I like sharing the joy of Christmas with my family, friends, and neighbors. For me, it is not about the size of the gift, but rather it is the thought that counts.
I came across a recipe for stained glass cookies in a South African magazine and decided to make some of these. Afterwards I packed a few of them into cellophane bags, tied a ribbon around the neck of each bag and made a nice bow. If I added something small, like a chocolate or small tube of hand cream, at least I will still be able to share the joy of Christmas without overextending my budget.
So, have a look at the treasures hiding in your kitchen, you might just be surprised!
What do you buy the people who have everything? I knitted afghans for everyone, one year. Another year, I made homemade throw pillows. I always include a homemade Christmas tree decoration.
Another gift I do for my parents and did for the siblings and their spouses a couple of years, was go to the grocery store, buy 5 or 6 small packages of different cheeses I know they like and different crackers and turkey kielbasa. They loved it.
This year, I've knitted each recipient 4 dishcloths, and am in the process of finishing four kitchen handtowels that attach to the oven handle for each. I'll include dish soap, dishwasher soap also for the sister and a few other goodies as well as the homemade Christmas tree decoration. One year, my sister went to the dollar store, got a pair of hand towels for everyone and knitted fancy edging and sewed on. Beautiful!
It's not the amount of money, it's the love behind it. Remember Jesus is the reason for the season.
Tanya from Oshawa, ON
Do you have a frugal story to share with the ThriftyFun community? Submit your essay here: http://www.thriftyfun.com/post_myfrugallife.ldml
Crafts can be so much fun! Russellrhodes.com has tons of craft project ideas for Christmas ornaments, gifts and more.
One year I made up a box of groceries for my late Dad, he didn't really need clothes, he liked to read, but I didn't know what books he had read. In the box of groceries I put cans of his favorite soups, a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, a can of chili, a box of crackers, a pkg. of cookies, box of facial tissues, a pkg. of toilet tissue. Basically I put in canned foods that I knew he liked and that he could heat in the microwave, because he wasn't much of a cook. My sisters that lived near him would cook extra for their families and use the leftovers to make TV dinners for him to keep in the freezer, so that all he would have to do is thaw and reheat them.
Time to Make: 10 minutes
Cost: About $3.
By Cindy from Waynesburg, PA
Thanks again, Cindy, for your idea. I just got done making one for my friend and it came out so cute!
I love this idea - I do a lot of work with children and this will be put on my list. Thank you, Isobel
A dish towel, spoon, sprinkles, and a purchased (or homemade) cookie or cake mix is just about all you need to make the fun Pocket Pack baking kits for the whole family to enjoy. And there is no sewing or gluing! Cost is less than $5. Nice teacher or hostess gift.
Approximate Time: 10 minutes
By Cindy from Waynesburg, PA
this is just the most darling holiday craft idea i have seen on here thus far, i love it, thanks so much. would work for any holiday theme too. merry christmas to you and thanks !:)
This is so cute, thanks for sharing. But I just don't quite get it. The instructions aren't clear to me. Maybe if I just keep reading them, it will become clearer. So cute and clever. Thanks.
Start any holiday (Halloween through Christmas) crafting now, especially if you do craft shows or just for gifts. This way you won't be stuck at the last minute trying to finish gifts. At the very least, make a list of crafts and items needed. Some can be probably found at yard sales or clearance sections.
By Carol from Massachusetts
I look for baskets all summer long at all the garage and yard sales; I have even spray painted some of the baskets to freshen them up a little. At Christmas time, I fill the baskets with dollar store items, wrap in shrink wrap and a nice bow and I have a very nice gift to give!
Also, crafting items, paints, etc. might be cheaper in the earlier months of the year, than in Sept.-Dec. Like how around the winter holidays the stores jack up the prices on baking products, etc.
For giving cake, cookies or candy at Christmas, to new neighbors or a sick friend, I look a garage sales, Goodwill or sales at retail stores for containers. Today at the General Dollar Store, they had their summer dinnerware on sale for half price.
In essence, a handmade book covered in beautiful seasonal paper. This book provides a lovely place to record Christmas memories, lists, and recipes. It can be large or small, depending on your needs.
Running short on time and money this weekend, I came up with a craft that I can make and give to many of the women in my life. It comes out beautifully and it is easy to do.
I have a very elderly aunt, who is diabetic, and a very strict vegetarian. She also refuses to eat onions or garlic. Christmas was a real stumper for me until I came up with the idea to can some things for her when I did my own canning.
Fleece blankets are great, but costly if the quality is good. Now the fabric stores have their fleece on sale-mostly 50% off. 4 yards will be a good size and will cover the top (only) of a queen bed. We have one on the bed and with a bedspread or other cover on top, it never has fallen off.
I just found this site today and I'm hoping someone can help me. We are having really bad money problems this year and I don't know what to do for Christmas gifts for my children. I don't want them to wake up to nothing Christmas morning. I have a 9 year old boy, a 13 year old girl, a 18 year old boy, and a 19 year old boy. I want to make them something that they will enjoy and appreciate and something that will make them forget that we are having a hard time. Please help. Any ideas will be much appreciated. Thank you.
Even though my suggestion is not for homemade items I would highly suggest you sign up for Freecycle. It is a worldwide org that has an interest in keeping items out of landfill.You start at freecycle.org then you put in your city/zip code and you get directed to freecycle.com for your area (who wants to drive 50 mi for a shirt).
The rule of freecycle is nothing can be sold, bought or traded. It must be for free. You post what you have to give or what you want. I have seen appliances, cars, boats, furniture/bedding, sports equip, toys, clothes, pets, just about everything. I had one family I met said their garbage person hands out business cards with the information on it so they have less to dispose of. One mans trash is another mans treasure Lots of luck...P'
I made initial pillows using the "sewing for dummies" alphabet pattern. I bought batting @ garage sales or thrift stores, then made pillows using material scraps/remnants for 15 g-kids, nieces/nephews...fun, very inexpensive (used a baby crib sheet with tweety bird - $1.00 @ a yard sale for material). I am a beginner at sewing, this project was pretty easy. Good luck to you and yours! Merry Christmas!
This Christmas, gifts to friends will be from my kitchen. Homemade jams, home canned spaghetti sauce for my pasta loving friends, and chicken soup to get them through the cold and flu season!
A nice Christmas gift is to make a pot of gold usually found at the end of rainbows! This is a good present for people who are difficult to buy for.
I am looking for some good ideas for frugal neighbor gifts this year. I figure if anyone can help me, the thrifyfunners can! Thanks.
Kristie from Cleafield, UT
I made one up one year. I gave a small can of pineapple and a spoon or fork. The saying goes: "May your Christmas be "Paradise" and your New Year "Fruitful>"
Some friends invited us over a couple weekends ago and we had a blast, which gave me a great frugal gift idea: Dice Games. I'm buying packets of dice and printing out what I found at: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/dice-play/GamesAZ.htm They have games, tricks and interesting history
You could package it up with a bag of pretzels or some other snack and you've got a gift that gives hours of fun for a teeny tiny price!
Buy several cookie cutters and attach the following poem to them: I made a plate of cookies; And ate just 1 or 2;..
I want to make some homemade Christmas gifts. I don't know what to do and I don't want to spend money. I do not know how to knit or sew. What can I make? Thank you.
My brother made big foot feet out of wood for the kids for xmas. You cut the shape of a foot with toes polish toe nails for the girls, add velcro straps to strap onto boots like sandles. They made big foot prints all over the snow. He used a jg saw and scrap lumber and some polyurethane. He stapled the velcro on but you could use tacks.
Check out www.thetoymaker.com for beautiful, unique, and FREE paper toys and giftbags you can print out.