Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just Say It! Thoughtful and Inexpensive Ways to Give the Gift of Love This Holiday Season

For many of us, it’s that time of year! It’s Christmas! And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you’re celebrating your special, religious holiday that is also there to emphasize gratitude and praise for God and our loved ones. We all want to let our loved ones know we love them and value them, but with an economy that is hitting home it’s been hard (and even stressful) for many of us to afford the BIG gifts that have come to communicate how special our loved ones are to us. First, we all should know that BIG gifts shouldn’t represent our love, but our culture certainly tries to convince us this is so. What really matters is that we merely communicate our love and thankfulness in a sincere way. And if you ask, most people will probably tell you that they feel a thoughtful handmade or personalized gift is more touching and special than a big ticket item that was purchased at the last minute or with little thought.

Here are a few things that I am doing this holiday season to tell my loved ones how much I love them with a little money but a lot of thought.

1) Random Thank You Cards-
: About $5.00 and postage (if needed)
What I Did: I picked up some festive thank you cards from the store the other day. Right before I know I am about to see my family member or friend, I grab one of my thank you cards and jot down things that I am thankful for about them. I make sure I am specific about what I love about them or what I am thankful for. The surprise and the words always bring them a smile.

2) My Christmas News Letter
Cost: Virtually free beyond postage and envelopes
What I Did: Every year, I am sure to write a warm Christmas news letter to our closest friends and family since we don’t get to see them regularly. I update them on our lives and remind them that they are loved by us. A note or news letter is more personal than just a card or picture with signed names. News letters leave people feeling special and included in our lives.

3) Hand Painted Wine Glasses (Candles and Coffee Mugs!)
: $5.00-$10.00 for a set of 2 or 4 wine glasses and $15 for paint and supplies
What I Did: I am not a crafty person, but when my mother-in-law just visited, we flipped through a Christmas craft book I was given years ago from a dear friend. We were trying to find inexpensive crafts you can make for gifts. Well, we found one! We picked up some wine glasses and glass paint at the local craft store, and this Christmas I am painting wine glasses with spiritual words and art to give to my parents. I also did a hand-painted candle for my grandmother (and she just loved it) for just $6.00! I plain on trying this on coffee mugs next!

4) An Inscription in a Special Book
Cost: Price of book ($10.00-$20.00)
What I Did: A thoughtful book is a great gift that keeps giving over the years, but what puts the book choice over the top is an endearing inscription for your loved one inside. Mitch Albom books (Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day, and Have a Little Faith) are wonderful books for the holidays since they are very spiritual, family-oriented experiences. Coupling this sort of book with a sincere inscription inside will let your family member or friend know their special for years to come.

Hopefully some of these ideas are helpful to you, but at the very least maybe they’ll inspire you to get creative, save money, and most importantly, tell the people in your life how much you love them!

Please enjoy and share your creative, inexpensive ideas for gifts that say “I love you” this holiday season.

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful ideas! A friend of mine did something really sweet and homemade for her husband on Father's Day that I'd like to share. They have two young children; a two year old little girl, and a 6 month old baby boy. My friend took a picture of her little ones and put it in an inexpensive frame with matte board around the picture. She painted her kids' hands and had them put their tiny hand prints around the picture on the matte board. She also included a personal message to her husband on the matte board. He loved it! I plan to do something similar this year with my daughter's hand prints for her grandparents.
    -Nihcole Chartier


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