The holiday season is joyful for many reasons. We get to spend time with friends and family, give and receive gifts, eat, drink, and be merry. But then, the holidays can also be stressful and overwhelming. There are lots of places to get to, gifts to buy, and food to prepare. It’s often draining and expensive.
If you don’t want to spend a little fortune this Christmas, there’s another way. Here are a few alternative ideas that don’t involve breaking the bank or braving the Christmas crowds.
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If you have a big group of friends or a large family, why not do a Secret Santa gift exchange instead of buying individual gifts? That way, everyone still gets a gift, but you’ll minimize waste and expense. You can even put a price limit on how much each participant can spend, so the gifts are all of equal or similar value, and no one is left out because of money.
Set up your Secret Santa by adding every participant’s name to a bowl and having everyone pick one out. If they draw themselves, they simply draw again. It’s easy, fun, and encourages participants to get creative with gift ideas.
Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly crafty, there are still some great handmade items you can give as gifts. People appreciate the thought and effort that goes into a handcrafted gift, so no matter what you choose, the recipient is sure to love it.
You could knit something, bake cookies, make jam, or go all out and have a go at making beauty products or candles. Just ensure you leave enough time before your gift exchange to actually make the gift!
Make a Donation
If your friend or anyone in your family has a charity, cause, or organization that’s particularly close to their heart, donating in their name can be a significant gift. Your loved one knows you care about what they care about, and you get to make a beautiful gesture without worrying about what to buy.
Start a Savings Account
If you have family members with children, instead of buying gifts for those children on birthdays and Christmas, you could start a savings account in their name. You pay into the account every year, and they receive the money at a certain point in the future, perhaps when they graduate high school or college. Just make sure to check with the parents first!
For many people, the idea of not giving gifts at all is still a step too far, but it’s entirely possible to do a no-gift Christmas as long as everyone is on board. If one person really wants to give and receive gifts, it’s not fair to expect them to participate. You may be able to find a compromise, but it may be that an entirely no-gift Christmas isn’t an option. If it is, you can relax and kick back at home while everyone else rushes about buying last-minute gifts for their husband’s aunt. Bliss!