Christmas Gifts – They Don’t Have To Break The Bank!

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Christmas Gifts - They Don't Have To Break The Bank!You’re just about to be face-to-face with loved ones expectantly waiting for a thoughtful gift representing how much they mean to you all year long. Those darn Wise Men started this trend when they brought presents for Jesus in the manger and it went viral.

You might voice your desire to opt out (my husband has been doing this for the past couple years) based on principle… “I don’t need anything and you probably don’t either” is the basic mantra he chants… followed by, “Everyone over-spends on dumb stuff.”

I get it. None of us really needs much and most of us don’t have a lot of extra loot to shell out for Christmas “love.” But I think there’s something missing when you take this approach. Being thoughtful, giving and showing extra love during this season doesn’t have to break your bank or commercialize Christmas. Here are a few ways I’ve tried to brighten the holidays for others without having to sell my own blood.

Christmas Gifts – They Don’t Have To Break The Bank!

Internet subscription deals:  Groupon and many other sites offer daily deals on everything gift-worthy. I’ve gotten restaurant certificates for $10 that have a $30 purchase value. Last year I got my in-laws a hot air balloon ride with champagne for half price. The deals vary daily and help introduce you to new places.
Spa Services:  Groupon offers some of these but there are many sites that offer amazing deals. I recently picked up a gift cert for 60 minute massage AND 60 minute facial for $35! What a luxurious present that most people wouldn’t treat themselves to. I’ve seen massages offered as low as $19.99. Nothing says I love you like a great massage…if you aren’t qualified to perform one, a gift certificate for a talented stand-in is the next best thing!
Concerts and Sports Tickets: People are busy this time of year and plans change. Look on Craigslist or Stubhub for last minute purchases to some of the best events. Recently we’ve had to let tickets go for nearly half price for this reason.
Cookies: We all get pressured into buying those tubs of frozen cookie dough. Pick up some colorful tins or clear cellophane at the Dollar Store, bake those cookies and give them to neighbors, bank tellers and doctors you appreciate.
Basket of Goodies: Harry and David do a fine job of packaging (and over-pricing) those baskets and boxes of fun treats. Get a basket at Ross or Michael’s for $3 then fill it up with cool stuff from Cost Plus World Market. You can make an impressive gift basket for under $20.
Music: Create a CD of Christmas music and give it to the mailman, dog groomer, hair stylist and all the women in your book club.
If you truly don’t believe any gift you give will be a hit, give a goat…to a needy family via World Vision in a loved one’s name.
As for me…no opt-out here. I’m all in! Merry Christmas! Share your creative and cost-effective gift tips below.
Diane Markins

Visit my blog and listen to radio show: Bold Living

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