Christmas Present for the Broke

Does anyone else feel like Christmas snuck up on them this year? I swear it was June a couple of weeks ago and suddenly I am stressing over what to get people for Christmas and dreading going to the shops to battle out the crowds. Time and cranky, stressed out people in large numbers aside there is also the tiny little issue of discovering that paying rent/living out of home and Christmas Present shopping are not friends. At all.

Mum, dad, I might need to steal all the Christmas lunch left overs till I get paid at the end of January. Hope that’s cool.

With the help of some friends suggestions I am putting together a little list of ways to make your friends and family smile this Christmas without breaking the budget, this time of year is a squeeze for everyone and even if keeping costs down isn’t a big deal for you something different can always be nice.

– The Baked Gift: I did this for all my friends a couple of years ago and it was great. All I needed to do was cook and then pack them away in some cute but cheap noodle boxes decorated in Christmas ribbon.
This is also a nice option if you want to give something small to your boss or maybe one of your kids teachers. Just be careful when your picking what to bake, there a quite a few people out there who don’t like Christmas cake (WHAT?!).

– The Arty Gift: I am doing this with an old friend this year, it was her suggestion actually. We all like to dabble in a bit of scribbling in our spare time so this year we are scribbling something special for one another.
If you can’t draw there are other ways to play with this, if your friend or family member likes to have journals or diaries try printing some cute photos and turning a blank journal into a memorable keepsake or if you like to write and you have kids you could make up a children’s book using family photos.

– The Craft Session: About 15 minuets away from me there is one of those plastcine painting places where you can take kids grown adults for a day of fun. One year I would love to take my friends or family there for a kind of Kris Kringle.
Everyone pulls a name out of the hat and then paints a plasticine figurine especially for the person. Alternatively everyone can pitch in to buy a big box of Chritmas decorations or cheap blank teapots and some paints and go nuts at home. Its a bit silly and a bit fun with a keepsake for everyone to take home at the end.

– The Kris Kringle: Speaking of Kris Kringles this one is an olde but a goody, particularly if you have older children who know all about how Santa is completely and totally real and definable doesn’t dip into their parents rapidly shrinking wallets to produce gift they had to have. They will probably also appreciate not having to figure out how to stretch their own part time job money across everyone.
Set the cost cap, pick the names, everyone gets something and your Christmas list just got shorter. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to break the rules and buy everyone a gift after this is agreed, it will make people feel guilty.

– The Pitch In: In case you have been living under a rock  not noticed Xbox and Playstation have launched new consoles, shiny shiny new toys to tempt us. If your in a living situation that allows it and everyone is slathering over the idea of a new gaming console (or tv, or coffee machine etc) but no one person can afford it split the cost and make it your Christmas gift to one another.
Again if your a parent with teenage kids who have no idea what to buy there sibling and both have a pricy gadget on their list this could be a way to keep everyone happy.

Most people know that Christmas isn’t about gifts, its about time, laughter, family, friends and FOOD. That said I think most people in part enjoy the feeling of buying things for the people they care about, even if it’s something small. Something that says ‘thanks for being in my life and I hope you have a great year next year.

Now I just have to summon up the bravery to face the Christmas hordes at Westfield….

Side Note: Managed to get the tree up this week! It’s themed and everything (I’m sad I know)

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