Hanukkah is in full swing and Christmas is only a couple weeks away. But as soon as I promised to lay off the holiday posts (Gift Ideas for the Impossible People on Your List, Unique, Affordable Stocking Stuffers That Won’t Make You Fat, and How to Win at Gift Giving This Year) I was asked if I had any ideas for free or almost free gift ideas. So I spent some time putting together a list.
If you’re still stumped on what to give someone, if your budget is running low, or if you simply don’t like someone enough to spend any money on them, this is the list for you.
A Gift of What You Do
Are you already spending your day doing something that can help others? Or do you have skills to do something to really help someone out that you wouldn’t mind offering up? I know giving a coupon book can be a bit cheesy, but a nice holiday card offering a whole day of babysitting, some work around the house – or a more professional skill, like photography or graphic design – can be very thoughtful. Just make sure to follow up and actually schedule a time to go through with the offer.
Organize a Swap
If you’re looking for free ideas for your kids, organize a swap with some friends. Everyone brings toys that are in good condition (sanitized beforehand) and you trade them so everyone goes home with new toys. This works especially great if you have parents with children of different ages.
Everyone has that one family member that always seems to be forgetting birthdays and holidays. For them you can put together a calendar with everyone of the family’s important days for the upcoming year. This can be personalized as much as you want, even down to the images for the month.
This can either be some of your own that you’ve had sitting around but don’t seem to have the time to read, or gently used ones from thrift stores. I wrote a post about How to Build a Mini Kid’s Library for Cheap here if you are looking for gifts for kids. But this method can really be used on anyone. I don’t recommend gifting beat up items, but like-new items are just as good as new items if you ask me.
If you feel confident in your skills, any form of art is a wonderful gift idea. I would be thrilled to receive a drawing, sketch, or even a poem framed. One year my brother wrote a song and performed it for the family and while I can’t remember the other gifts from that day, I still know some of the lyrics to his song.
We could all use some kind words every day – and what better way than to have a jar filled with them for days when you really need them? Use colorful paper and fill a jar with slips of encouraging quotes, reasons why you care about that person, and anything else you think they would appreciate.
Who doesn’t love play dough? You can create the following mix to give in a jar – 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup salt, 2 tablespoons Cream of Tartar and 2 packages unsweetened flavored drink mix. Add instructions: Add 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons baby oil, mix and microwave for 4 minutes. Stopping every 30 seconds to stir. Let cool and then play!
This certainly isn’t free, but it makes enough for a good number of gifts and it is more thoughtful than just buying a thing of Bath and Body Works lotion. Mix together 27 oz. of baby lotion, 7 oz. therapeutic ointment, 8 oz. Vitamin E cream, and 8 oz. extra virgin coconut oil. That’s it.
While this one isn’t guaranteed, it doesn’t hurt to take few minutes to enter! Each fall I share a few giveaways, mainly in my Friday Favorites posts. And if you’re on Pinterest and interested in entering more holiday giveaways make sure to follow me – I try to share as many as I can each week from my other favorite bloggers.
Do you have free or almost free gift ideas you turn to each year?
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