Tomorrow, our calendars will turn to December 1 and Christmas will be a mere 24 days away! It is a fun and exciting season filled with the joy (and sometimes the burden) of giving. In honor of the spirit of giving, I decided to submit a few gift giving ideas that cost little other than your time and talents. Most of them are taken from www.buynothingchristmas.org/alternatives/index.html. It is based largely on my desire to continue to bless my family, despite financial limitations, and to give of myself just as God did by giving His Son.
Time, especially, is a valuable commodity to all of us. Time is often a bigger gift than money. Creating coupons custom tailored to the recipient (i.e. babysitting, housecleaning, a neck massage, or teaching them a skill you have) can mean more than a stocking stuffer.The time that we spend in creating or fashioning a gift for another is an important element. Recently, a friend came over and offered to help with some detail work as I prepared for craft shows. In return, I will give of my time to help her finish the blankets she is giving to her grandchildren.
Here are a few more gift giving ideas…
1. Set up a "free" store with a group of friends or relatives. Everyone brings things they don't need and trade with each other.
2. Give your art this Christmas. Write a poem, tell a story, draw a picture, sing a song, make a cd, or take a photograph and present it in a creative way.
3. For your husband: Go to your favorite market or second hand shop and get a nice frame. With your most creative writing, write out your wedding vows.
4. For your children: Write out a cherished memory of their childhood or write about your favorite thing about them and frame it.
5. Look through your (and your kids') old clothes. Cut out squares of fabrics they will remember and make a little wall hanging, pillow or quilt. Add a nice quote or scripture verse and write in in calligraphy or nice handwriting.
6. Give something you don't use any more. A sweater that you only wore once; a set of drinking glasses you forgot you owned. Clean them up and give them as gifts.
7. Buy a used book and in the inside cover explain why you chose that particular book for that person.
8. Make tree ornaments out of old CDs.
9. If you are skilled in a particular area, offer a lesson or a class.
10. Collect quotes that make you think of someone.
11. For the elderly people in your life, research newspaper and magazine articles from their youth and present the information in a creative fashion.
12. Give away a valued possession.
13. Frame a piece of your artwork.
14. Bake your favorite holiday treat and pack in a recycled tin or basket.
15. Compile a list of memories and arrange them in a creative fashion.
16. Do something exciting and challenging together (i.e. long walk, bike ride, hike, art course, etc.)
17. Collect meaningful photos for the gift recipient, make color photocopies and create a collage.
18. Create a menu of various culinary delights (i.e. Tantalizing Thai, Mexican Fiesta, Decadent Desserts, etc.) and have the gift recipient choose one of the options.
19. Some families now include sponsoring a child overseas or providing a goat or chickens for a micro-enterprise as a means of reaching out to others. Or you can help at a soup kitchen or deliver Christmas baskets together.
20. Liken each family member to a punctuation mark or a piece of furniture. Write about the similarities between them and the object you are describing and frame it. It is both personal and memorable!
These are just a few of the ideas that may get your wheels spinning again. Just because we may not be able to provide that favorite toy, video game, or electronic device, doesn't mean we can't still give valuable gifts.
Cultivating the Christmas Spirit With You,