This time of year is often rather expensive. It's hard to stay on budget, even with the help of tools like layaway, and careful used credit cards.
One way to reduce your costs during the holiday season is to go for a homemade Christmas. Not only can you save money, but you can also produce unique gifts that are personal for the recipient. Here are some tips for making your homemade Christmas a little more successful:
1. Be Thoughtful
Your first priority with any gift is to be thoughtful. Think about the recipient might enjoy, and use. Consider favorite colors, as well as the function of the gift. In some cases, it makes sense to make a favorite treat, or create something in a particular style. Really consider what makes the recipient tick, and what he or she would appreciate.
2. Encourage Others to Participate
I know families that make it a tradition to do a homemade Christmas. This includes extended families in some cases. If everyone participates in the homemade Christmas, then it is more likely to be acceptable to everyone. It's a fun tradition to have, and even the kids can get involved. Encourage everyone to create homemade gifts, and it might surprise you to discover others' talents.
3. Play to Your Strengths
I'm terrible at crafts. I just don't have that artistic bent. I can do some simple things (I crocheted a scarf for my son), but, for the most part, those types of projects aren't going to be a success. I do, on the other hand, enjoy baking and making candy. I usually make chocolate truffles for Christmas gifts, as well as making other baked goods. Think about your strengths, and what you are good at. Then, create a gift based on what you are good at.
4. Consider Services
Perhaps you don't have a penchant for actually making something. But maybe you have a skill or a talent that others could use. One fun idea for Christmas is to encourage everyone to exchange gifts of service. You can offer to babysit your sister's kids while she enjoys a night out with her husband. Offer to wash a car, clean a house, or edit a school paper. I know a family that, instead of exchanging physical gifts, chooses to each offer some small service as a gift. They write the service neatly on a pretty piece of paper, and wrap it in a small box. It's fun to open, and everyone enjoys the feelings that come with providing service.
5. Be Gracious
Finally, if you want a truly successful homemade Christmas, you need to be a gracious recipient. Whether you give homemade gifts or not, you should be thankful, and show your gratitude, when you receive a homemade gift from someone else. Be a gracious recipient, no matter the circumstance. You'll feel better because your graciousness will cheer the giver. Remember that part of a good holiday is being kind and thoughtful to those who have been good enough to remember you with a gift.