Sometimes I dread Christmas.
Well, at least the shopping part and the pressure to give costly gifts (and lots of them), so you don’t look cheap.
Over the last couple of years, I have gotten out of the habit of making homemade gifts and have also ended up overspending on Christmas.
Coincidence? I think not.
Christmas has turned into an expensive, frenzied time of trying to out-do everyone else’s gift with the best present of the year. It sure isn’t fun when you are stressed out about how you can pay for gifts and then spend two months afterwards recovering financially.
In order to stay on track with my holiday budge, I am going to be intentional about making more gifts; where I give a little bit of myself in each one and save money in the process. In my opinion, homemade gifts provide the opportunity to be generous and give nice gifts without breaking the bank.
Even if you are short on time, making gifts does not have to be complicated or overwhelming. In fact, I have learned a few tricks on how to successfully manage the gift factory around working full time and would like to share them with you!
5 Ways to Making Homemade Christmas Gifts Easier
(1) Start Early
Purchase your supplies now and start making your gifts in small increments of time every couple of days to have everything finished before it’s time to wrap presents.
Don’t wait until right before Christmas to start making everything, trust me, it is a bad idea…
One year I decided to make aprons for 15 of my closest friends and only started working on them a couple of days before Christmas. I barely finished one after sewing 2 days straight!
(2) Mass-produce Gifts
One secret to keeping the costs low is to mass-produce gifts, which allows you to still be generous with a lot of people on a tight budget.
My favorite mass-produced gift is making homemade ornaments, or crocheted dishcloths since they are easy to do in large batches and don’t cost very much. Use craft supplies or yarn that you have around the house and a free pattern on Pinterest or Ravelry to make the gifts super affordable.
Another way to mass-produce gifts is to make a foodie gift. Foodie gifts are fairly inexpensive per serving and you can easily make multiple gifts in just a couple of hours.
Homemade vanilla is a popular, super easy, and definitely has the ‘wow’ factor, especially when people find out that you use vodka to make it. Normally, vanilla takes a couple of months to develop into amazing smelling goodness, but shh – you can even make it in a week if you are up against the clock!
Don’t forget to include the kids on the gift-making action so that they can learn first-hand the importance of being generous.
(3) Give of Yourself
If you have someone who enjoys spending time together, instead of a gift, don’t underestimate the power of a coupon book. One coupon is good for an invitation to come for dinner and another one is good for a walk at the park, etc.
Remember that relationships are built on spending time together and experiences, more than giving expensive gifts out of obligation.
Just be sure to make notes for yourself about the coupons you gave out and regularly schedule time to fulfill all your offers!
(4) Use Photos
Photos are a great option to create a nice gift, especially to members of your family. You can buy nice, inexpensive frames at a variety of places and print the pictures at a local store.
Make a personalized calendar using pictures you took during the year, or use the kids hands/feet to make a decorative calendar like this one. You can also make your own custom photo coasters or photo books for a very reasonable price and they turn out amazing!
(5) Simplify the List
Do you really need to give a gift to everyone? Reducing the amount of people on your gift list will help you save money overall.
You can suggest drawing names, having a White Elephant gift exchange or just giving a family gift instead of individual ones.
If you can’t afford to give all of your family, friends and co-workers a gift, that doesn’t make you a horrible person. We often give gifts in order to be liked or because we are afraid of being cheap.
However, you need to think of your family’s finances first, and only give what you can afford. Don’t place your family in financial jeopardy by overspending and have your joy of giving stolen by the stress.
Frugal, homemade gifts are a great way to enjoy giving without derailing the money goals you have been working on throughout the year. So this year, be generous, but give only what you can afford.
Other fabulous frugal gift ideas for less than $15
- Handmade Moisturizer
- Constellation Flashlight
- Frosted Mugs
- Snowmen Luminaries
- Bird Suet Mugs
- Hair Bows
Don’t forget to download the free Christmas budget tracker printable to help you save money this holiday season!
How do you save money and sanity with homemade Christmas gifts?
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