6 Holiday Gift Ideas… that Don’t Cost a Thing!

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Free and Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas

Having trouble staying within your gift budget for the holidays? Free up some cash by finding gifts that don’t cost anything! Often, these gifts are more beloved to friends and family members than a gift certificate or a generic gift basket since they require you to put time and effort into the gift. So before you head to the store, check out these ideas and see who you can knock off your list:

Give your time. Craft up a small booklet of IOUs for services that will make your loved one’s life a little easier, such as babysitting, pet care, housecleaning, gardening, snow-shoveling, technical troubleshooting or any other special skills you have to offer.

Be a teacher. Offer to teach a class about something you know well to friends or family members. Do you speak a foreign language or play a musical instrument? Maybe you’re a great cook or very crafty. You can also offer technical skills, such as how to use the internet for older family members or more advanced skills like web or graphic design for those who are more technically savvy.

Document the family history. Spend some time recording the memories of the older members of your family and find some old photographs of the family. Then you can compile it all together using programs like Word, Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat, and send this special e-book out to the entire family.

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Make a family recipe book. Every family has their prized dishes and sometimes these are lost as the older generations pass away. You can prevent this from happening and create an unforgettable Christmas gift. Get that amazing cookie recipe out of your Grandma’s head and down on paper for the family to enjoy for generations to come. Then compile them all in a Word document, or print them out on nice paper.

Raid your pantry. Cookies and other baked goods require few ingredients, so it’s likely you already have most, if not everything, in stock. Bake up a few batches, and then wrap them in saran wrap and a nice bow to give away.

Offer your companionship. Does your Aunt Patty love playing canasta? Or maybe your little cousin is always looking for a playmate. Find activities that your friends and loved ones enjoy and set aside time to spend doing whatever they want to do.

These are just a few ideas. Be creative and think about the things your family members love to do and ways you can make their lives a little easier. You may be surprised what fun free things you come up with!

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