Once upon a time, my Christmas gift-giving list covered more than a page. As my husband, grandparents, Dad, and some friends have departed for heaven, it has shrunk like a sweater placed in a hot dryer. Prices and less physical energy have also had a dampening effect on buying presents.
I've been thinking about creative ways to celebrate and bring joy into the lives of others.
1. Since I'm an author, a Christmas letter tucked into a card helps me share events from the year nearing its end. I know it isn't original, but I still enjoy sending and receiving them.
2. Silly, little gifts often show more thought than big, expensive ones. If a friend loves a certain type of chocolate or comments they love fuzzy socks, a package with a sweet note will bring a smile to their faces.
3. A lot of older folks in nursing homes have lost loved ones. It's a stretch to think of something useful or enjoyable. If they like to write letters or send cards, a package of blank note cards and/or birthday cards along with a book of stamps might give them hours of pleasure. Crossword or word search puzzle books, lap robes, or a package of treats (taking into account dietary restrictions) are also good choices.
The gift of time is also appreciated by the elderly. A breakfast at an inexpensive restaurant, helping them with grocery/Christmas shopping, or inviting them over for a meal can be a welcome break from their routine.
4. Books. Now you know I couldn't put a list together without including books! So many people have Kindles/Nooks and other e-readers these days, and you can get many Christmas novellas for $1.99 or less. If your friends or relatives prefer print books, many go on sale or can be found in the Bargain section.
5. Gift Cards. Does your friend shop 'til she drops on Amazon? The perfect gift is at your fingertips. Find out what store they love - department stores, bookstores, small specialty places, health food establishments, movie theaters, and hair/nail salons. Almost everyone offers gift cards.
6. Food gifts - cookies, small bread loaves, specialty spices all make delightful gifts.
7. Collect items throughout the year for a basket gift. It doesn't have to be huge or even a basket. Mugs, mason jars, and pretty boxes can work just as well. If you need ideas, check out Pinterest.
Writers and Readers: What creative ideas do you have for gifts that don't break the bank?
Photo Credit: Muresan113