Frugal Christmas gifts

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A gift that touches the heart is worth more than a pound of gold
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The giving of frugal or handmade christmas gifts is a wise and thrifty move

Ho, ho, ho. Ho’ in the world do you stretch your christmas dollars when so many friends and relatives are itching to see what you bought them? The spirit of christmas is a giving one—a reflection of the instinct to put others before oneself. When times are tight, frugal christmas gifts can be a budget help, especially if creativity and forethought are a part of your advanced planning. Consider the set theory. It relates to purchasing sets of products whose quantity can be divided and distributed separately to a diverse group of gift recipients. Nostalgia reigns during the holidays and most folks enjoy old fashioned things—cookies, candies and the like. Frugal christmas gifts recall the days when things were made by hand. Think about obtaining a multi-pack of some individually wrapped, flavorful candy such as that favorite from the 1900s—old fashion flat taffy. Also consider a tasty sampler of Vermont Cheese, perhaps with an adjunct gift of some candy canes or christmas cookies. You’re well on your way to fulfilling a need for frugal christmas gifts that as a fringe benefit impart a heavenly memory of yesteryear.

Utilize the set theory

Gifts that come in a set also may suffice as individual gifts for co-workers, singles or couples. A set of five Russian nesting dolls can be divvied up and given—perhaps with a decorative neck scarf tucked inside—to five people. Your friend from the gym, the beauty salon or the tennis club will never know that four other people also received a doll. Frugal christmas gifts can be fun gifts. These days, the classic nesting dolls have been modernized. Some sport images of wild animals, famous buildings, fairy tale characters, etc. Among the most innovative designs available as Russian nesting dolls are those in the five-piece set that includes a dentist, a chef, a doctor, a fire fighter, a nurse and a space shuttle adventurer. Quite popular are these occupation nesting dolls that serve quadruple duty as fun but frugal christmas gifts.

Add an artistic touch

A set of festive glasses may be bargain priced, but when you add the personal touch of hand painting them and inscribing a person’s name as a part of the design, the glasses become special. Each member of a family can receive one glass, perhaps filled with candy and topped with an explosion of glittery ribbons. Think of doing the same with wine glasses, goblets or parfait glasses. Fill them with handmade treats such as Christmas cookies for kids or tuck inside a gift card to a movie or a fast food emporium. Frugal Christmas gifts can touch the heart, without denting the wallet. There is no end to the number of frugal Christmas gifts one can concoct with just a little creative thinking.

• Give potted plants made from cuttings sprouted during summer
• Hem large remnants of woolen squares to make warm winter scarves
• Use fabric paint to festively decorate a plain white table cloth
• Knit or crochet hats, mittens, scarves or apparel for the doggie
• Bake a selection of cookies, candies or make cranberry breads
• Buy closeout items from office supply stores or gift shops
• Give certificates good for stints of baby sitting or errand running

Think out of the gift box

Be not concerned about offending gift recipients who receive your best choice of frugal christmas gifts. Do your best to match your gift to the recipient’s personality, hobby or interest. Most people readily admit they can do without one more piece of stuff—those items that wind up discarded. In fact, the Clean Air Council (CAC), diminishing the amount of trash accumulated after the holidays—and all year long—is a worthy goal.

According to the organization, the average American generates nearly five pounds of trash every day. In a fact-filled waste production report, it is noted that each day, those in the United States generate enough trash to fill 63,000 garbage trucks. Perhaps the time is right for frugal christmas gifts, frugal Valentine’s Day gifts, frugal Mother’s Day gifts and a move back to a time when something handmade was the best way to say, “I love you.”

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