by Ellen Wilson
As Christmas approaches, the time for shopping and making gifts is
upon us. This year, don't go over your budget with high-cost items.
Instead, create some personal gifts for your loved ones that will be
treasured without emptying your wallet. Try out one or more of our ideas
to make both the presents you give special and also the time you spent
Set up an amount that you will spend on each person. Make it low,
around five or ten dollars.
Whatever you purchase for that person should
add up to that amount, whether you buy one present or several. Turn
your present shopping into a treasure hunt while you try to spend that
exact amount on each person. Up the excitement and make the price
specific, like $5.67 and see how close you can get to that amount.
Go vintage. Search around for buttons, ties, scarves or any other
similar items that you know your friend or family member loves. Maybe if
you're lucky, you'll find the last gnome for her collection - the one
she's been looking for for years.
Personalize your present the way only you can. Write a letter
expressing thanks for friendship, love or assistance. Make a note of
special occasions between the two of you and emphasize how much you
enjoy having him or her in your life.
If you have a special skill, you can give an act instead of a
physical gift. Organize your sister's closet or redo your mother's
bathroom. Sign your brother up for a marathon and then present him with a
schedule of days when you'll spend time training together. Give your
skills and time to someone who needs them.
Make them a book of memories or a short story of a friend
accomplishing her greatest goal. Illustrate it yourself, or use
photographs of the two of you.
Something homemade always is cherished longer than a store bought
gift. Knit him a scarf that matches his favorite coat or embroider her
initials on a handkerchief.
Turn old items into something new. Wrap old vases with fabric and
ribbon or decorate an old pot and present someone with a new plant. Put
together bath salts in funky jars or make candles in those old cups you
found at Deseret Industries but don't use anymore.
Make your friends and family something they can use all year, like a
calendar or monthly planner. The most important factor is that this is a
present personally from you and that it represents how much you care.