Gift giving at Christmas. Who is it for, in your mind?
Is it for (a) the kids; (b) everyone you love; (c) everyone you come into contact with throughout the year?
If you are rich as Croesus, forgive me - but you're probably not reading this blog with Gazillions in the bank- if you are simply looking for a way to hang on to your hard earned spondulics to get you through, then consider this:
Kids return the love they are given.
True friends would be upset if you felt you had to spend money you couldn't afford on them.
(If you really want to wish your Gynaecologist a Happy Christmas, send them a card.)
Of the folk who you want to give to, who would be upset and/or judge you over the monetary cost of their gift versus the thoughts and feelings that went into it?
If these people are unavoidable, then place them on list A, and do spend on them - but spend wisely. If you are forced (I'm guessing at emotionally rather than actually at gunpoint) to buy your partner's aunt a gift, and she always has to have a tin of shortbread, then buy her a tin of shortbread and get on with it. (Or let your partner do this side of the gift shopping......just a thought?)
For the real people, decide what you'd love to give them that is home made or gathered together more frugally - and go for it!
To be honest, you cannot decide how they will react or whether they will like your gift anyway. It is the pleasure in the giving we should really be focusing on.....
OK so as promised, here are some how-to's for you.
Homemade fruit liqueur.
Instructions here: http://www.frugalmummy.com/2012/09/christmas-preparations-part-two.html
You will need:
- Nice bottles (like the lemongrass presse ones, or fizzy water glass bottles - with their screw-on lids.
- Vodka - Mr Lidl or Mr Aldi will do
- Sugar - I use granulated unless caster is on offer
- Empty plastic "squash" bottles
Themed gift baskets.
This is a great way to spread the cost of Christmas, whilst giving a really original gift.
First thrift a basket, clean it and decorate it; perhaps with a scrap of nice ribbon.
Decide on your intended recipient, and have a think about one thing they really like - for example my sister likes Hippos.
Between now and Christmas, look out for anything and everything you can that fits with the theme of the basket.
For the "Hippo" example, I could choose:
and a fab cushion for £5:
Popped into a gift basket or (even better) a homemade bag: will be featured in a blog soon - how to make your own gift bags.
The most important thing to remember - and this IS a HUGE one to grasp: is that you cannot control what the recipient's reaction will be.
They might love their gift.
They might hate it.
They might hate it but say they love it.
The biggest mistake we can make is to be guilted into spending money we don't have on people we don't need to spend it on.
Give with love and that's it - be it a bookmark or a bookshelf, once it has been delivered, you.have.done.your.bit. OK?