Anytime holidays are coming, people feel the crunch of money. Many times, people lose sight of what is really important come holiday time. Friends and family are the most cherished, blessed gifts possible in life. Why not find a way to share that and not break the pocket book?
Stocking Stuffer Ideas
The first thing kids see or usually open is the stuffed stocking ready to explode come Christmas (or Solstice or Yule) morning. The hard part is thinking of ways to stuff it without going broke. Fruit is always a nice treat. Most kids love oranges, apples or bananas and they take up a lot of room. A healthy and nutritious treat they can enjoy.
Stuffed animals are another great space taker and beloved toy. Most kids have way too many stuffed animals so what’s one more? Great to use at the top of the stocking with a cute, cuddly animal head sticking out to greet the children in the morning.
Coloring books can be rolled and slid inside stockings as well. Pick a theme appropriate for the child’s interests and add a small set of crayons along with it and there is a full stocking stuffed with goodies the children will love and use. For an additional surprise to make the excitement last longer, wrap the box of crayons for them to open.
Heart-Felt Presents for Friends and Family
Photograph pictures are always a great gift and change with every passing year. Create the tradition of new pictures each year and mark the progress of the family for all those around. Grandparents especially cherish pictures of grandchildren.
For the younger age group, have them color pages out of a coloring book or print holiday pages from online and have the kid(s) color them as gifts. As little as this might seem, it is a gift truly from the kid(s) and will be appreciated and highly valued.
For older kids, have them write their own card message and a letter or story to the person. The best gifts are those that are unique and have shown that the thought and time were taken to include them.
Food is another great idea for friends and family. Sugar cookies are easy to make. Buy some holiday cut outs, fun decorating sprinkles and icing and the whole family can participate in creating their very own cookies to hand out to people.
Options other than Affording a Tree at Christmas Time
Sometimes money is so tight that even the thought of a $50 tree is hard to manage. Having or not having a tree does not create the holiday. The atmosphere and excitement in the air does. If a real or fake, real-looking, tree is not conceivable, do not fret. For other tree ideas, visit, Joytotheplanet.com.
Make the tree! Get green and brown construction paper, scissors, glitter, glue and tape. Pick a window or wall that the tree can be taped to. Measure how much room there is and cut out the construction paper accordingly. It may take many pieces of green construction paper to construct the whole tree but that’s all right. Take the individual pieces and decorate them with glitter, colored on lights…etc.
Once the pieces are finished, put them together like a puzzle and tape it on the wall, door or window chosen. Use a plant hanger from the ceiling to hang the topper if there already is one or decide on the topper design and make it. It may not be the real thing but who cares so long as the family is together.
Decorating the Tree with Priceless, Affordable Ornaments
Ornaments can be extremely pricey and it’s disappointing and depressing to see a tree without lights or some kind of decoration. This too can be easily remedied and also include family time and activity together. Construction paper can be cut into endless shapes and designs and then colored or decorated with gems, glitter etc. by the family.
Another easy idea is to put plain white paper in front of the kids at a safe place and give them various paint colors and a brush. Let them paint whatever and however they want. After it has dried and they have stopped paying attention to it, cut out the best parts into appropriate designs, put the age and name of the child on the back and use them for ornaments on the tree.
Hand-crafted ornaments tell a history and eventually the tree will show years worth of memorabilia for the whole family and give wonderful reminiscent stories to share each year.
Gift Ideas for the Family
Making the underneath of the tree look full and stuffed with glamorous boxes and presents is another thing people fret over. To make it look as if there are a lot of gifts, wrap every little item possible. It makes the unwrapping last longer and gives that desired look of many items under the tree to uncover.
If there are multiple kids at an age where they can understand what it means to give away something, perhaps have each one select a toy that they no longer play with as a gift to another sibling.
Parents can hand down things too such as ties, shirts, old stuffed animals or toys from when they were kids too. Dress up is a timeless game children don’t care how old a toy is to play with it and cherish the thought.
Drawing names for larger families is also another good idea. Rather than trying to afford a gift for each person, draw names and then one person only has to worry about a gift for one other person. This can make each year unique and special as they figure out the best gift to give.
For parents with younger children, empty boxes is okay. Save some boxes up a few weeks in advance. Kids love to put toys in them, crawl through them, color and destroy them. They are gifts that won’t last forever but will be thoroughly enjoyed while they are there.
Holidays are about Family and Friends, Not Money
Just keep in mind that the holidays are marked by the people sharing them. In the end, it won’t matter if zero money was spent or $10,000. The importance of them is to celebrate the time together and cherish the true importance of life. Holidays are celebrated in the heart, not the through the pocket book.