Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
You don't have to spend an outlandish amount of money to celebrate the holidays. Let this year be one of frugal holiday gift-giving. Think of things that will warm the heart without depleting your wallet. Traditionally holiday gifts include giving and receiving items that are store-bought and often costly. The past couple of years have seen many people tighten or at least scale back their holiday spending budget. Instead of overspending why not have your family make their Christmas presents this year? If done right, you may gain, or perhaps regain the pure joy of giving and receiving gifts that are personal and heart precious to you and your family. Plus you will save a bit a money.
Set your mind to think handmade rather than homemade. Just use your imagination and be creative. Remember what you what told in grammar school, "Put on your thinking cap."
1. Think music for adults and some teens. Burn a CD of someone's favorite songs or music.
2. Think CD's, videos or You Tube. Make your own CD's or videos. I have a VHS video that I made for myself many years ago, I would have loved it if it had been present. There are three PBS segments on the tape; an Alvin Ailey dance program, a James Taylor concert and a Eric Clapton concert. Everyone is unbelievably young, fresh and at the top of their game, this tape is priceless to me. To make, time was minimal and the cost was whatever one VHS tape sold for at that time.
3. Think photographs. This is a good time to make use of your digital camera or your cell phone if it has photo capabilities--just start snapping. Take photos of your loved ones during one of those "Oh my gosh" moments. Take a picture of little Johnnie or Susie when they are doing something precious. Take a picture of picture-perfect vegetables or fruit. Make your pictures special by printing them on photo paper, the 4" x 6" sheets are perfect for framing. Or make a 8-1/2 x 11" photograph really special, cut the picture into four equal squares and frame each in a separate frame. What a great looking four-piece picture it will make. It is unique and will look great hanging on the wall of your home or office.
4. Think calendars. Create a calendar using photos of family members—many photographic websites and print shops can help you do this. Vista Print at http://www.vistaprint.com is offering to make one free calendar. A friend recently did this with pictures of family she had stored on her computer. Try it, if you like the way your calendar looks, order for the whole family. Surely this will be a gift to be saved and become a family treasure.
What about gift-giving for children? Holiday Gifts Kids Can Make - Age 3 to Preteen. Also, see Related Links.