Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Thinking About Christmas

I've started to plan for Christmas presents all ready.

I've gotten some weird looks at work but I've learned that when on a budget it's best to plan ahead. I've started to set aside money each pay cheque and I've started a list of people I need to buy for and ideas for them. By doing these well in advance I won't be so stressed as Christmas gets closer. Writing everything down helps me remember who I've bought for so I don't accidentally by another item for them.

Here are some of my ideas for my friends and family! Do you have any suggestions?

Freezer Meals- I'll be making my brother some of our family's traditional meals. He's gotten these the last couple years for Christmas and his birthday and we both like. I don't have to spend a lot of money on something he can easily buy himself and he doesn't have to put much effort into his supper. Many meals you enjoy could probably be prepared and frozen and most slow cooker recipes work well.

Here are some of my previous recipes: mini chicken pot pie, sweet & sour pork chops and chicken, mini pizzas and breakfast burritos.

Bath Supplies- Often my mother gets bath supplies from my brother. Epsom salts are a lovely bath item and can be quite budget friendly. Making bath bombs and salts can be easy to do. A friend made homemade soap one year and it was wonderful!

Pretend Play Items- There are some amazing resources for making pretend play kits- see my page here. A quick Google can give you items and ideas for doctors, make-up, airport, kitchen items and so much more! What about a kit about a country your family might be interested in or planning on visiting?

Colouring Book- This option can be nice for kids or adults. Print off colouring pages and sew them together to create a custom book.

Read my post here to see one way to bind the book.

Ornament- There's many different ways you can custom make ornaments. A few years ago I gave my coworkers paper origami flower balls. I'm considering fabric origami ornaments for this year.

Candy Jars- For my friend's son's grad we put a toilet paper roll in a mason jar, filled the "outside" with candy and tucked some money inside. We made a grad cap to cover the lid as well. She didn't tell him to look inside so it took him a couple weeks to find the surprise which she thought was hilarious. This is an interesting way to dress up a plainer gift of cash or gift cards.

Gag Gift- One of my coworkers gets a well thought gift from me each year. One year I gave him a letter with scratched lottery tickets with a note that I saved him the effort and scratched the tickets. They didn't win, better luck next time! He's also received slippers made from feminine pads, an ornament made from tampons, and a roll of toilet paper with a poem attached.

One other suggestion I have about gifts is to look at unique ways to buy items and to think outside the store.

Do you have any reward points that you can use for purchases? What about buying second-hand items?  Is there a gift of time you can give someone; such as a coupon for babysitting or a date night?

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