Strapped for cash this holiday season? No worries, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a gift to make it feel special for the receiver. It really is the thought that counts. Gifting handmade or refurbished items that cost next to nothing but looks great are excellent options for those on a budget. It’s always better to give something rather than nothing. Here goes some tried and tested gift ideas for almost all occasions:
Handmade birthday cards
Store bought birthday cards are so blasé and only contribute to landfills. A while ago, personalised birthday invitations were all the rave. Now, it’s customized or handmade birthday cards. Make the birthday card you give all the more special by including a photo of you two together in the front and by writing greetings in your own handwriting. The receiver will feel all the more grateful when he or she knows that you’ve gone that extra length to make the card special. You can easily add lovely designs by hand using coloured paper. Spray some of your perfume on it (but not to the extent to blot the ink) for a scented birthday card!
Love in a mason jar
Bake some mini biscuits or another snack that would fit easily in a mason jar. Wrap it up using old gift paper or ribbons you might have lying around, and then add a note. There, you have a lovely, cheap and homemade gift for birthdays, Christmases and other small and intimate occasions. Don’t have time to cook? You can buy little snacks for cheap at your local convenience store or supermarket. Remember to sterilize the mason jar beforehand. You can also seal it with some candle wax if you like. Only fill the jar with food items that won’t melt or go bad quickly, so avoid puddings and milk-based beverages. Wash and save up some mason jars in advance so you won’t have to buy them when a loved one’s special occasion comes around.
All right, it doesn’t have to be signed by the author. Your signature with a loving dedication will do wonders to make the receiver feel special. You don’t have to buy a new book, as paperbacks these days can be quite expensive. Find a book you’ve read but don’t need any more around the house. Make sure it’s in considerably good condition without dog-eared pages, but even so, you can dust it off and glue up to make it presentable. Use old books in bad shape only if they are particularly valuable, like an early edition of To Whom the Bell Tolls. What will make your book really giftable is the dedication you write. Say, your grandmother may have given you Forever on your sixteenth birthday and now you are gifting it to your sixteen year old niece. That would be a really sweet dedication to make. Let the receiver know how special the book was to you to make it truly worthwhile and appreciated.
DIY something at the receiver’s house
Does the receiver have something around the house that needs mending? Can it be done with your level of expertise? Don’t wait, then. Go paint those windowsills, plant the sunflowers in the backyard or install his or her new outdoor pizza oven. It might come out as a weird request, but they will nevertheless extremely appreciate your efforts and consideration. That is, if you get the job done extremely well. That’s why you shouldn’t take on jobs that you can’t handle at all. Stick to the rule of not tinkering with plumbing systems, indoor pipes or electrical wiring, because if something does go wrong, it could end up a disaster for you both. Take precautions, and also it helps to have your own toolset.
Offer to cook a meal
Ability to cook a meal can go a long way. The person you are giving the gift to—be it your aunt, a cousin, a colleague or even a friend—he or she probably has a nice party planned to celebrate the occasion. Parties require food, and that’s where your gift comes in. You can ask to cook him or her a delicious meal, or at least a snack to go with the rest, as your present to them. Most people would agree right away. Party planning is hard work and ordering food can be expensive. A meal cooked at home with love and care will always taste better than anything bought from the supermarket.
Most of the above suggestions will cost as little as possible compared to buying a proper gift from the store. They will also have in addition care and consideration that cannot be bought from anywhere.