The festive season is a beautiful time set aside for all of us to rest, reflect on the past year, and spend time with those whom we hold most dear. Of course, this special time is accompanied by a number of long-held traditions, one of the most prominent being gift-giving.
While giving and receiving prezzies is a great way to communicate love and appreciation, it may not be the best choice for your financial health. Luckily, there are countless gifts that you can bestow upon your friends and family that mean the world, but don’t cost a cent…
1. Chore Coupons
Everyone has at least one household task that they absolutely loathe, whether it’s washing dishes, sweeping the floors or folding laundry. Put together a pack of coupons for your loved ones that they can ‘redeem’ at any point so that they can put up their feet while you take care of the dirty work.
2. Cooking & Baking
Cooking or baking something special for your someone special is one of the best ways to show your appreciation without breaking the bank. You could prepare someone’s favourite meal, freeze meal portions for busy friends and family to enjoy after a long day, or even surprise your family with a pancake breakfast! Not only will recipients get to enjoy a tasty treat, but they will recognise the time and love that you put into every bite.
3. Loving Letters Bundle
We all need some comfort, appreciation and affirmation, and one of the best ways to offer support to your loved ones is through writing. Take some time to prepare a bundle of letters for your someone special with different topics such as a list of your favourite memories together, lessons that you’ve learnt from them, and some reasons why they mean so much to you. We guarantee that they will treasure your words for years to come.
4. Reading Dates
If you have little ones who just love story time, create a punch card for them that they can use when they want to embark on a literary adventure with you! You may have to explain that, while you wish you could spend all day buried in books with them, you won’t be able to read with them during work hours or at certain times of the day. Nevertheless, they are sure to be delighted at the chance to spend some extra quality time with their superhero.
5. Memory Lane Package
Gather together little trinkets, pictures, ticket stubs, and notes that symbolise the special times that you have shared with someone, and place these in a hand-decorated box or create a special collage. Not only will they have a fabulous time reliving all of your greatest hits, they are also sure to appreciate the time and effort that you spent on this special gift.
6. Personalised Playlist
Music – it’s a kind of magic! Put together a special themed playlist for your loved one to commemorate the memories you’ve shared, give them a boost of positivity, or simply express how you feel about them. You can go retro here and burn a CD or cassette tape, or simply get online and create a YouTube playlist!
7. Art from the Heart
Inexpensive arts and crafts are a classic go-to gift, and for good reason! With just a few supplies from around the house and some creativity, you can whip up some truly unique and special prezzies for your loved ones. Here are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Create Origami room decorations
- Upcycle cans and jars to create stationary holders, vases or even candle holders
- Jazz up inexpensive clothing with simple embroidery or iron-on patches
Do a quick internet search for “DIY gifts” to find countless ideas and crafting instructions!
8. Share the Love
If you want to bring a tear to a loved one’s eye this season, try reaching out to their friends and family members and asking people to either write or record a video/voice message for them. Come the gift-exchange, you’ll be able to present them with a bundle of priceless letters and/or clips to which they can turn when times get tough.
9. Growing Gifts
Did you know that you can regrow succulents, fruits, veggies, herbs, and a host of other plants from scraps or offcuts? Give your loved ones a gift that keeps on giving by doing some research and sprouting seeds, preparing seed starters, or even gifting them some offcuts & compost from your own little patch of earth. You can find lots of easy guides to grow-your-own gardening online.
10. DIY Pampering
Believe it or not, you can whip up some super simple and special self-care products with just a few ingredients from your pantry! Oils, honey, avocado, salt, sugar, oats, bananas (and more) can all be used to create fask masks, hair treatments and hand/body scrubs! Just get googling and you’re good to go!
You may feel guilty that you can’t shower your loved ones in spoils this year, but it’s important to remind yourself that there are so many ways to make someone feel special and appreciated that don’t involve money. In fact, homemade gifts are often so much more meaningful due to the time, thought and energy that goes into creating them.
And remember, at the end of the day, this season is all about spending time with and showing love for each other, no matter how you go about it.