We all love to give -- afterall the Bible reminds us that it's more blessed to give than to receive. And it's fun to give. Plus there are those "group" or "office" get togethers when everyone is exchanging gifts and you want to participate. But if you're out of work or money, how do you give gifts without losing your sanity or savings?
For the frugal minded (and who isn't in this economy?) here are two tips to save face and finances:
Homemade gifts: Warm chocolate chip cookies made with love are always cherished and gobbled up. Print out coupons for free babysitting or yard maintenance. Find internet sites that offer homemade versions of bath salts, soaps, and other welcomed gifts.
Basket gifts: Throughout the year, collect "freebies" or sample sizes of food, laundry soap, toothpaste, hair care, lotions and notions. Artfully place all those wonderful - and useful - items in a pretty basket, wrap with cellophane and a large, festive bow. Voila! You can give a gift that is sure to please and has cost you virtually nothing. Personalize the gift basket by packing items specific to a person's need; if it's for a college student, then school supplies and munchies would be wanted.
Don't hit the panic button this year. Make it a wonderful Christmas season with dollar-stretching ideas.
Brenda Nixon, www.BrendaNixon.com
Co-author, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts