12 Festive But Frugal Gifts To Give This Christmas

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For most people this Christmas. . .gift giving may come as a challenge. Many people are facing harsh economic realities not of their own making or choosing.

But when it comes to Christmas, a desire to give good and often expensive gifts can tug on your emotional heartstrings making it tempting to unwisely increase your debt load.

Play now. . .pay later. . .is no longer an option.

Here are a dozen plus gift ideas that are either inexpensive or home-made.

1. Homemade candy, cookies, and food items will be appreciated even more this year. My fine wife Bev makes a home-made beef stick and some fudge that will make your tongue slap your tonsils. . .it’s that good. When someone brings you food, which do you prefer….the grocery store version or homemade?

2. Personalized ornaments, make go-green cloth shopping bags, or gift baskets. This can be pure entertainment as the family comes up with ways to personally bless someone. Think about what that person does on a daily basis and ask God to help you get creative.

3. Offer coupons for babysitting, yard work or other services that will bless the recipient. That can truly be a gift of love … for you and the other person.

4. This year people just might appreciate a gas card or grocery card more than that sweater or scarf!

5. Magazine subscriptions are gifts that last throughout the next year and are fast becoming a luxury.

6. How about recycling gifts you have stored in your closet? The jacket or scarf set you never used might bring a holiday smile to someone else.

7. Game systems with games that your kids have outgrown would be perfect for a younger child who’s been waiting to get one.

8. The kids can make crafts like refrigerator magnets, calendars, auto mileage books, stationary, gift wrap, note cards.

9. Leave a home-made wreath on someone’s doorstep they can enjoy for years to come. Or, decorate a sweatshirt with some holiday joy. Not only are these great gifts but you can engage the family and you have made a Christmas memory as well.

10. Find books at used book stores or pass along those of your own that have been useful and interesting to you.

11. What about phone cards or a gift certificate?

12. Family photos arranged in a frame make wonderful gifts for loved ones like grandparents or aunts and uncles who are far away.

This season really celebrate by giving the gift of yourself to others. Sometimes we are thinking more of how the giver feels than the receiver. Stop and think what would really bless the person you are giving to this Christmas.

Give gifts that teach your kids about real giving and the meaning of the season.

I remember one Christmas when Bev and I had not been married very long, I wanted her to be impressed so I bought what, at the time, was brand new on the market … a super-duper microwave.

On Christmas morning when she opened the box, there wasn’t the big smile of approval and “you done good honey” look I was expecting. Instead, she said, “We need to take this back.” When I asked why, she simply said, “We can’t afford this.”

I said, “Baby, I wanted to get you a gift that you’d really like.” She smiled at me with those baby blues and said, “Do you really want to give me a gift that would make my Christmas?”

I said, “You know I do. What is it?”

Bev said, “All you have to do is spend more time with me.”

Truthfully giving the gift of my time took more of a personal commitment from me but it was a much more meaningful gift for her.

This Christmas. . .share your time, energy and heart by giving the gifts that truly matter. After all, isn’t that what God did for us that very first Christmas?