Save Money On Your Holiday Gifts This Season
|Written by: Saving Secrets |
Submitted On: 11/11/2003
|It's that time of year again. Time for traveling, decorating, holiday parties, family,
friends, relatives and of course. . . . shopping.
How many of you simply whip out the credit card and start charging every gift you
can find, only to dread the day when your statement arrives in the mail?
Or are you one of the few that saves a little every month in order to cover the holiday
expenses when they come around?
Before you spend your money on the latest over-priced trendy gadgets, why not
take the time and really think about a gift that has "special" meaning. Something
that will remind that person just how much they mean to you.
YOUR HOLIDAY LETTER
Sending a yearly "wrap-up" letter to your family, friends and relatives is a great
way to save time and money. Instead of buying expensive Hallmark cards and
writing individual letters to everyone on your list, design your own holiday letter.
When writing a "wrap-up" letter, remember this is the perfect time to inform friends
and relatives what's been happening in your family's life over the past year. Even if
something important happened in your life back in February or March, some of
your acquaintances might not have heard about it, so let them know.
After writing a rough draft, use your computer (or a friends) to help produce an
attractive letter. You'll find that programs such as Microsoft Publisher walk you
through step by step so you will have a beautifully designed letter in an hour or
Not only will this save you A LOT of time (remember how long it took last year to
write individual letters to each and everyone on your list?), but you will be sending
an attractive, informative holiday letter which really describes what's been
happening in your family's life.
SIMPLE GIFT IDEAS
Sit down and take the time to think about what each person on your list would like
to receive. Of course everyone would love to get tickets for a seven day Caribbean
cruise, but very few of us can afford to spend that kind of money on a present.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking of all the possible gifts that can be easily
put together without the need to spend much money.
Know of anyone entering college? Put together a "care package". Fill it with all the
basic necessities a college student might need (or want). Cookies, snacks,
toiletries, wool socks, a new college student "manual", etc... Anything you think a
young 18-21 year old student could use while away at school.
Do one of your relatives work in an office? Put together an "office pack". The key
is in the presentation. Find a suitable container and pack it with office supplies,
personalized pens or coffee mugs, magazines, far side calendar, crossword
puzzle book, etc.
CREATE A BASKET
Have you seen the decorative basket assortments that are sold around the
holidays? You'll generally find them in malls from such chains as Hickory
Farms or Sees Candies. Why pay $30-$50 for a basket of "goodies" that probably
only costs about $5-$10 to put together? Put the basket together yourself, save a
fortune, and even add a bit more creativity.
You can find baskets (straw usually works best) at any discount store or yard/garage
sales. Then, simply line the bottom with a decorative cloth (ie: colored bandana,
checked cloth, etc...), organize the appropriate items and trim/wrap with holiday
You can find all types of holiday arts & crafts ideas in books at your local library or
on the Internet. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few basket ideas to get you
Coffee Lovers Basket
Assortment of coffees, mugs, stirrers, creme assortments, Sunday comics,
Homemade cookie variety, chocolate/fudge toppings, funny napkins, cocoa mixes
Traditional Jelly Basket
Small jars of homemade jelly, muffin/cornbread mix, spatula, butter & knife
Sweet Tooth Basket
Brownies, cookies, small jars of candy, cocoa mix, peanut brittle, chocolates
Pasta Lovers Basket
Jars of various pastas and sauces, Parmesan cheese, pasta ladle, strainer
Fire Starter Basket
Pinecones, long stick matches, starter blocks, candle scents/oils, ash shovel
GREAT LINK -http://www.stretcher.com/stories/981207i.htm
Here's a link to great recipes on how to make peanut brittle, bath oils & salts,
brownies, potpourri and more for your baskets
An attractive gift, perfect for friends, co-workers, and neighbors. A nice large sized
jar filled with either brownies or candies. Attach ribbons or bows to the lid and
decorate with puffy paint or simply glue colored pasta shells around the jar. Again,
Homemade Decorative Cookies
Great teacher or babysitter gifts. Buy a cookie cut out pattern, add some colorful
icing and a few ribbons with a nice card is a special holiday gift.
Perfect for any occasion, great for friends or loved ones. Gather pictures of the
person you're making the collage for. Look for pictures of various places you've
both been and fun times you've shared. Once you have your pictures, cut and
organize them to make an attractive display. Glue them in place, decorate the frame
and you have a gift that's a lasting memory. How can you put a price on that?
Get a recipe for a hardening clay from any holiday crafts book. A childs' foot or hand
imprint creatively decorated make excellent gifts for grandparents or relatives. This
is something special that you can only give once. Your kids will quickly grow up.
An 8X10 of the family/kids is a perfect gift for grandparents or distant relatives you
might not get to see very often. You can even make a holiday frame for it. Look for
low prices at JC Pennys or Sears stores (or the equivalent).
Who doesn't like to read magazines? Reasonably priced, magazine subscriptions
make excellent gifts. Find out what magazines or interests they have and then
every time your friend receives another issue, they'll think of you.
TIS THE SEASON . . . . KEEP THIS IN MIND
All too often, the holidays seem to come and go in a flicker of an eye leaving us
wondering if we even had a celebration at all. Take the time to visit with others whom
you do not get to see very often. Spend time with the elderly in your family. Start a
'tradition' within your family that everyone, including the kids, can participate in.
These will become your cherished memories that NO gift can ever replace.