It’s the holiday season once again. The Christmas bells are ringing. Beautifully decorated Christmas trees stand tall and ugly Christmas sweaters are being dry-cleaned. Holiday recipes that were safely tucked away last year are being brought out. The anticipation of meeting the family, eating Aunt Mabel’s Christmas Turkey, listening to Uncle John crack jokes that could make you roll with laughter, putting up Frosty and his friends in the front yard, Christmas carols being played everywhere and all other things that just spell Christmas – they are a sight that lifts the heart during the cold December days.
It is also a season that is the heaviest on the pockets. Having Black Friday Sales, a month before Christmas does not really make Christmas cheaper. And it’s not just family we need to buy presents for, but also friends, neighbors, colleagues, teachers etc. Even when the present is given with lots of love and happiness, the truth is we can still feel a pinch in the pocket. Everything from planning what to buy, maintaining lists and budgets and wrapping up all the presents can seem stressful during the busiest time of the year. And even after putting in all the effort, we still aren’t sure if they would like their presents. The trick here is to push aside all the Christmas commercialization and find something that strikes an emotional chord. The best part is it doesn’t have to be expensive. A little planning ahead of time can save a lot of money, plus it adds a personal touch. Some of the inexpensive DIY gifts are mentioned below.
Not just any photo frame, a personalized one. Dig through the treasure trove of family photos and find a very special memory that takes a center stage in someone’s life. There are ways to photo correct very old pictures and print them. Framing these photos and presenting them to someone who forgot about it is such a lovely way to remind them of good times.
Pass down a family heirloom
Christmas can be such a wonderful opportunity to pass down a family heirloom. Get the object cleaned if needed and place it in a beautiful box. Then write a small story about how it came to you and why you chose to pass the heirloom down to them. Add a picture of grandma or grandpa who bestowed it to you. This is such a heartfelt way of showing love.
Handmade Paper or Clay ornaments
If you are having a Christmas party earlier in December, making handmade ornaments out of card stock paper or clay is a wonderful idea. There are so many tutorials online showing how to make simple ornaments. Card stock paper and clay is easily available in craft stores and very inexpensive. Make a cup of hot chocolate, put on some carols, and spend the evening crafting away. The whole experience can be very therapeutic. This is wonderful craft to do with children who can then give those ornaments as gifts to their teachers.
Infused oils, salts or alcohol
Do you know someone who loves to cook? Infuse some herbs or spices in moderately hot oil and bottle them up in pretty bottles from the dollar stores. Same for alcohol and salts. You can find out how to do that here. Write up a recipe card that uses your oil as an ingredient and tie it to the bottle. Infused oils and alcohol can be very expensive. Those who receive it as a gift will appreciate it.
Preserved jams and chutneys
This is one of the best ways to present all the food lovers in your life. Use fresh or frozen ingredients and cook up some jams or chutneys. Add a recommendation card to it explaining the best way to eat it or the best wine to pair it with. What’s more – you can cook them all at once and strike off multiple names on your list.
Do you have a plant lover in your life? Take a small cutting from an existing plant. Propagate it in soil or water. Once the roots develop, put them in a pretty pot and gift it. Nothing makes plant lovers happier than watching a small cutting grow into a beautiful addition to their collection.
Making your own personalized calendars can be very easy. Find an online platform you like or go to this one. Add in pictures of your choice and get it printed. If you wish to print it yourself, download empty calendar templates and add in all the details of your choice. Then print them on good quality paper and bind them. This is a perfect gift for grandparents from their grand kids. Special days like birthdays and anniversaries can be marked in a special way for their convenience.
Seed starting kits
A seed starting kit is the perfect gift for your gardener friend. Usually, seeds are started indoors in the month of February. A box of packets containing organic seeds and instructions to go along with it is a very inexpensive and personal way to show your love during the holiday season.
There is so much that can be done to enjoy the experience of making and giving gifts. Making bath kits like bath bombs, body butter and handmade soap can be a nice way to spend time crafting and in turn be given as gifts. Same goes for making candles. To add a unique dimension to candle making, buy unusual cups and containers from thrift store and pour beeswax into them. Your present will be one-of-a-kind and most appreciated. Adding unique twists to commercialized things can make for a very heartwarming gift giving experience. Christmas is all about memories and traditions. So why not start one by making emotional gifts.
It is almost impossible to avoid buying anything completely during this season. If you decide to make any purchases, make sure to support small local stores. They cannot compete with the discounts offered by big box stores and are affected this time of the year. Shop local or buy gift certificates from local services as a present for your friends and family. When you have made / bought your wonderful present, it’s time to wrap them up. Read our blog here to find how you can do it in an eco-friendly way.
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Written By Kritika Rao