Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The 25 Best Gifts List

A list of some of my favorite no cost and low cost Christmas gifts, stolen from a variety of places.

1 - The Month Club
Give someone a little gift every month; a dessert, a batch of handmade cards or a manicure. How much would I love it if someone washed my car every month?

2 - A Story Request
A fantastic idea for parents or grandparents. Write a prompt for a story every few pages in a notebook. 
(Tell me about your first job, a childhood friend, the most important lesson you learned, the best advice for being happy.) Take it a step further and give a notebook to several people, then compile the best stories and pass them around.

3 - Page a Day Calendar 
My sister gave us the best gift one year. She made a page a day calendar with funny memories and photos of our family. We spent hours laughing. Too much to compile? Try other calendar options. 

4 - Organize an Annual Giving Event
How about hosting an after Christmas shopping spree? Coordinate buying Christmas items at a deep discount and next year, before Christmas, donate them to a Sub For Santa charity.

5 - A Portable Party 
Put together an activity party for someone. Make invitations, then bring supplies and ideas for crafts, cooking or closet organization. Whatever you’re good at.

6 - Personalize and Embellish
I was at a wedding shower where someone had tatted lace
on the edge of pillowcases and embroidered the family initials in the center. I loved it. Try stamping a candle, add initials to a ceramic cup or embellish a set of barrettes. Google and get directions on how to turn something inexpensive into a great little gift. 

7- Store Bought Treat 

Add some candy color or wrap up in little stamped packages.

8 - A Joke
This one is a little tricky. I have three uncles that would go to extraordinary lengths to out amuse each other. Time, wit and the thrift store. What more do you need?

9 - A Deck of Cards
Add a list of different games and instructions. 

10 - Blooms 
I’m told Paperwhite Narcissus are easy to make bloom. If you can figure out how to do it, I would love some mid winter flowers.

11 - A Favorites List
My mom always appreciates a recommendation for a book or a movie. Compile a list of favorite restaurants, games or travel destinations. Get other people involved and then give the list with a print out of menus, brochures or something small on the list.

12 - Start an Annual Tradition
I read about friends who bought matching trinket boxes. Every year, they give each other a gift, the rule being that the gift is small enough to fit in the box. 

13 - Advent Calendar or Countdown One year a neighbor decorated metal Bandaid boxes and made little Christmas activity cards to countdown the days to Christmas. Very cute and fun for the kids. 

14 - Mug
A mug, a bow and recipes for microwave treats cooked in a mug. What more does a poor college student need?

15 - Treasure or Heirloom
My girls are all born in March. One year I was telling my mom that I was going to buy a ring with an aquamarine birthstone. She gave me a ring with an aquamarine stone that my Grandfather had bought years ago. It is by far my most treasured Christmas gift.

16 - A Collaboration
Enroll inside help to sneak out photos or a treasure in need of repair. Present a surprise memory box, DVD or mended memento. 

17 - Kits
Presentation is everything! Make a little kit; sewing, wild bird feeder or an easy treat. Not very expensive but put the pieces in something unique and cute and you are good to go.

18 - Make Something Useful
A coworker gave handmade glycerin soap one year and I've bought it from crafters since then.

19 - Host a Pre-Christmas Swap
Trade gently used books, favorite outgrown toys or cookie recipes. No cost and everyone leaves with something new to them.

20 - Notes
Make a “365 Jar” with little notes, quotes and memories for every day of the year. 

21- Hug from a Distance
Write a few letters for someone and give it with instructions to read on discouraging days.

22 - Teach a Skill
A good one for kids to parents or grandparents. Set up iTunes, load an adware removal program or teach photo editing. Share some knowledge!

23 - Customs
Pick some Christmas customs from another area. Put together a little history and instructions and leave a new activity at the door on the lead up to Christmas.

24 - The Christmas Pillow
My mom made a Christmas pillowcase with a pocket. The goal was to write a note to a family member, leave the pillow in their room and a few days later the pillow would migrate to another room with another note.

25 - Christmas Clean Up
I don’t know anyone who likes to wrap up the tangle of Christmas lights and if you are willing to do it you are going to make someone happy!

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