Ways To Save Money On Holiday Gifts

I don't know about anyone else, but I love giving Christmas gifts. It's so much fun to see a loved one's face when they open the gift that you found just for them! The only problem is, this costs money. Many of us have been hit hard by the economy and simply can't afford to give gifts the way we would like to. I know this bothers me, especially since I have a really big family that is spread out all over the country. It can be depressing when you see all of the decorations and ads for sales all over town when you know your wallet can't handle the type of consumerism being advertised. Lack of funds, however, doesn't mean that you still can't celebrate the holidays well or show everyone you love them. You just have to get a little creative. Here are a few ways that you can stretch your holiday-gifting dollars.
Instead of getting everyone something individually, gift in the 'collective'. One year when we couldn't afford to go to my parents' for the yearly get-together, my husband and I ordered a roast turkey from Honey Baked Ham and had it sent to my parents' house. That way, we were able to 'gift' everyone at once. We got the kids small presents, but the turkey fed everyone well and was very much appreciated! We also only had to pay shipping once! In terms of local celebrations, offer your house for a holiday party. Invite everyone over for drinks, desserts, games, movies...whatever. The party can be your 'gift' to everyone at the same time, and a good time can be had by all.

Speaking of food items, you can make 'gift packages' for everyone, filled with candy and cookies that you've made. All you have to do is get some confectioner's chocolate from the grocery store (usually it's about $1-$2 for a large batch) and some pretzels. Spread some wax paper onto a cookie sheet, dip the pretzels and lay them on the sheet to set. Put the sheet in the refrigerator overnight, and you'll have chocolate-covered pretzels that can make a perfect gift for anyone with a sweet tooth. In terms of cookies, you can cut them out in fun shapes and decorate them with sprinkles or chocolate chips. You could also use food coloring and make a festive batch of Rice Crispies' treats. Who doesn't love those, right? You can put them in a tin or nice box and serve them to your friends and family members as a nice 'care package'. All you would have to pay for is the materials, which can be found at most grocery stores using coupons or discounts.

As you see, there are ways to make the holidays fun and festive without having to spend a mint or feel bad for not being able to afford much. If you think about it, gestures like this might actually mean more than regular, store-bought gifts because you went out of your way to put time and thought into it.
If you're worried that someone will think you're 'cheap', remember-if they are really your friend or really love you, they'll appreciate the effort. If they don't, they probably don't need to be on your 'list' anyway.

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