It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another Countdown to Christmas tip. Believe it or not, Christmas is 9 weeks from today, but a little preparation will go a long way to keep the Christmas season, stress-free and under budget!
Let’s take a moment to remind ourselves why we give gifts…it’s not so we can “win” some kind of competition for who can spend the most to show how much they care! We give gifts to bless those we love with something extra special that’s just for them. When we are working within the constraints of a budget, it’s great when we can put more time and thoughtfulness into a gift and spend a little less money.
When you consider the special people on your gift list, think about what they enjoy, what they need, and how your talents might fit into that picture. Is there something you could make or do for someone that would be a thoughtful but frugal gift? Now is a great time to start thinking about those great DIY gifts, while you still have time to look for ideas, gather materials, and put things together. Start doing a little Pinterest hunting–there are tons of ideas for make-your-own spa products, layered jar cookie or drink mixes, or other cute and creative kits and ideas for both adults and kids.
One of my own favorite gifts to give is hand-dipped chocolates–I make peanut clusters and chocolate-covered pretzels, marshmallows, Oreos, and peanut-butter Ritz crackers (sounds weird but so good!). They make great gifts for lots of people in our lives (including all the kids’ teachers), and they’re always really well-received! Do you have any go-to homemade gifts? I’d love to hear more ideas in the comments!
This week’s action plan:
Decide who on your list would love a homemade gift. Think about what you could make that would be thoughtful and budget-friendly (remember, we’re being frugal, not cheap–there’s a difference!)
- Search magazines, online, and of course Pinterest for inspiration.
- Once you choose some homemade gifts ideas, plan the best way to get the materials–look for coupons for craft stores and keep an eye out for sales on the ingredients or supplies you need to complete your projects!
- And don’t forget to budget some time–set aside the time you’ll need to complete the project so it doesn’t turn into a source of stress. If it’s a project you can complete as a family, find a good day to do that, and put it on the calendar. If it’s a project you need to do on your own, schedule a time when your spouse or someone else can occupy the kiddos so you can get it done!
If you’ve missed the other posts in the series, it’s not too late to catch up:
- Adjusting our Christmas planning philosophy
- Starting a game plan for gift giving
- Creative ways to stretch your budget
- Planning ahead for Christmas cards