cookie mixes in a jar. It’s fun to get together a gift basket of things like these.
*Don’t be afraid to give something that’s been gently used. This is especially true of baby clothes and kids toys. This is after all one of the major themes of recycling (Reduce, REUSE, recycle). Most years we give our daughter something purchased from a garage sale and she loves getting something new to HER.
*Finally, take advantage of gift bags. I love gift bags because they’re reusable. As opposed to wrapping paper, they can be re-gifted many times before they need to be thrown out. I even re-use the tissue paper (unless it’s been torn).