It’s that time of year again, time for … … holiday parties, family, friends, … and of course. . . . … How many of you simply whip out the credit card and start charg
It’s that time of year again, time for traveling, decorating, holiday parties,
family, friends, relatives and of course. . . . shopping.
How many of you simply whip out the credit card and start charging every
gift you can find, only to dread the day when your statement arrives in the
Or are you one of the few that save a little every month just to cover the
holiday expenses when they come around?
Before you spend your money on the latest, hottest, newest gadgets,
take a look at these options that will really save you quite a pocketful.
YOUR HOLIDAY LETTER
Sending a yearly “wrap-up” letter to your family, friends and relatives is
a great way to save time and money. Instead of buying expensive
Hallmark cards and writing individual letters to everyone on your list,
why not design your own holiday letter?
When writing a “wrap-up” letter, remember this is the perfect time to
inform friends and relatives what’s been happening in your family’s life
over the past year. Even if something important happened in your life
back in February or March, some of your acquaintances might not have heard about it, so let them know.
After writing a rough draft, use your computer (or a friends) to help produce
an attractive letter. You’ll find programs such as Microsoft Word or Publisher with wonderful “wizards” that will walk you step by step through the process so you will have a beautifully designed letter in about an hour or two.
SIMPLE GIFT IDEAS
Sit down and take the time to think about what each person on your list
would like to receive. Of course everyone would love to get tickets for a seven day Caribbean cruise, but very few of us can afford to spend that
kind of money on a present.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking of all the possible gifts that can be easily put together without the need to spend much money.
Know of anyone entering college? Put together a “care package”. Fill it
with all the basic necessities a college student might need (or want).
Cookies, snacks, toiletries, wool socks, a new college student “manual”,
etc… Anything you think a young 18-21 year old student could use while
away at school.
Do one of your relatives work in an office? Put together an “office pack”.
The key is in the presentation. Find a suitable container and pack it with
office supplies, personalized pens or coffee mugs, magazines, far side
calendar, crossword puzzle book, etc.
CREATE A BASKET
Have you seen the decorative basket assortments that are sold around the
holidays? You’ll generally find them in malls from such chains as Hickory
Farms or Sees Candies. Why pay $30-$50 for a basket of “goodies” that
probably only costs about $5 to put together? Put the basket together
yourself, save a fortune, and even add a bit more creativity.
You can find baskets (straw usually works best) at any discount store or
yard/garage sales. Then, simply line the bottom with a decorative cloth
(ie: colored bandana, checked napkins, etc…), organize the appropriate items
and trim/wrap with holiday decorations.
You can find all types of holiday arts & crafts ideas in books at your local
library or on the Internet. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few basket ideas to get you started:
Coffee Lovers Basket
Assortment of coffees, mugs, stirrers, creme assortments, Sunday comics
Homemade cookie variety, chocolate/fudge toppings, funny napkins, cocoa mixes
Traditional Jelly Basket
Small jars of homemade jelly, muffin/cornbread mix, spatula, butter & knife
Sweet Tooth Basket
Brownies, cookies, small jars of candy, cocoa mix, peanut brittle, chocolates
Pasta Lovers Basket
Jars of various pastas and sauces, Parmesan cheese, pasta ladle, strainer
Fire Starter Basket
Pinecones, long stick matches, starter blocks, candle scents/oils, ash shovel
GREAT LINK – http://www.stretcher.com/stories/981207i.cfm Here’s a link to great recipes on how to make peanut brittle, bath oils & salts, brownies,
potpourri and more for your baskets
An attractive gift, perfect for friends, co-workers, and neighbors. A nice large sized jar filled with either brownies or candies. Attach ribbons or bows to the lid and decorate with puffy paint or simply glue colored pasta shells around
the jar. Again, be creative.
Homemade Decorative Cookies
Great teacher or babysitter gifts. Buy a cookie cut out pattern, add some colorful icing and a few ribbons with a nice card is a special holiday gift.
Perfect for any occasion, great for friends or loved ones. Gather pictures of the person you’re making the collage for. Look for pictures of various places you’ve both been and fun times you’ve shared.
Once you have your pictures, cut and organize them to make an attractive display. Glue them in place, decorate the frame and you have a gift that’s a lasting memory. How can you put a price on that?
Get a recipe for a hardening clay from any holiday crafts book. A childs’ foot or hand imprint creatively decorated make excellent gifts for grandparents or relatives.
This is something special that you can only give once. Your kids will quickly grow up.
An 8X10 of the family/kids is a perfect gift for grandparents or distant relatives you might not get to see very often. You can even make a holiday frame for it. Look for low prices at JC Pennys or Sears.
Who doesn’t like to read magazines? Reasonably priced, magazine subscriptions make excellent gifts. Find out what magazines or interests they have and then every time your friend receives another issue, they’ll think of you.
TIS THE SEASON . . . . KEEP THAT IN MIND
All too often, the holidays seem to come and go in a flicker of an eye leaving us wondering if we even had a celebration at all. Take the time to visit with others whom you do not get to see very often. Spend time with the elderly in your family.
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