Almost everyone has that one family member who seemingly has everything and recites the vow, "Don't buy me anything," each holiday. Even if you're lucky enough not to hear this proclamation each year, these family oriented, budget friendly, and personal gifts will prove useful despite the gift giving season.
These are great family gifts that can work as the annual holiday gift since a new calendar is needed each year. Blank calendars are available for the crafty scrapbooker or stamper. An easier option is the Photo Fun Calendar offered at www.currentcatalog.com which features pages already decorated in paper scrapbooking style on which you simply paste the photos you chose to include. Another easy option is to visit your local photo developer to have a calendar created from twelve photos.
Choose a destination your entire family would enjoy. Then, create gift certificates telling what you've done such as: "This certificate good for a Memorial Day weekend family camping trip. You're in site C-10." Family camping trips, days at an amusement park, or even a trip to a local fair can make affordable vacations.
No matter how hard it is to shop for people one thing is certain: they need to eat. Prepare meals that can be frozen and heated later.(Sometimes it may mean preparing the meals without fully cooking them such as casseroles.) Use foil pans and throw away containers and label each container with its contents. Then, create a main menu to include with the meals. Don't forget to include side dishes and vegetables even if it means including a can of green beans with your meals.
Some people really don't want or need anything. Instead, give them a gift of time. Get out the calendar and book visits, promising yourself that you won't reschedule. Then, make gift coupons in the shape of travel tickets and promise the visits. It doesn't hurt to plan activities for the visits, either. (For example, on February 10th you'll have a girls' night out with your sister-in-law, or on June 27th you'll take your teen to see a movie of his/her choice.)
Take it upon yourself to schedule the time and place and pay for the sitting fee. If you're willing to splurge, buy a copy of the photo and have it framed for others. In order to create a successful family photo consider the following: 1) Who will be in it? Do we want multiple generations or just children? 2) What will we wear? Everyone should dress either formally or casually. Matching white t-shirts and jeans create a casual yet pulled together look. 3) When and where will it be taken? If you're including children keep nap times and hungry tummies in mind.
About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at http://www.kellybutterbaugh.com
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