Bah Humbug! It’s not about the money money money…

Today’s the day there is going to be a lot of talk about money…or rather the lack of it but don’t let it turn you all scrooge like.  Last week, I overheard a lady saying she wasn’t going to buy one present this Christmas because she was under enough stress as it is to pay the bills. I can empathize with her regarding the bills but to deny herself the gift of giving saddened me somewhat because I believe a gift does not have to come from a shop. A true gift comes from your heart.

On the day that’s in it, the festive period may feel more like a burden than a joy but how did folk give long ago when they really had nothing. For those of us who are on limited budgets, perhaps we can take notes from our ancestors and overcome our inner scrooge. To inspire you, here are a few gift ideas from the past…and a few modern ones too.

  • Baked goods wrapped in pretty paper. Try cookies, cranberry loaf, banana bread.
  • A journal or doodle notebook. Despite all the fancy i-technology I love pen and paper.
  • Movie night gift: Popcorn kernels, rental gift voucher, a blanket.
  • A framed picture or small photo album brimming with memories. A priceless gift.
  • Babysitting. As a parent I know how awesome this gift can be.
  • Yoga mat and DVD. Great way to start a new year with the peace and fitness of yoga.
  • 10 Reasons I Love You. Framed. This is such an amazing gift to give and receive.
  • Your time. Absolutely free. You can’t beat this gift. (Shower first!)
  • A care package. Keep it simple: a favorite magazine + bed socks + hot chocolate.
  • Homemade soap and honey bath oils.(loads of recipes on the net)
  • Mini bottle of wine, some gourmet cheese and dark chocs. Yummy!
  • A homemade ‘Throw’ made from a large remnant or two or three patched together.
  • Gourmet coffee with a personalized mug.
  • Burn a CD with all the person’s favorite songs and include a personal message.
  • IOU voucher…give yourself and your skilled service as a gift.
  • A few extra tools for the tool box (throw in a sweet treat too!)
  • Fluffy bath towel. Personalise it by attaching the initials with scrap fabric.
  • Knit or crochet something for someone (I can’t do this, but I know people who      can).
  • Decorate a pretty jar full of jam, jelly, salsa dressings, cookies, spice or…
  • Fill a jar with ‘love you….’ or “appreciate you…” or LOL notes on pretty      paper.
  • Books (inspirational, cookbook, humorous, a good read… all great!)
  • Framed art–your own. By “art”, I mean a sketch, painting, poem, short story, etc.
  • Scented candles.
  • A homemade Christmas decoration.

So it’s NOT about the money or the ch-chang ch-chang or ba- bling ba-bling as Jessie J puts it…it’s about being creative and thoughtful and wanting to give. I am going to make up a funny photograph scrapbook of memories for my big 16yr old and Little Missy is going to put a smile on her Granddad and Grandma’s face with a beautiful Christmas decoration she made at the youth club last week. They are going to be delighted that she thought of them so go on… forget about the price tag…make your own pressies and wrap them up with love this Christmas.

© Aileen McGee

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