This year has been hard on families across the nation, better yet across the globe. Unemployment is at an all time high and most are finding it hard to come up with money for bills, let alone Christmas gifts. In times like these we learn what’s truly important; good health, family, friends and not taking the small things for granted. Perhaps Christmas doesn’t need to be a pile of presents under the tree. Perhaps, consider giving from the heart and not from the pocket this year.
Create a 21st Century “Mix Tape”: Create a customized playlist to share with someone. You can include songs that remind you of special memories or inside jokes from your past, or just create a playlist of new music you think they’ll love. Cook something tasty! Sure, you’ll have to spring for the ingredients, but who can turn down cookies or cake, a delicious homemade lasagna, or another special treat? Upcycle old pasta sauce jars and layer in all the dry ingredients for oatmeal cookies, hot chocolate, or another favorite holiday treat.
Give your kids a break with homemade coupons. Coupons good for free babysitting would likely be welcome by any gift recipient. (You can use this idea for dog walking as well making coupons for your significant other) Maybe print a favorite photo of them: Whether you make a copy of that pic of you and your BFF in full 90s grunge mode or a recent shot of a family vacation, the photo will likely find a place of honor in their home. Make a family (or friend) trivia game: Can everyone remember the name of your little brother’s imaginary friend, or which college roommate had to sleep in the hall because they forgot their key? Write up the Qs and As and have a fun get-together to see who wins bragging rights.
Share some mementos: Put together a little book or box with some priceless memories—old ticket stubs, brochures, playbills, and other items from times you’ve spent together. For bonus points, include a short sentence or two about what you remember from every adventure. Whatever you decide to do this Christmas, remember the true reason for the holiday and give your love, your time and your heart, because that’s something money can’t buy!