Alternative Christmas Gifts
Alternative Christmas Presents to Save Money
Not all Christmas presents need to be physical items, and not all gifts need to be expensive. “It’s the thought that counts” is a well-used saying for a good reason. There is a plethora of ideas on websites such as Pinterest that will inspire the crafty, foodie or the handy among you. But if you’re not a ‘maker’ never fear, there are plenty of other ways you can save money on Christmas presents.
Made with Love
Handmade presents will not only save you money but more often than not, others will appreciate and value something that’s been thoughtfully made for them by you. From jams, chutney, pickled items, biscuits, chocolates, energy balls, tray bakes, cakes and even granola! Or how about a festive brew – homemade loose teas with added festive spices in a jar or a seasonal hot chocolate, using broken up pieces of chocolate and a cinnamon stick wrapped in cellophane. (If you buy bulk from a cash and carry type outlet, you’ll save even more.)
A Makers Christmas
Needle crafts are still very on-trend at the moment, especially macramé items. If you’re a knitter or are keen to learn, you’ll find some great yarn options online to make bobble hats or a simple scarf in your loved-one’s favourite colour. If you can sew, tote bags and other cloth bags are not only eco-friendly but more and more people are looking for reusable items. Or perhaps you know how to make things from clay or wood –useful homewares might just make someone’s day amongst the piles of unopened toiletries and Christmas jumpers.
A promise to babysit doesn’t need to fit under the tree. Nor does a pledge to deep-clean a home, help with DIY tasks or even decorate a room. Practical help and support is appreciated by many; you will know who these people are in your life. Alternatively, you could create a voucher booklet of different favours such as a manicure for your Mum or sister, a massage for your partner or even lie-ins and breakfast in bed.
If you don’t live too far from a stretch of coast, giving your friend or loved one a fun day out at the seaside will make a thoughtful present you’ll both remember. You can still give them something to open, such as a creatively decorated box – on the inside could be your plan written on card, a bag of 2ps for the arcade machines, (that hand-knitted hat you made earlier), and promise of fish and chips on the seafront.
Gin or Beer Tasting Evening
If you have a gathering of foodie friends who enjoy a tipple, why not invite them all to an early 2019 tasting evening. Host an evening with a selection of gins, beer or other drinks along with an array of tasty nibbles. Come January, prices of Christmas party goodies will have dropped so fill your fridge or freezer in preparation for your event.
Depending on your friend or family member’s taste, many folks these days appreciate something retro or a bit unique. Obviously shopping for antiques can be an expensive game, but not if you head to the car boot or charity shops. You never know what you might find. From jewellery to clothes and homewares. Something with a vintage twist will run rings around an item from a high-street chain. Buy a pretty box and tissue paper from a stationery store to give the item an expensive feel. Don’t forget to try places like Etsy and eBay for vintage finds from independent sellers.
Are you good at something that perhaps your friend would like to learn? You could offer cooking, crafting, sewing, gardening, DIY or art lessons. Three one-hour sessions or a half a day should be plenty for ‘An Introduction to….’ You could also present them with a certificate at the end.
It’s a wrap
Christmas paper can get a bit expensive. Why not try using rolls of brown paper, or leftover pieces of paper from deliveries, and make your own. Use potatoes to make star-shaped prints. You could also use pieces of fabric to wrap presents, adding texture and creativity to gift giving. Again, car boots and charity shops are a great place to find rolls or scraps of fabric.
Your wedding doesn’t have to cost the earth
Which of the world’s football transfers make the top 10?
How much will Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding cost?
What hidden costs are involved when buying a house?