No money and Christmas coming up?

Christmas is coming up and in your family gifts are exchanged. The only problem is you have very little money. You would like to show the family that you care, but large gifts are simply impossible.

Don’t despair – there are many things you can do with very little money, a bit of effort and lots of imagination. In the end these things might even be appreciated even more than expensive gifts, because they have required some thought and effort on your part.

Make a present

Paint an old plant pot in a bright enamel paint and buy a small plant from a nursery or get one from a friend’s garden.

Make a special candle. A packet of plain white candles costs very little and everything else you need you will probably have in the house (Like string ). Look on the Internet for definite instructions on how to go about this.

Make a little set of redeemable cards on which you offer your time and effort. Write things like:

  • Looking after your cat when you go away
  • Giving a half hour massage
  • Offering to make dinner twice
  • Running five errands
  • Washing up when it is not my turn

Buy a small wooden frame and put a favourite photograph of your parent, brother or sister in it. Paint or decorate the frame in a colourful way.

Junk shops, garage sales and flea markets can sometimes have the most unbelievable bargains. Just use your imagination. You could pick up really nice gifts here for very little money.

Supermarkets and gift shops sometimes sell lovely glass bottles and containers for very low prices. These can be filled with bubblebath, dried fruit, toffees or chocolates.

Factory shops make wonderful gift hunting grounds. From soap to crockery to candles to ties and T-shirts.

A nice coffee mug is always a useful gift for anyone. Sometimes supermarkets sell these for low prices.

(Susan Erasmus, Health24, updated December 2009)

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