Heartfelt Holidays

Heartfelt HolidaysIt’s almost holiday shopping season. If you usually find yourself stressing over the right presents and blowing your budget, it’s time rethink your approach. This year, give more while spending less.

Think about the best gifts you’ve ever received. Chances are, they hold personal meaning and a special place in your memories. They may not have cost a fortune, but their value was in the thought, time and effort that went into them. Aren’t those the kinds of gifts you want to give?

This year, try these ideas for gifts that are fun to make, give and receive.

Tip: Browse dollar stores and clearance bins at craft stores and other retailers to control your costs.

Artists & Crafters

  • Draw or paint a picture.
  • Create a custom music playlist.
  • Make custom jewelry.
  • Knit, crochet or embroider hats, gloves or wool socks.
  • Buy a beautiful journal and jot down all the reasons why you love/appreciate/are thankful for a loved one.
  • Record an audiobook for your favorite young person(s).
  • Create an art kit for a budding young artist.

Bakers, Cooks and Gardeners

  • Whip up homemade mixes for soup, pancakes, muffins or hot cocoa.
  • Bake cookies, cakes or breads.
  • Put together a pizza kit (toss in a DVD and some microwave popcorn).
  • Make decadent candy or chocolate truffles.
  • Create a cookbook of your family’s favorite recipes (Don’t forget grandma’s meatballs!)
  • Decorate a flowerpot and “plant” gardening gloves, seeds, bulbs and a small tool inside.

Other Ideas

  • Frame a photo that captures a special memory.
  • Put together themed baskets based on favorite activities.
  • Create certificates for house sitting, breakfast in bed, pet sitting, babysitting or house cleaning.
  • Buy travel versions of popular board games.
  • Stuff a pair of warm, fuzzy socks with a few lottery tickets.

Finishing Touches

  • Everyone loves unwrapping gifts!
  • Wrap everything, but especially the gifts for the little ones.
  • Buy a roll of inexpensive brown or black craft paper and use metallic pens to decorate it.
  • Inexpensive gift bags and tissue paper are perfect for people who have trouble unwrapping paper.