WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2012
Christmas is only a month away, which might mean you need to go shopping for gifts if you haven't done so already. But the costs of buying all of those presents can really add up. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday shopping sales is estimated to total $586 billion, up 4.1% from 2011. Here are some tips to help you save this holiday season.
DIY Gift Wrapping
You could save $10+ this year if you make your own wrapping paper rather than buying it. You could use materials that might be laying around in your house, such as fabrics, newspapers, old cookbooks, tin foil, and brown paper bags.
Check out this crossword wrapping paper from Fabio Milito
Tara Conry from Reader's Digest shows how you can make gift wraps from tin foil.
"Tin Foil- Not Just For Sandwiches and TV Antennas
This material is the perfect fix for those odd-shaped presents, since it can be manipulated to hug whatever item you cover in it. Or even wrap your boxed gifts with this reflective foil for an eye-catching shine reminscent of Christmas tree tinsel.
What You’ll Need: 1 sheet of tin foil, ribbon or paper strip
How It’s Done: Set the gift on center of the sheet of tin foil and draw the sides up and pull the ends together at the top. Using the ribbon, make a bow to tie the ends together.
Bonus Tip: To sweeten up this project skip the bow and instead slip a strip of white paper in the top. Ta-da. You've got a hershey kiss and the paper strip will serve as your gift tag."
- Readers Digest
Have a Budget
It's easy to break the bank when you are exposed to the shopping environment full of attractive advertisements and enticing deals, which is why you should set limits. Rather than estimating how much you'll spend total on gifts, set a budget to each individual person. Consider shrinking your list to buying presents for only close friends or family.
People appreciate receiving something you created rather than something you purchased at a store. You could gift someone a basket full of goodies and baked goods, or create a photo album to recollect all the memories you had with the gift recipient. Perhaps you could provide someone a service, such as giving them free guitar or cooking lessons. Check out our Pinterest board of Christmas ideas for more inspiration here
Mint Design Blog has a DIY gift guide that could spark some ideas. Link here
One of my favorite ideas is to give someone an activity jar, which involves filling a jar with notes that have activities on them. Together, you and the recipient can spend quality time with each other whenever a note is taken out of the jar. Here are some ideas you could put in the jar:
Instead of buying gifts for multiple friends or family, you could organize a gift exchange. That way, you only have to buy one present. A white elephant is a fun gift exchange game to consider organizing if you can get six or more people involved. If you are unfamiliar with the game, it involves each participant supplying one gift to a pile. Players decide what order they take choosing the gifts. The first person is allowed to unwrap a gift of their choosing. Then, the next person can either steal the unwrapped item from the first person, or choose a new one from the pile. If a person's gift is stolen, they can choose another wrapped gift from the pile or steal from someone else. The game continues until everyone has a gift. If you would like to know more about the white elephant game, read more here.
- Go ice skating
- Watch a movie together
- Go on a trip to the book store
- Have a bowling night
- Go out and have a picnic
- Visit the zoo
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