We all want to give the people in our lives what they want and need at the holidays, but sometimes, money becomes an unavoidable obstacle. Some of us will even have to skip Black Friday this year due to limited personal resources. Even bartering isn’t much of an option at the holiday gift giving season.
Thoughts about money become unbearable this time of year. We can think of many wonderful gifts that would delight those who are so important to us, but sometimes we can’t justify the expense due to limited resources. Or, the money just isn’t there.
Shopping is beyond deflating as we see all the great things we’d love to get for those we love, but we just can’t swing it. It’s almost enough to take the spirit of joy out of Christmas.
Advertisers don’t help. Regardless of current economic conditions, advertisers don’t cut us any slack promoting as much spendy merchandise as will fit on a page.
Use something bigger than your wallet
The solution to great holiday gifts: Use your heart. And your imagination. And these creative, resourceful tips:
This affordable Christmas gift idea comes directly from the quote, “It’s the thought that counts,” and was a project my daughter (artistic Libra) and I (inventive Aquarius) did a few years ago when money was tight.
It ended up being a really fun, engaging process for us, and the giving part was just as meaningful when Christmas morning arrived because of the thought that went into it. Seeing all the wonderful gifts we would have loved to have given people was as touching as the real thing.
In truth, the joy from the store bought presents doesn’t last very long anyway…we know this, we‘re just very persuaded by all the pressure to purchase, and we love the feelings that come from material pleasures.
Thoughtful, creative holiday craft gift idea
This project involves good old-fashioned “cut and paste,” using real scissors and glue….just like in the old days!
Get a healthy collection of magazines, mail-order catalogs, and newspapers. This is easy in the weeks preceding Black Friday and thereafter until Christmas. Local ads are filled with gift ideas and mail order catalogs are piled everywhere.
Variety is important and should be fairly specific to the loved ones in your gift-giving group. You may even need to purchase a couple of magazines to add to the collection, but the investment is still pretty nominal.
Spend an evening or weekend afternoon perusing the magazines together and just cut out anything and everything for everyone in your circle that you would ever want to give them: expensive jewelry, furniture, cars, clothing, a new house (we actually included a real estate guide in our cut-out collection – it was a blast picking out mansions); some of the gifts can be simple ones that you would normally purchase for them: kitchenware, socks, perfume, tools, etc.
The sky is truly the limit here since the funding comes directly from what I call, The Bank of Endless Supply. You still need to keep people’s taste, style, needs and desires in mind so that your “shopping” selections are meaningful.
For each item you cut out, write the person’s name on the back of the cut-out and/or for each person’s collection put the cut-outs in an envelope to keep things organized.
Using poster board, construction paper or even computer paper for each recipient, place the cut-out items around the board in any design you like – you can even use both sides of the paper (you can make a mobile if you‘re really crafty). Once satisfied with the general lay-out, begin pasting the cut outs until you have each person’s complete collection.
Jazz it up: add some trim, scrap booking tokens, photos, glitter, borders or titles to each board. Let your creative juices go. A couple of title ideas might be: “My Wish Gifts For You“, or, “I Would if I Could,” or “Someday, Darling.”
You can present the Wish Gift as is or roll it up like a scroll, and tie it with colorful ribbon.
Tips for lovers: you can down-size this project for a spouse or lover by getting a picture of the one big gift you’d love to give and stick it inside the very effusive card you’re going to get or make.
Basiner’s: Michael’s, in the Thunderbird Shopping Center, is a great place to find craft treasures that will bedazzle your holiday gift craft projects.
Part two of this article will provide other ideas for de-emphasizing the gift exchange tradition and cultivating meaningful activities to celebrate the holidays this year. And maybe in years to come! Happy Holidays!
Happy Thanksgiving, 2011! Contribute abundantly to the collective consciousness of gratitude. An attitude of gratitude is the greatest conscious contribution you can make.
Edgar Cayce said, “The way to dissolve all fear and worry is through service to others.” It’s a great system, isn’t it?
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