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With the Christmas season upon us many of us are now facing the dreaded question of what to give our friends and family. It can be hard to choose, especially for those of us who prefer a simpler life compared to those around us.
What do you give to those who have almost everything? In this consumer age, that is a hard question to answer. I’ve compiled a short list to help you get started, with items to fit every budget.
It is becoming less common to make things for Christmas, so gifts like homemade candies, fresh baked bread and other items are a treat for those that aren’t big on making things from scratch. Even better, you know your offering will be eaten and not tossed in a drawer, and even children will appreciate it. You can even make up simple recipes like cookie mixes, place them in a jar, and wrap them with a bow if you know they will prepare them. Here are some ideas to get you started. For those who knit or crochet, scarves are simple to make and will be cherished by those who wear them in the winter.
For those who don’t cook much (like yours truly) a big batch of spaghetti, a pan of lasagna or other meal that they enjoy would also make an excellent gift.
Tablets and eBook readers
Children and elderly alike enjoy books, so for that extra special person in your life consider investing in a Kindle or an iPad mini as your budget allows. While the Kindle is great for books, the iPad would allow them to surf the Internet, play games, and even earn a bit of money writing for websites like Bubblews if they are interested.
For those who already own an ebook reader consider a gift card for their reader of choice. This way they can buy some new books without killing any trees and you know they will enjoy their purchases.
Elderly friends and family would be delighted to receive a gift of your time. You could make up cards for tasks like dusting, mowing their lawn, cleaning out gutters and allow them to redeem them as needed. This way you can spend time with your loved ones while performing tasks that they are no longer able to do themselves. My daughters do this for me a lot.
For those on your list who still burn wood to heat during the winter, you could collect fallen wood or even cut up a tree or two if you have the equipment. When I was a child this was considered a delightful gift in the mountains by elderly people. My father had a spot on our land where he would dig up coal and give small loads to friends and family to help them out during the winter.
For those who are overseas, a MagicJack would greatly reduce their expense when calling home. You would have to activate it here in the US, but after that they could use it to call home any time they wanted when an internet connection was available. This would also help any friends and family who are struggling financially, because they could use this device to reduce (if not eliminate) their phone bill.
If you have someone on your Christmas list who enjoys eating out, consider a gift card from their favorite restaurant, or treat them to a meal out when you have time for the personal touch.
Pet lovers would enjoy a gift card for their fur babies as well. Many groomers and shops offer gift certificates for grooming or pet supplies, giving Fido or Fluffy a day at the spa or some new treats to enjoy.
For those who want to learn an instrument, perhaps you could purchase them a few lessons from an instructor? Aspiring musicians would especially love such a gift.
Something they won’t buy for themselves
Everyone has something that they love but won’t purchase for themselves. It can be as simple as a bottle of nail polish, some cosmetics, perfume, or even a piece of jewelry. Men may enjoy a shirt or something from their favorite sports team, or even a new tool for their toolbox that they’ve been wanting but haven’t purchased. If you are close enough to someone to know of an item that they like but refuse to purchase, consider surprising them with it this Christmas.
The Best Part
The best part of giving is the knowledge that you have chosen something that will be used. They don’t have to be expensive; even the simplest things can mean the world when given with love.
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