Put Some Creativity Into The Holidays


Black Friday is over and now Cyber Monday is upon us. For many, pockets are not as deep as they have been in previous years. Perhaps you're wondering how you are going to afford to buy holiday gifts this year or maybe you're looking for a way to stretch those pennies a little further. Discuss with family members of setting a budget or suggest that gifts must be homemade and not purchased.

While it's always great receiving a gift, I've always enjoyed the giving part. Over the past few years I've tried limiting the gifts that I give to just "stuff" with little to no meaning. It often involves more creativity. I've never been a big fan of giving gift certificates, but I do like giving the gift of experience. My brother and his wife live in New York City.

Their apartment is small and they don't need anything else to fill the space. A gift certificate to a restaurant, play or even a cooking class are something they will enjoy more than an itchy scarf (unless you made that itchy scarf). There's always the homemade gifts. Got skills? Even if you don't, don't be afraid to try. I love to cook. In years past I have made spice rubs for friends, made apple sauce and even packaged salmon that I caught and smoked. This year I started roasting coffee.

Make your own gift certificates. A night of baby sitting, yard work, car repairs, house cleaning or furniture refinishing. There's something that you do that others can benefit from. Second hand and consignment shops are great for gifts and ideas. Etsy can be a great source for one of a kind hand made goods. If you're going to buy something that requires wrapping, consider using recycled newspaper, magazines or even clothing to wrap them in. Instead of a gift bag, put it in a reusable shopping bag that they can use again when they get their groceries. Skip the store bought wrapping paper that has a one time use. Get creative, dare to be different and remember; it's the thought that counts!