Inexpensive but meaningful gifts for the Holidays

If Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year why do so many of us feel incredibly stressed and overwhelmed? The advertising industry reminds us each year that we should use this time to reflect on our blessings and show appreciation to our loved ones…by buying a bunch of stuff. As if an exchange of material possessions is the only way to show love. It is one way if your bank account has a bunch of commas but for the rest of us living on a budget, there is a ton of other ways to show that we care. This holiday season if you haven’t done all your shopping just yet and are up to doing something a little different, I have a few suggestions on giving inexpensive but meaningful gifts to your loved ones.

  1. Give the gift of life, (no not a baby), a flower bulb is a wonderful way to give a gift that keeps on giving. If your friend is the busy type start with a cactus to make for an easier maintenance and to preserve its survival.
  2. Make a photo album – in today’s digital world, we take way too many pictures that are almost instantly forgotten and end up in some folder on our phone or computer hard drive. A photo album that can be touched is much more precious and is a wonderful accessory to any coffee table.
  3. Make a video clip – create a short but sweet compilation of videos for a special friend of family member.  Ask friends and relatives to share a funny memory or simply send their love. This is a gift that everyone will love and the only price you pay is the time it takes to make it.
  4. Give a voucher for a future day of fun. This doesn’t have to be an expensive outing, it can be a surprise picnic by a lake, a walk around town with a relaxing people-watching session in your favorite coffee shop or a free festival or concert.
  5. Put it in words – write an old fashioned letter where you share your warm and true feelings about the people you care about. The note can be comical (preferably not poking too much fun at the recipient), it can be emotional where you remind them just how much they mean to you or it can reminisce about a memory you two shared. There is something extra special about receiving a handwritten note. Your friends will surely love the gesture.
  6. Framed photo or inspirational quote – this simple but sweet gift will put a smile on anyone’s face. I mean who has enough inspirational quotes?
  7. Infused vodka jars – yea that’s right. This one should go to that one special friend that will appreciate it. Here are some step by step instructions http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/26/voda-infusions_n_7351656.html
  8. Create a recipe book – there’s something old school and cool about getting a bunch of awesome recipes craftily put together in a little book. This one is great for those who love to cook.
  9. An act of service – offer your services to babysit kids, dogs, cats, fish…. or maybe a grass cutting session for your auntie or a snow cleaning for grandma. You know what your closest folks like to do the least, offer to help them with it.
  10. Last but not least tell them you love them. So many people yearn to hear these three words yet would never ask for it. Even if you come from a family that doesn’t often share their feelings, they may walk away feeling strange at first but those three words will resonate and leave an imprint on their heart whether they want it or not. You know what, they always want it. 

There is so much more to life than working and spending our hard earned money. Life is about experiences, adventures, lessons and of course love. If you come from a family of gift exchangers it may be difficult to go the minimalist route at first. Try it by explaining that either you wish to save money for a particular goal or that you don’t want to dip into your savings, maybe you would like to enjoy a simpler and more easy going holiday season for a change. If you do this you should be prepared not to receive as well. I promise this change will have lasting effects and the more you practice it, the more you will enjoy a simpler and more relaxed holiday season. After all, the Holidays are about love, peace, and unity.

Sending you love, peace, and good vibrations, this holiday season and always.

Alyana

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