Have yourself a merry little – oh, oh right. It’s the twenty-third of November. Not quite Christmas…or Hanukkah…or Kwanzaa…or any other holiday that I can think of that comprises the “holidays.” They may not be that close, but that’s a great reason to start thinking about gifts (if you do that sort of thing). ESPECIALLY because one of the thriftiest things to do (if you don’t get too fancy with it) is to make gifts, and you really need time to get ’em done.
So far this Christmas, I think my big handmade gifts are going to be for my parents and for my roommates/friends. I am knitting. And painting! One friend is getting the biggest of that group’s handmade present (but since she reads my blog, I’m not mentioning what it is yet or giving pictures. Take that, Other L*!). Yes, all of these things will take up some $, but not a ridiculous amount. Not compared to what an el-cheapo present would go for, and is something that will have love in every stitch. Plus, not that this is for me, but it gives me a chance to practice what I like doing & get better at it!
Don’t know how to knit, crochet, sew, paint, or some fifth thing? No problem. That’s why YouTube was invented. But seriously. That’s how I’ve learned all of the stitches I know how to do. Another great resource is Ravelry, a networking site for people who crochet and knit. For mothers and grandparents, it’s also great to print off family pictures that they may not have and assemble a photo album…or even a funny calendar. Seriously, my bf’s brother-in-law once received a zebra Snuggie as a gift, and then the next year gave the giver a calendar with him in the Snuggie at events representative of that month (e.g. eating Thanksgiving dinner in his zebra Snuggie). I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t buy to buy, but pick something that really represents something that person loves and enjoys.
My policy, when I was much younger, like, say high school, was that I needed to get everyone a gift. Friend I speak to once a week? I don’t want her getting mad at me or offended. Now my personal policy is immediate family (brother & ‘rents) and bf. Those are the people who will definitely receive something. The others, good friends, my roommates, etc, will if I happen upon something I know they have wanted or would love. It has come to pass that through my minimalism trek and general pickyness, that would much rather buy myself things than receive presents, especially from people who visit often, so that I know I want/like/need it. I know that may sound negative, but it is what it is. Plus, through having this very small list (4 people), I keep my holiday spending down-down-down.
What do you do to keep costs down for the holidays, or to get creative?
*Names have been changed for fun