At Christmas-time there is much temptation around to spend, and for some, beyond their means. I personally don't keep a tally of how much in total I spend on presents. I'm sure if I did I would be horrified, especially for the 'odd' additional cute present for my kids.
I know time is precious, but if you can take a few minutes to think of alternative present ideas you might even think of a more appreciated gift that won't threaten your budget.
Here are my top five suggestions to start you thinking.
Share your photos
They are a great source for personalised calendars, signs, or cards. Although you probably have a plethora of digital photos, how many have you actually printed off to share? You can't beat seeing a real photo.
One calendar template I have used a lot over the years is this free one, where you can include big and smaller photos. Yes, it is time consuming to select the photos, reduce them to size and cut out each month's page, but the final creation is worth it. I include my favourite photos of the year and try and match the birthday person to the month.
Share your favourite recipes
How many times since January have friends paid compliment to a dish you've made? Have you always got round to sharing it with them? I've recently rediscovered my love for cooking and I am experimenting much more so love to share and receive recipes. I have printed off a lovely Apple Kasundi recipe for a friend, and laminated it for her to use in the kitchen.
Make a Christmas ornament
Having been recently to the Rocks Market, they had some great Australiana style Christmas ornaments using cones or nuts. Later that day at Watson's Bay my kids found some great woody cones from a Banksia Integrifolia tree
We've taken lots home, spray painted them silver, and used a glue gun to attach a ribbon. They make wonderful personalised gifts. We could send some to our family in UK as there are no quarantine restrictions on such gifts. Unfortunately, our New Zealand family won't be as lucky.
When you are next on a walk look out for what nature can offer. Be creative!
Share your favourite plants
We have lots of plants, some of which are easy to cultivate. One in particular that is a very useful plant to share with our friends who have pale skin is aloe vera. I recycle old formula tins which my kids decorate by covering them in paper strips using flour glue and painting them. We make some holes in the bottom for drainage, dig out a small plant complete with roots from an existing aloe vera plant, and add to the new pot in good draining soil. It's so handy to cut off a leave and put on sun burnt skin - instant relief and provided by nature. Add a personalised card with the care instructions, and hey presto another present!
What can you share?
Give your time - either on the phone or in person
We make so many good intentions to keep in touch with our family and friends but unfortunately, other things can get in the way. Make time to call, even if they are not there, a voice mail message that you were thinking of them will be appreciated, especially for those who are less mobile.
They are all great ideas and lm all for it. It always gives me great pleasure to make something that l know my friends would appreciate. There are also plenty of markets around where you can pick up all sorts of things like empty frames, pots, ect. l have also created some simple painting which have been a great success. Keep up the great ideas and not just for Xmas.