2022 has been a very interesting year – As a country, we’ve been battling inflation, a possible housing bubble, and gas prices soaring through the roof. As the holidays, more specifically gifting, can be a very financially heavy burden for most on a normal year, this year is even more so of a reach for many people and families. With prices rising for every day goods, major layoffs at major companies taking place, and cost of living continuing to rise with the stock market falls, it’s not the ideal time to be spending money of gifts and items that may not get used or loved as you would want them to.
With this year being different and an emphasis of cost effectiveness, I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of some Christmas or Holiday gifts that don’t cost anything (or anything additional to your typical day to day costs 🙂 ). If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the season and show your loved ones you care about them without breaking the bank, here are some ways to share Christmas cheer without spending a single dime.
Host a White Elephant Gift Exchange with Only Items You Currently Own
We all have a backlog of things and stuff hanging around our houses – in the basement, attic, stuffed in closets, you name it! Why not find something you no longer use that maybe someone else will love. You can set an estimated value minimum and maximum so people aren’t gifting an oven mitt and then a flat screen TV… Get all your friends together and do a gift exchange with the items! You never know what may be valuable to someone else. If you want to take it to the next step, make the event a potluck and have each guest bring a dish for the meal or appetizer.
Go on a Hiking Trip with Friends
No gift can beat quality time with friends. Instead of buying gifts, have your friend group take PTO (so you get paid) or align on a mutual day off from work and meet up for a hike at a local park! If you’re feeling adventurous you can even travel to a further destination, which may cost more in gas, but could make the day more of an event than just going down the street. Enjoy the beautiful scenery around you while taking in the great conversations and laughs with friends. Experiences for gifts and giving time as a gift are too very overlooked items!
Make a Photo Collage
I don’t know about you but I have an overwhelming amount of old pictures from high school and college hanging around my house. Remember back in the days when you got doubles and duplicates of all pictures, well I still have all of them and I’m sure you have quite a bunch too. Going through the old images and piecing together a collage or story board with the images is a great gift to give to long time friends. If you’re looking to spend a little bit you can always run to TJ Maxx and pick up a frame to store the images in. It’s always great to revisit memories around the holidays.
Gift a Plant
The pandemic produces more plant moms than ever before. I know I steered clear of the plant trend, but my mother 100% fell victim. This one is for her – She split up all her plants and gifted them to teachers at her school. Not a bad idea for a Christmas gift right? If you have an overwhelming number of plants and need to share the love, Christmas is a great time to share the gifts of plants with a friend.
Agree to No Gift
There’s nothing wrong with skipping a year of holiday gifts with friends or family. If you are saving for something or tight on cash, don’t be afraid to skip presents. You can even suggest doing a Christmas in July which can allow for more time to get yourself in good financial standing to allow for gifts!
Hand Written Note
Sentimental gifts can be the most expensive of them all. Taking the time to write a hand written note is a great way to share a heartfelt gift with a loved one during the holiday season. You can write notes to your most cherished family and friends as a way to recall amazing memories with them and discuss the plans you have for the future with them. Explaining why they are such a valuable part of your life is another angle you can take in the hand written note.
You can make the note as short or as long as you like. I personally love saving hand written notes to have them to look back on in the future. Even adding a handwritten note to any gift is a nice personal touch!
There are always ways to have a cost conscious holiday gifting season. I hope these few ideas can help!
Alright, I get it. Not everyone gets their holiday shopping done in August… Trust me, I know. I used to be the person who went out on December 23rd to buy gifts that were to be opened on Christmas Eve. Note : I am a recovered procrastinator, I’ve managed to finish all my Christmas shopping…