That was taken in 1975. My cousins and I used to love jumping on an improvised mattress made of all the gift wrap and ribbons…
I decided that I wouldn’t spend too much money on Christmas presents this year. Except on my mom and dad who always get the same thing from me every year. He gets a big basket of candy, chocolates, marmalades and patés. She gets a bottle of Chanel :0)
There is an upside (several actually) to giving inexpensive gifts. For one they are usually very thoughtful and make a big impact. They show you really, truly care. OK, a Range Rover or a pony shows you care too, but you get my point. The “downside”, which I personally see as a good thing, is that it requires a bit more forward thinking as well as some time and effort to put together. But we are still about three weeks out, so…
Here is a list of ideas which I hope will inspire you:
- A journal kit box with paper, pencils, crayons, glue etc. as well as a list of personal questions to get them started such as: if you were a color, what color would you be and why? What was the best memory of this past year? What are you most thankful for and why? What’s on your bucket list?
- A photo collage of all the people they love.
- A photo collage retracing their life. Their struggles and successes…
- A coupon for a sample of what you do for a living or as a hobby: a photo session, a day of cleaning, the design of their new blog or website, free babysitting, your catering services. Don’t forget that time is often more expensive than money these days…
- A family birthday calendar with pictures and maybe even a list of each person’s favorite things and hobbies so they know what gifts they can put together.
- A homemade recipe book (which shouldn’t be too hard to put together for most of the people reading this blog. Add pictures and lots of personal notes/tips/comments to each recipe.
- A blog book. Even easier. Just print out your favorite posts and you’re done!
- Packs of flower or vegetable seeds they can plant each month of the coming year with vintage gardening book found at a yard sale or a used bookstore.
- A used book with a personal note explaining why you picked that specific book for that person.
- A nice letter describing your relationship with the person and why you feel blessed to have them in your life… also what your hope the future of your relationship will be.
- A hand drawn family tree (framed or not). Don’t forget anyone! That would be a recipe for disaster!
- A slide show of family photos on a DVD. Same rule applies. Do not forget anyone!!
- A printed family photo album (more expensive)
- Even better: a photo album in a box. Just print a bunch of small size family photos and put them in a box with a few magnets or some glue so they can make their own collage…
- A brownie jar (lots of ideas and recipes for that on Pinterest)
- Tastefully packaged home made preserves (pats, candied lemons, tomato sauce, apple sauce, marmalade…)
- Offer to teach someone a skill you have: blogging, cooking, photography, organizational skills, parenting tips to new parents (careful with that one)…
- Write and perform a song or a poem. The more humiliating for you the more fun and touching for them!
- Homemade soap or candles
- A memory box to your kids or significant other with old toys, drawings, important books, mixed tapes…
- 12 envelopes of date ideas for each month of the coming year to your significant other.
- A pet rescued for your kids. IF YOU’RE SURE!!!
- A quilt or pillow made with pieces of old clothes (clothing?) your kids used to wear and love. If you still wear the same perfume you did when they were kids, add a few drops on the fabric.
- Clay pots with seeds of common herbs like basil, parsley, chives etc.
- A mixtape of songs from the person’s teenage years.
- A divorce (no, I know, that’s too expensive)
Note: thoughtful gifts usually work better with adults. Only with adults I’m tempted to say. Kids want Pokemon cards and cheap plastic crap that will cost you an arm. I don’t give to the kids at Christmas anymore. I prefer giving them small gifts when I see them during the year. Their favorites are firecrackers, forbidden candy and other fun stuff their parents try to avoid buying them. Yes, I AM THE COOL UNCLE!
Note: charity gifts are wonderful and they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside but most people won’t give a crap that you gave a goat or blankets to the poor in their name. Sad but true… I only give charity gifts to the people I don’t like :0)
Note: unless you are ABSOLUTELY SURE of a person’s tastes, do not offer art or clothing. You may love your own pottery and adore fuchsia scarves but… BE CAREFUL! Friends and family members will always praise your artwork. It’s their job! It doesn’t mean they always mean it and you shouldn’t assume they do. Believe me when I say I’ve been a victim as well as a perpetrator!