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Independent Savvy

Saving on Christmas

If you’re like me, you have a long list of people to shop for this Christmas. The holiday season is a time to celebrate giving, among many other wonderful things. It can be difficult to have a heart that loves to be generous but a bank account that begs you to reconsider. Or maybe you’d like to simplify Christmas and get back to basics. If this sounds like you, fear not. Today I’m sharing my favorite tips to keep it inexpensive yet full of heart!

Everyone Loves Food

Am I right? One of my favorite things in the world is food and I’m going to take a wild guess that most people would agree with that statement. Food is a simple way to wish someone a happy holiday and a great way to spread Christmas cheer. It’s a relatively inexpensive route to take and allows you to put your heart into it. It can also be a way to keep it simple for everyone on your list.

Bake up a batch of festive cookies, a loaf of warm spiced bread, or put together a hot chocolate mix this year. Buy a package of holiday bags (the dollar store is awesome for that kind of thing) and deliver your baked goods to your neighbors, family friends, or co-workers. Include a sweet note to let them know you care!

Get Thrifty

For those on your list who have a unique style, choose used. No, I’m not encouraging you to give a board game with missing pieces or a blouse with armpit stains as a gift. Thrift stores are underrated! They are filled with libraries of books and records, trinkets, antiques, and memorabilia.

As an example, I’m a vintage Pyrex lover. Thrift stores are my favorite place to find them and if any of my loved ones found a piece for me, I’d be touched. It’s not the most expensive or flashy gift in the world, but it means the world to me. The same can be true with your close friends and family. You know them best and you know what would be the most special to them. Thrift stores just might be your answer.

Don’t Let Pinterest Intimidate You

You’ve seen the articles: Pinterest Fails. Don’t let them scare you! Pinterest is a fantastic resource when it comes to homemade gifts and unique ideas.

Spend a Saturday at your kitchen table with your scissors and Elmer’s glue and have some fun! OK, maybe you don’t have to be that simplistic but you get the idea.

When it Comes to The Kids

It’s really really really hard to keep from buying “it all” for your kids. I don’t have kids yet, but I find it hard not buy everything for my loved ones. I can’t imagine how hard it will be to refrain from giving my children things I know they’d love. However, just because they might like it, doesn’t mean they need it.

Try opting for gifts that encourage their imagination and learning skills to flourish. A great rule I once heard was give something they want, something they need, something educational, something to read, and one piece of clothing. This keeps the holiday fun but also helps with the overall cost, especially for large families.

Small Business Shopper

A small business is a great place to support during the holidays (or really any day for that matter). It can really turn out to be a gem if you’re trying to find “that perfect gift” for someone without breaking the bank. They often provide unique options and you can feel good about the money you’re spending.

If you can’t find a local shop to support, consider online stores, like Etsy. They offer access to an abundance of small shops that sell unique and often handmade gifts.

Utilize Snail Mail

Sometimes, the greatest gift a person can receive are kind and loving words. Sending greeting cards in the mail is becoming a lost art and I believe expressing to others how much we truly love them is not done as often as it should be.

Sending a heartfelt letter in the mail can be an excellent gift, especially for family members you don’t see as often as you’d like. For the cost of a postage stamp, you could truly bless someone this year with kindness.

Remember the True Spirit of Giving

Our brains can become so wrapped up (no pun intended.. or was it?) in the need to buy gifts that we forget why we’re even giving them. Giving a gift shouldn’t be measured in dollars but the meaning behind the gift. This year and every year, remember why we choose to give gifts in the first place- not to impress but to bless.

With that pretty box wrapped in paper and ribbons, remember to show the recipient that you care about them. After all, something we all have in common is the desire to be loved.

In the words of Dr. Suess, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”

How do you stay genuine yet inexpensive during the holidays?

December 19, 2018 Independent Savvy