Christmas Gifts That Don’t Cost Any Money

I just had a birthday. At my birthday party, two of my special gifts were from my granddaughters. They spent time designing a card for me. One of them even wrapped up additional artwork with her homemade card on top. These gifts are treasures. I also opened some wonderful gifts that had been purchased for me and was touched by the thoughtfulness of each gift. My family gave a lot of thought to the party and the planning for each gift. After I had opened all of the gifts, I asked one of my granddaughters what her favorite was. She thought for a moment, and then said, “The picture I made you.”

This is 2020. This has been a most unusual year and many people are out of work or have had their income drastically reduced. Yet Christmas is right around the corner. Although I don’t think Christmas should be about gift giving (I am a Christian and know that the real gift of Christmas was the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ), I am also very aware of the fact that families traditionally exchange gifts in order to celebrate His birth.

This is not the first time that people have struggled to come up with gift ideas that don’t cost any money. History is full of those times – the settling of our country, the Great Depression, the 2008-2009 financial crisis and many more. I recently watched “The Diary of Anne Frank” and was touched by the way Anne came up with a special Christmas gift for each person. It was her thoughtfulness and creativity that was so appreciated.

So, what are some practical ideas for gifts when you don’t have any money? The investment of time is a wonderful gift to someone you love.

  • Make gift cards for each person with a redemption value, such as: 1 back rub, planning and cooking dinner, raking leaves, vacuuming, baby sitting, laundry, a car wash, etc. Use your imagination for this one as probably every one in your family would appreciate a vacation from a chore. These make great stocking stuffers. You can even make them very attractive using some of the templates with your document programs.
  • How about a memory book for a friend or relative? You can fill it with pictures and special memories that only the two of you have. You don’t have to buy the book. Be creative and make one.
  • Recipe cards and a recipe book can be another very personal gift. Even though we tend to look online for recipes, there are still many good old recipes that haven’t made their way online. A lot of us still enjoy using the old beat up cookbooks that our mothers/grandmothers had.
  • There is absolutely nothing wrong with wrapping up a gift that is something you already have. My husband’s grandmother used to do it all the time. She did put a lot of thought into each gift. Maybe someone has mentioned something you have that is very special to them. If you can part with it now, gift it with a special note about how you love passing it on to someone who likes it as much as you do.
  • This year unusual items have been requested as gifts. I remember a news report this year about someone who had survived a hurricane. The only thing she wanted for her birthday was toilet tissue! If you know someone who came up empty handed when they tried to buy toilet tissue or cleaning supplies because of an event like that or the current Coronavirus shortages, gift them with some of yours.
  • Do you have a skill that you can offer as a gift – maybe a coupon for a free haircut, oil change, cutting wood? It may be a skill that you use in your job or a hobby, but as everyone has different skills and talents, someone you know and love would appreciate your making their life a little easier.
  • If you have a movie in your DVD collection that you know someone else would enjoy, why not gift it? You could include a note, “I really enjoyed watching this and thought you would enjoy it as well.”
  • A food dish can also be a special gift – especially one that takes a lot of effort. I bake homemade sourdough bread and often give this as a hostess gift or take to someone who has been in the hospital. If you have a speciality dish that you know others have enjoyed, they will really appreciate it.
  • If you play a musical instrument, maybe you can make a recording for your loved ones.
  • Better still, write a song for the loved one and sing it, play it or record it. That’s what Bing Crosby did in “Holiday Inn”. The name of that song was “Be Careful. It’s My Heart”.
  • I received a wonderful gift from a friend. She took the time to paint a jar and then fill it with scripture verses and meaningful sayings. I cannot imagine how long it took her to hand write every entry, but I love it! I’m a collector of quotes, so this was a very special and thoughtful gift.
  • If you are talented like my friend, you can come up with a host of ideas. If you do woodwork, you can build something out of your scrap lumber, like a birdhouse or a doll bed. If you are a gardener, you can divide your plants and give them as gifts. You don’t have to have a fancy pot to put them in. I save all my glass containers – including the ones that hold candles. Many of these can be used as a planter. If you sew, the possibilities are endless and the web is full of free patterns for potholders, etc. where you can use up your scraps.

Gift giving is only as limited as your imagination. Instead of being down because there is little or no money to spend, make your memories of this Christmas extra special because of the thought you put into your gifts.

I started this post by telling you about my birthday party. Everyone there was focused on making sure that this birthday was my best birthday ever. It was. Christmas is a time when we, in essence, have a birthday party for Jesus, the Son of Man. Since He knows our hearts, He knows whether we are sad or celebrating. I choose to celebrate His birth because it has made all the difference in my life. Focusing on the joy of knowing Him can indeed make this the best Christmas for you as well.

I think that if we were to ask our Father in Heaven what His favorite Christmas gift is, He would respond much as my granddaughter did with, “The Gift I gave to you.”

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).

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