We've all had lean years. Years where month after month there is more month left than money. When you're dealing with the stress of a lean year Christmas, and how to pay for it, can weigh heavy on you.
The last thing I want you to do is stress about how you're going to pay for Christmas. The last thing your loved ones want is for you to stress about Christmas and how you're going to pay for it.
If you're worried about how you're going to afford gifts this year, I have come up with a few ideas for you. A lot of these things can be pulled together for free using things you already have at home.
1. Give from your stash.
If you're like me and you have a stash of toiletries or samples, consider making a gift basket.
I get a lot of samples through out the year, everything from coffee to lip gloss. I keep the samples in a basket in my linen closet. It is really easy to compile these samples into a cute gift basket for a friend or family member.
You guys know I am a BIG fan of the free. Meaning, I look for free deals as much as I can. I don't spend hours and hours each week, but I do spend about 15 minutes about once a week on deals. I feel like it's my job to stretch Jason's paycheck as far as it will go and freebies like diapers, cleaning supplies and toiletries, even clothing bridges any gaps.
I get great items like body wash and candles from ePantry. You can get a $10 credit when you sign up. Then you will get a referral link to share with your friends and family. Right now during November ePantry is having a double credits bonus. When a friend signs up through your link you will get a $20 credit. This is a great way to get things for gifts like high end bath products, candles and water bottles.
I do think you will have to make a $20 or $30 purchase to get your credit.
2. Create unique spices and rubs
Bakers and grill enthusiasts alike would love a special blend of spiced or rubs. You likely have everything you need to make and package your own mixes.
Put the spices in small mason jars and paint the lids with chalk paint. Then write on the lid what they are and how to use them. You could include a favorite recipe on a pretty stationary.
3. Wax Melts
Last year I made my mom some homemade wax melts. I knew she had a wax warmer in her home and I had some leftover candles had too little wax to burn. So I upcycled them into wax melts.
4. Coconut and Sugar Scrub
Did you know you can create some great gifts using things you already have? You can whip up a simple face and body scrub using just coconut oil and sugar. If you have a few essential oils you can drop that in too.
5. Upcycled tea cup candle
This concept is the same as the wax melts. If you have a candle lying around that you just don't love you can easily transform it into a tea cup candle. Find an old tea cup in your cabinet and an old candle and get started. You can find the instructions here.
5. Candle lid picture frame
Speaking of old candles. If you have candles with metal lids you are no longer using, it is really easy to turn those into a magnetic photo frame. This is perfect for grand parents!
6. DIY Button Hair Pins
Before my grandmother died she gave me all her sewing supplies, including jars and jars and jars of buttons. I swear, she was hording buttons.
All of the sewing supplies were wasted on me, so I gave it all to my mother who loves to sew. But I hung onto the buttons. Some of them I used to jazz up bobby pins.
7. Pass something on
I got this great comment from a subscriber:
Lydia, my mother-in-law is the best and most thoughtful "re-gifter" in the world. One year she gave me 2 vintage silver spoons, that had belonged to her mother, tied with a pretty ribbon for Christmas. Another year she gave my daughter a framed doily she had made. She re-gifted some Tonka Trucks her late husband had bought to our son when he was little. She has also found vintage linens at thrift stores, washed/ironed/starched them and given them to me. She knows my colors and style and just always puts actual thought, not money, into her gifts. She is awesome in so many ways, this is just one.
8. Give free printables
Pinterest has NO end to free printables. Many of them are both beautiful and inspirational. Think of someone you love. Is there a quote or scripture verse that always reminds you of him or her? Why not see if there is a free printable on Pinterest of that quote or scripture? Print it out and put it in a frame you already own. Then present it to that person.
9. Remember presentation makes things special
Okay, so this isn't a gift idea but the way you present something can make it extra special. Taking the time to wrap something, even if it's really small, allows the recipient to savor that moment. Put an ornament on the package instead of a bow, or include a handwritten and thoughtful note.
What about you? What would you add to the list?