I am sure we have all noticed. Holidays are quite honestly more about material items and buying the best gift for someone that you can afford. I am not saying that giving to one another is a bad thing nor am I saying that in order to have a splendid holiday season you should not have material items. I myself may have been unknowingly sucked into the vortex of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. I’ve gone with my parents shopping the day after Thanksgiving many a time. When I was young, I felt it was a lot about getting Christmas shopping done with spending as little money as possible — even finding my own present may have been a goal.
This year, however, I’ve had a change of heart. Yes, I looked through the ads and even went that Friday morning (albeit not so early as previous years). But one thing bothered me, the day before Jonathan said, “Stop being so materialistic!” Honestly, I didn’t think I was. Now that I’ve stepped back I sort of understand what he meant. We don’t NEED a lot of things right now and will do fine with what we have. I also don’t NEED to buy a gift for everyone just for the sake of buying a gift. I am a giver, though, so I want to give to others.
So, now I have to turn that need to give from finding some worthless material object into something useful and meaningful. This year for your gift giving, if you choose, I challenge you to do the same. Here are some ideas I have for myself and some general ideas for you, too.
-If you need to buy a material item, find out what that person will actually use and may even really need. As a kid, this would have been the new clothing items found in the thing rectangular shaped boxes under the tree — my brother always knew what would be there when he saw those boxes! Other examples could be cooking utensils, flashlight, even underwear (hopefully you’d only give that to someone you’re comfortable with). Whatever works, just find something useful.
-The homemade gifts are great as well. If you’re a knitter, crocheter, or sewer you have endless possibilities at your fingertips. Some projects won’t work as last minute, though! Some cute ideas for these types of gifts could be mittens, socks, hats, or small bags for the knitters and crocheters. I always find aprons to be fun if you sew, but simple things like a napkin set or table runner would be nice, too. Of, course not everyone has these abilities, but if you like the idea go to etsy.com! There are endless hand made crafts that can be bought there, by regular people who are quite talented.
-Make some homemade goods. Cookies are always the first thing that comes to mind. I find a lot of recipes on foodgawker.com — I’ll spend ours there. You could search for ‘holiday cookies’ and find endless possibilities. Other cooking ideas could be jams, candies, sauces, spice mixes, cake/cookie/soup mixes in a jar, and much more! Here’s a link to Betty Crocker’s homemade holiday gift ideas.
-My last gift idea would be a simple coupon book. You can string together a set of decorated papers that are coupons for the person to use when the need a little extra help. Ideas could be offering your cleaning services, homemade meals, or as simple as a hug. Be creative and encourage your friend or family member to actually use them, because you want to do something for them.
For more ideas visit the website Moneyhelpforchristians.com, it’s a great list of 50 fantastic homemade gift ideas. Whatever you do, don’t focus on the stressful material side of the holidays. Try to focus on wanting to give to others and what you could do to better their lives. I know it’s hard, but if you make an effort not to get sucked into the vortex companies have created to take your money, you are one step closer to having a less materialistic holiday.
We want to know:
-Who will be receiving a gift from you this year and why?
- Will you consider a homemade gift?
- What other homemade gift ideas do you have?