Guest Author - Carol Viau
Every year the holidays roll around, we are bombarded by the retailers to spend, spend, and spend. Start today with a new yearís resolution to disagree with the idea that every present has to cost a lot of money, or be brand new. Try these ideas out for Christmas gifts on a budget.
Get creative on ways you can attempt to reduce your drive time. Less time stuck in traffic, means less headache, less holiday stress, less gas money flowing out your wallet and more time with loved ones. That is a Christmas gift for you too! Here is another example of how less driving can mean big rewards. When I was little my brother and I decided we wanted to learn to ice skate, after watching hockey on TV with our Dad. The nearest rink was further than my folks wanted to drive, so my Dad came up with an idea. He took a garden hose to the concrete back deck and viola; we had our very own rink. It wasnít very big, but we didnít mind. And our parents were so happy not to commute to the ice rink.
What type of things do you own that could potentially do double duty as something else, perhaps a toy? When my brother and I started to grow bored of skating around our little rink, my dad introduced the brooms. We used an old tennis ball and other random objects we could find to create our own version of backyard hockey. We were the envy of all the kids in the neighborhood.
Anything lightly used and in decent shape (whether it be clothes, gear or toys) deserve to be used. When we outgrew our ice skates, we gave them away. It is okay to present someone a recycled item as a gift. Some outlets specialize in used sports equipment, such as Play It Again Sports. I purchased hockey skates there for myself a few years ago. Not sure that I would get into the sport, which I didnít, it was less of a financial strain to purchase used ones. I ended up giving them away, so as far as I knew they had a long life.
The holidays are stressful enough, partially due to unreasonable expectations. We have a list a mile long of things to do, parties to attend, gifts to buy. Try to keep the three Rís in mind this holiday season (reduce, reuse, recycle) and youíll be rewarded in January with smaller credit card bills.