Ideally, Christmas is that joyful season that reminds us to be thankful for what we have and also, hope for better beginnings in the New Year. Although the impact of the recession may have caused many to reassess their priorities and make certain changes to suit their pockets, still, the Yuletide holiday is here, so there’s still good reason to celebrate.
However, how can one afford to enjoy this festive holiday without breaking the bank or with good reason, hold back on buying expensive gifts for friends and family? Here are five tips which may seem unconventional, tacky or possibly, lack the usual ‘wow’ factor, but sometimes the smallest things convey the deepest feelings.
1. Bake a cake or cookies
If you’re a whizz at baking, then giving homemade cakes or cookies and wrapping it in cellophane with matching ribbons could be a delightful and yummy gift for friends or family. The thought, fresh ingredients, and patience would be appreciated and more so, attach a handmade card to express warm wishes.[separator type=”thin”]
2. Make a present
Making a present could be quite simple, inexpensive and tailored to the needs of the recipient. For example, a Lemon Sugar Scrub is a scentful, moisturising and exfoliating remedy for dry hands, thanks to its nourishing component, coconut oil. It takes about ten minutes to make which isn’t taxing. You’ll need the following;
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
Pour sugar into a bowl and set aside. Melt the coconut oil in a microwave oven or pot for 30 seconds or until the oil is completely melted then pour over sugar and mix until well combined. Finally, using a grater, zest the rind of the lemon into the sugar mixture, and add the juice of the lemon by cutting the zested lemon into half. Remove any seeds. If the mixture still feels wet, add some sugar to achieve the desired consistency. Pour into a clear glass jar, tie with a ribbon and label with handwritten words like ‘Lola’s Lemony Scrub’. I tell you, there’s nothing more soothing that the touch of soft and fragrant hands![separator type=”thin”]
3. Offer to babysit
Babysitting might not appeal to everyone, but for those who are up for it, the opportunity is most welcoming and ideal for the couple to spend quality time alone. The kids would equally benefit from it and are likely to request for subsequent visits. You may not have silver or gold but the heart happy to help others in need, is worth more than the two put together.[separator type=”thin”]
4. Make a CD
Making a CD mix for that special someone or persons is another good idea especially if he or she enjoys listening to music. So consider what type of songs they already like and include songs that you think they may like. Most CD mixes have a theme such as ‘Christmas Collection’, ‘Old School Jams,’ ‘Weekend RnB’ or ‘Gospel Hits’ etc. So create a playlist which should fit together, be fluid in continuity and send out a clear message to the listener. To burn the CD, you can use programs like iTunes or Windows Media Player.[separator type=”thin”]
5. Be honest with family
Not everyone may feel the impact of the recession equally, yet it would be unwise to keep up a pretense of wealth and worse, spending too much money during this period. Explain to family and discuss alternative ways of gifting your skills, talent, expertise and labour it to others. Ideas such as organising a family picnic, inviting someone for a special meal or offering to clean the grandparent’s house, etc. is a genuine reflection of one’s love towards another. Furthermore, spending quality time with family is one of the most precious gifts.[separator type=”thin”]
At the end of the day, Christmas shouldn’t only be about giving or receiving gifts. It’s that time of the year when we ought to count our blessings, learn from mistakes and endeavour to appreciate others through acts of kindness and most importantly, acknowledge the one who made the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ.