The first year I wasn’t working full-time at Christmas, my husband and I tightened our belts in every way possible, including trimming our Christmas gift budget.
As I tried to figure out how to still spread holiday cheer, it dawned on me the most meaningful presents I had received weren’t things that could be purchased at a mall: the black-and-white picture of our son, Justen, in an antique frame; a rosebush my friend Barbara helped me plant in our backyard; a series of Bible verses my friend Katie put in bright yellow frames; my grandmother’s recipe box my mom gave me after Grandma Edna passed away.
I realized then, I too could come up with thoughtful gifts, yet stay within our Christmas budget. This week, I’ll highlight 20 inexpensive gift ideas that convey the love of Christ in a special way to others.
With a little prayer, creativity, and thoughtful planning, you’ll have gifts that will be both lovingly given and joyfully received.
1. Now You’re Cookin’. People constantly look for new dishes to put on their table. Why not compile the recipes you’re famous for into a hand-made cookbook? For an extra treat, add a jar of homemade salsa to inspire the future cook.
2. Two-for-Two. One Christmas, my friend Kimberly, who lives 400 miles away, gave me a one-year devotional with this note: “I bought two copies of this book—one for me and one for you. Even though we live apart, we’ll always be on the same page.”
3. Order It Up. Order prints of your favorite snapshots from throughout the year. When I scroll through the pictures on my computer, I jot down a note of who gets what. With many retailers offering online uploads, you can upload your pictures and pick up the prints when they are ready. One year I came across a great picture of my mom and daughter. While still at the drugstore, I found a frame for it. Instantly, I had the perfect Christmas gift for my hard-to-buy-for mom.
4. Memory Makers. Here’s another way to maximize prints: Take a selection of pictures and slip them into a memory book to send to faraway relatives. Sure you could email them, or send a link to a digital album, but there’s nothing like flipping through photos in hand. This also allows people who don’t use email or the computer to see your family. Costco offers 4×6” prints for as little as 13¢ each!
What ideas do you have to share?
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.