Trying to think of festive gifts for your loved ones, but a bit short of pocket money? Carolyn Ward has some great pocket-money-sized gift ideas for the family
There are many expensive gifts out there in the shops, which are beautiful and luxurious. But possibly a bit.. dull. There are many ways to get something truly unique and special sorted out for your loved ones, without spending a lot of money. Before you go, plan your budget and stick to it. Keep a detailed list of who you need to buy for, and how much you actually spend so you won’t feel the urge to keep on getting lots of little bits that add up to too much money.
Visit your local charity shops and have a good old hunt through their contents. The trick here is to search out quality items, but to be flexible as to what you want. You never know what they will have, so a good list of possible ideas is great to take with you. Make sure you re-stock them in return with all of your unwanted items. Re-using items like this is great for the environment and spreads happiness. Really think about the person, and don’t be afraid to get them something really different or eye-catching.
Gifts for Women – jewellery, ornaments, vases, handbags, purses, key-rings, jigsaws, books, dvds, cds, maybe even a scarf, headscarf, a jacket, coat, boots. Know what sizes to search out, and what styles, and colours that people like. Buy things that are in fabulous condition, not broken or grubby or with pieces missing. Remember you can clean things up at home though, baby-wipes, or a spot of paint can make all the difference.
If you are searching through racks of jewellery look out for the hallmarks – these show that the metal used is real. Look for 925 for sterling silver – and if you are very lucky 375 for 9ct gold.
Gifts for Men – tie, cufflinks, playing cards, games, hat, gloves, scarf and again cds, dvds, jigsaws, and books. Find out what authors he likes, what he has read and ask the charity shop assistants to recommend authors similar to that writer.
Gifts for Children – for your friends or brothers or sisters there are toys galore, games, bead kits, craft kits, dominoes, funky jewellery, fancy dress costumes, and a million other ideas.
Get making the ultimate unique present. Use a creative gift that has been bought for you, and give the result as a gift. Make a beautiful picture or collage, or write out a poem – a famous one you love or write your very own; and choose a frame from the charity shop. The assistants might even be able to help you frame it.
Buy or cover a pretty box and fill it with home-made gingerbread, or tasty biscuits or sweets. If your parents make jam, you could make labels for the jars, make your own gift wrap.. gift tags.. cards.. fancy ribbon…
Buy something plain from a charity shop and embellish it yourself – sew on a few unusual buttons onto a beanie hat, or a big pom-pom on the top to create your own designer item. Use pinking shears to cut small shapes of attractive material, and sew the shapes or stick beads or gems onto them on simple bags, purses or tops to make something look entirely different. If you have fabric pens at your disposal, go crazy!
A Promise Voucher
If you have no money to spend, you can get some pieces of paper cut out into squares, and write out vouchers or promises of things to give people.
You could write things like:Voucher entitles the bearer to ten sessions of washing up the dishes after dinner without any moaning or complaining
*Voucher entitles you to a hand massage with lovely hand cream*
*This Voucher entitles you to five car washes*
*Promise to help you in the veggie patch in spring*
*I promise I will wash up after Christmas Dinner*
*I will clean your shoes throughout January*
You could use a decorated envelope to put your voucher in to make it extra special.
This makes a very thoughtful gift to someone who could use your help at this busy time of year.
Remember: It can help to agree a set limit with
family members to keep the overall spending under control.
The gift-giving is very exciting, but the true meaning of Christmas is love.
Show your family and friends that they mean the world to you
and you will have a very happy time spreading good feelings around.