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|Written by Miss Smartypants|
|Monday, 14 December 2009 00:00|
Dear Miss Smartypants,
Here's the thing we really want to know: how can we do Christmas on the cheap? Specifically, any ideas for presents?
I Like to Think of it as Thrifty
First thought? Don't give any. There's even a hilarious Hallmark commercial to back you up (tagline: "Appreciation may be the best gift of all.") Not feeling it? Alright, I do have another idea I read the other week: make, bake, sow, or grow. You do have to be careful here, as Will pointed out, because making something scrumptious can sometimes be just as expensive as buying something scrumptious. I suggest making in bulk to help offset that problem. Bake a batch of your friend's favourite cookies and finally turn over the recipe with them. Knit your grandma a pair of mittens. Pull an old planter out of storage and include a note indicating that next spring your sister-in-law will get a cutting from your prized hydrangea. Make "get out of chores free" coupons for your kids. Bind some of your crowd-pleasing recipes for a new couple just starting out. Collect everyone's best advice for parents-to-be. When we were poor college students, my best friend used to make mixed CDs for her family members (believe it or not, there are still people who listen to CDs. If not, they can rip the CDs you give them). A close friend of mine requested that I make her orange truffles this year. Though it seems hard to believe, if you think about it for half a minute, you could probably come up with all sorts of stuff like this for pretty much everyone you know.
I could tell you to set a budget and kill yourself trying to find something that fits within the budget for everyone you buy for, but where's the fun in that? People make fun of these sorts of gifts, but you know what? I once picked out a reusable shopping bag for a friend to give me (approximate cost: one dollar), and I'm still using it nearly three years later. It was a great gift.