Christmas is upon us and if you’re like me, you probably didn’t finish your Christmas shopping. Please don’t judge, it was a mixture of procrastination, being busy doing other things and procrastination. Before you whip out the credit cards and start, swiping like a new artist with a record deal, I will suggest gift ideas that won’t leave you deciding which bill won’t be paid this month. This Christmas we will not go in the red trying to live up to an image portrayed by advertisers to get us to make them rich by overloading on Christmas presents. Your financial health should be the most important to you. It is up to you to nourish and protect your financial avatar. How you use your money will determine your financial future. You can either spend it, invest it or give it away. Let’s embody the real spirit of Christmas by giving and spending time with loved ones without adding financial pressure on us.
Here are gift ideas that won’t break the bank:
· Baking gifts: If you like to bake why not use your oven to create tasty treats. Tis the season for cookies, pies, tarts, gingerbread men, cupcakes, and all things that are delicious (but are high in calories). It only costs you time, money for ingredients and fancy containers to deliver them in.
· Homemade cards: If you’re crafty and artistic, you can send out handmade cards. The cards are unique and one of a kind unlike their mass produced counterparts found at retailers. You can take it a step farther and send digital Christmas cards (I did this year). You can use various apps to create the content and add your unique touch. I had fun using the Canva app this year and sending them to friends and family.
· Photo album: You can take the time to put together precious memories from this year or previous years and give that as a gift. Since the rise of the digital age photo albums became more precious.
· Being there: Showing up at family events is a great gift for those who live far and near. Your presence is a present especially during the holidays. The holidays are all about spending time together, catching up, showing love and appreciation anyway.
· Santa’s Helper: Being a reliable helper for those who are hosting this Christmas is a valuable gift you can give. You can help in many ways. You can help by cooking, cleaning, gathering everyone, keeping things on schedule, picking people up from the airport, running errands and being the peacekeeper making sure to put out familial fires.
· Displaying your gift/talents: If you’re artistic, you can draw, paint or use whatever medium you’re good at and offer it as a gift.
· Personalized Coupon Book: In this coupon book, you can offer to do various favors for the recipient in which they can hand in their coupon to redeem. You can offer favors such as babysitting, cooking for them, cleaning, walking the dog, house sitting, being their personal chauffeur, running errands and if you’re risky offer a freebie where they make their own coupon.
I hope that one of these low cost gift ideas resonate with you and you use them. There is no correlation between how much money you spend on someone and how much you care for them. If they are mature, they will understand you are making choices that will help build your financial future instead of sabotaging yourself. I am not saying do not buy gifts, I am offering alternative gift ideas to reduce your spending and to avoid going into debt for Christmas then using your tax return to bail yourself out. Instead, you can use your tax return to acquire assets that will make you money. Remember, the holiday season is about coming together, making memories, sharing love and appreciation. It’s not about making someone else rich while you struggle financially.
Happy Holidays! For those that don’t celebrate Christmas.
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