Getting Creative While Saying Thanks This Holiday Season

Given the financial constraints placed on most this holiday season, here are some tips so you can continue to spread holiday cheer without breaking the bank.

You may feel inclined to give everyone in your life a gift this holiday season.  But is it really necessary to give to all past your family and friends to your co-workers, your children’s teachers, your mail man, babysitters and everyone in-between?  Given the financial constraints placed on most this holiday season here are some tips so you can continue to spread holiday cheer without breaking the bank.

Plan on making them a homemade gift this season!

If you are a good baker, consider baking a large amount of your specialty, whether it is brownies, cookies or fudge.  You can then buy tins or boxes from your local dollar store and give them out to everyone as a holiday treat.  Avoid using common allergens in your recipes, such as nuts, so you know the sweet will be safe for all of your recipients

If you want to save on the tins, save Pringles cans (original only) and wrap them with wrapping paper and use it as a cookie tin!

Holiday cards!  Sometimes, the thought is what counts.  Consider having the kids make cards and special pictures for teachers, coaches and babysitters. Buy a pack of holiday cards and write a personal note of thanks to each person on your list.  Consider including reasons why you appreciate them in your life to add more personalization and meaning to the card.  A note that brings a smile to someone’s face is sometimes better than a store bought gift.

Have your kids hand make their teachers, tutors and babysitters a handmade present! Whether they bake them something special, or make them a drawing or write them a note, the personalization of the gift will mean more to the teacher than a store bought gift!  For anyone on your list that you know may appreciate a homemade craft by you and your child, check out this list of easy to make (and cheap) homemade holiday crafts from Martha Stewart.  http://www.marthastewart.com/856465/easy-christmas-crafts/@center/307034/christmas-workshop#168427. You may even find one you think would be a good gift to give to relatives as a little something special to add character to their gift.

If creativity isn’t your thing, try buying gift cards with low balances for people on your lists.  A gift card that will buy them one sandwich, a coffee, or a smoothie may be the perfect treat to say happy holidays! Stay away from gift cards that have high minimum balances or charge extra fees.

Remember, don’t sweat the small stuff and try not to go over budget spending for the ‘extra’ people on your list!  Most simply appreciate that you thought of them.

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