So, it’s Christmas and time for gift giving once again. That’s great when you have the money to get the kids just what they want. It’s a good feeling when you can get that nice co-worker a little something or give an extra couple of dollars to the woman who does your hair. What do you do, though, if you simply don’t have the funds to do these things but want to show somebody a little love? Do you need to look like Scrooge? Nope. There are lots of ways around this problem.
When the kids that you want to buy for are little (your own or others), there’s the knock-off route. You may not be able to afford the name brand that’s the hottest thing out there, but you may be able to afford that very similar item at a much lower cost. Beware, though, that there is an age when they know the difference and you might as well gift them underwear as a substitute for what they really want. Before that time, you are free and clear. If you’re past that window of opportunity, I would veer off in another direction entirely. You don’t want to look like you tried to get what they wanted but failed. Find something completely different so it’s not a comparison. Think about what they like, their hobbies and their interests. Think about things that you find interesting that you might want to share with them. Who knows, they could find a new and interesting hobby. Everybody is good at something and you’re giving the gift of your time and expertise.
Sometimes, you aren’t able to afford anything close to what you want to buy for somebody. It’s okay. It truly IS the thought that counts, not the gift itself. If you can afford your time, your caring thoughts, your prayers, or your love, THAT is a gift worth giving. You can wrap it up however you like. You can write a poem, find something in a magazine or book that expresses how you feel or that you find interesting and frame it for a dollar or reuse a frame that you already have. You can write up a gift certificate for a hand car wash or a homemade meal for a parent or a night of babysitting for a favorite friend or relative. How about a trip to a museum or even the library; bring lunch and have a picnic at a park! Think about the things that make them happy, think about the things that you can do and put them together. How about a neighbor who has trouble getting around? Why not offer a ride to the grocery store or a monthly trip somewhere they may have trouble getting to. Manual labor is a pretty darn good gift and one that is much appreciated. It means that you’re truly giving of yourself and it’s a wonderful low-cost, high-reward gift. The real value of this gift is the time and thoughtfulness that you put into it. No doll, pajamas, scarf, or tie can touch that!
Have fun, be creative and, most of all, be sincere and your gift will truly be treasured.
Have a very happy holiday!