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Giving Christmas gifts that will delight your friends and family doesn’t have break the bank. Nor should it! Read on to discover ideas that will make for an affordable Christmas that’s merry and bright!
Christmas Doesn’t Have To Be Stressful (Or Break The Bank)
Okay, let’s be brutally honest about Christmas for a minute.
For a lot of people, the “most wonderful time of the year” is also the most stressful. Some of that stress stems from overcrowded schedules. Another culprit is unrealistic ideas about what Christmas is supposed to be – i.e. like something out of Dickens’s novel.
If your holiday stress is related to either of the above, I have a word of advice for you.
Dial it back.
Seriously, quit trying to do everything. Remember that song? Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas? That’s a really good idea.
Instead of trying to do ALL the things, do a few of the things, the ones that really matter and that you truly enjoy. A holiday that leaves you overbooked and overwhelmed won’t be merry for you or anyone else. So, really, dial it back.
Something else that adds to holiday stress is gift giving.
We all want to be generous and give thoughtful Christmas gifts that our loved ones will enjoy and appreciate. But holiday gift giving can really strain our budgets and add to our stress. But I’ve got good news.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
Read on to discover ideas for an affordable Christmas – that is still very merry!
You’ll find ideas for fun, personal presents that are easy on the pocketbook, including several that don’t cost anything but a little time and creativity. There are also suggestions on how to keep the budgets for the gifts you do buy under control.
Affordable Gift Idea #1 — Books, Book, Books!
Though the price of books has gone up this year (just like everything else) books are still a very affordable gift. With so many books out there – both novels and nonfiction – finding a title that suits the interests of the giftee is easy. And books are an affordable gift. Most paperbacks can be purchased for under twenty dollars. Many are considerably less, especially if you choose a book that’s been out for a few months or years.
Affordable Gift Idea #2 – Blind Date With A Book Exchange Or Gift
And I’ve got another bookish gift idea that’s actually FREE!
This year, I’m participating in a book gift exchange with two different groups of friends. Each participant is wrapping a gently-read book that we loved, and adding a few clues about the contents on the outside.
It’s kind of like the “blind date with a book” programs that I’ve seen in some independent bookstores, and it’s going to be fun! I’m so excited to share books I’ve loved with the people I love. Being able to share such a personal gift that is also affordable is the icing on the cake!
Though I’m doing this as part of an exchange, there’s no reason you can wrap up a gently-read book as a gift for a friend. As long as the book is in good shape and you can bear to part with it, there’s not a thing wrong with giving that book a new life with someone who will appreciate it.
Affordable Gift Idea #3 – Diy “Of The Month Club”
I do love those Whatever of the Month Clubs. It’s such fun to send or receive a present every month over the course of a whole year! But man, those programs tend to be really, really pricey. However, creating your own “Of the Month” gift can be a fun and very affordable way to show somebody you love them month after month.
There is no end of possibilities here; just use your creativity. How about a homemade cookie or soup of the month club? You’d announce your gift with a card and the first delivery, then follow up with a new goodie every month of the year.
Friends who live out of town might like receiving a Recipe of the Month or a Prayer of the Month. These could either be written out on index cards and mailed or sent via email.
My brother-in-law once received a Joke of the Month – perfect for someone who loves a good laugh!
Affordable Gift Idea #4 – Magazine Subscription
Giving a magazine subscription combines some of the best of the gifts above.
Like books, a magazine subscription offers hours of reading pleasure. And no matter if your loved one is a chef, a sports fan, a collector, a crafter, a gardener, a traveler, or something else, you can probably find a magazine to match their interests.
And since magazines are delivered all year, it’s a gift that they’ll keep enjoying month after month.
Best of all, whether you choose a digital or paper edition, magazine subscriptions can be very affordable. In fact, many excellent publications offer subscriptions for under $10! A little searching will help you find one that’s perfect for your loved one.
Just one thing to keep in mind – some of the best deals are on subscriptions that renew automatically. So, unless you want to keep the gift going for years to come, make sure you cancel the subscription before the renewal date.
Affordable Gift Idea #5 – A Small Donation That Makes A Big Impact
At this point in life, I have everything I really need and most of the things I really want. I think a lot of people feel that way.
That’s why I often make donations in the names of my friends or family members during the holidays. Most people really love knowing that my gift to them is something that will bless others.
My favorite charity for this purpose is RIP Medical Debt. This well-run organization has earned a 98% rating on Charity Navigator. But what I love most about it is how far my donation dollar goes.
For every dollar donated, RIP Medical Debt forgives $100 dollars for medical debt for someone who needs help – which is kind of amazing!
So, if I make a $10 donation to RIP Medical Debt in the name of a friend, I can send that friend a card letting them know that my Christmas gift to them has wiped out $1000 dollars of medical debt to someone in need.
Talk about a bang for your buck!
Affordable Gift Idea #6 – Regifting
Perhaps someone gave you a really lovely gift in the past that didn’t fit or match your décor or wasn’t quite right for you. Or maybe you already had one.
If that’s the case, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wrapping that gift and sending it on its way to someone for whom it might be perfect. That makes so much more sense than letting it go unused and gathering dust in the closet.
Just one caveat – make sure you don’t send that regifted item back to the person who gave it to you the first time!
More Affordable Gift Ideas – From The Craft Room Or Kitchen
I’m a big fan of crafting homemade gifts! Over the years, I’ve shared so many here on my blog. Here are a few of my favorites.
But when time is short, and budgets are tight, the solution to all your gift giving worries can be found in the kitchen.
Folks who live locally might enjoy getting a batch of my Hot Buttered Rum. If you’ve got a little extra in the budget, a basket with a jar of hot buttered rum, a small bottle of spirits, and a couple of cute mugs would be a truly sumptuous gift!
Have An Affordable And Merry Little Christmas
Friends, Christmas is meant to be merry, not stressful.
Keeping your holiday schedules and expectations under control can help nip holiday stress in the bud. And trying some of these ideas for thoughtful, affordable Christmas gifts will make the season of giving a joyful experience for you and everyone on your list.