If you took some of the suggestions I offered a while back or worked on making and purchasing Christmas gifts throughout the year, then you may be all done with your gifts and have no need for quick, easy, inexpensive last-minute Christmas gift ideas. I’m there, and it feels great to have a week to enjoy the pre-Christmas excitement without the what-do-I-do-now panic. But if you had a major life change this year (we moved), experienced a financial setback, or are perhaps having to “make Christmas happen” for the first time, panic may be too mild a word for what you’re feeling.
It’ll be okay.
You don’t have to “make” Christmas happen. God already did that for you.
Even the Whos from Whoville know that “maybe Christmas…means a little bit more.” God made Christmas happen roughly two thousand years ago when He sent the Greatest Gift, Jesus Christ, to be born in a stable. Everything else is just gravy. If things are really rough for your family this year, please contact your local church. If the church has already distributed their available resources they may be able to direct you someplace where you can find help.
You can also gather whatever resources you may have available to craft or inexpensively purchase some gifts.
The price of a gift doesn’t necessarily reflect your esteem for the recipient. The thought really does count.
These free ideas cost nothing financially to put together right now, assuming you have some basic supplies in your pantry or craft storage. They may cost you some time now and possibly some time or money later, depending upon what you’re giving.
Make The World’s Easiest Fudge. Melt together a 12 ounce bag of baking morsels and a 16 ounce tub of cake frosting. Mix to combine, then spread the mixture evenly into a foil-lined pan and place it in the fridge to cool. Use the foil like handles to lift the cooled fudge out onto a cutting board and cut it into pieces. Arrange the fudge on a festive disposable plate, cover it neatly with clear wrap, and add a bow. It only takes 2 ingredients and a few minutes! I make it every year!
Pancake (or other jar-type) Mix – This Shake and Pour Pancake Mix would be so quick to put together and would be appreciated by those who might value convenience with the taste of homemade. Add a jar of Chocolate Waterfall Cocoa Mix to make a bigger gift.
Homemade Treats – Chocolate Waterfall Cocoa Mix also pairs nicely with a plate of homemade cookies or yeast rolls or a loaf of homemade bread. Wrap them neatly in plastic wrap and tie with a fluffy bow or lots of curly ribbon.
For children, print out some paper dolls or games and present them in a decorated box or envelope for storage. Make a date to cut them out and/or decorate them, if needed, and play together.
Give a gift of time or service with free printable gift certificates. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Wash and detail the car
- Wash the dishes
- Clean the house from top to bottom
- Prepare a meal (or several to stash in the freezer)
- Teach a skill (crafting, cooking, car repair, music)
- Plan an adventure trip (picnic, nature hike, day at the museum – look for free admission days, concert – look for free community concerts)
Low Cost Ideas
These ideas may require a bit of initial financial outlay, or they may also be free if you have a stocked pantry and supply cabinet.
Make a Memory Page – Collect digital photos of yourself and the recipient, either of a special event or just a group of favorite snapshots, and use your computer (or the one at the library) to create a collage. Print the collage on 8 1/2 ” x 11″ paper and frame it with a dollar store frame, or make it larger and pretty up a frame from the thrift store.
Create and give a candy bouquet, or make a bouquet of nail polish, hair accessories, or other fun dollar store treats.
Put Together a Meal Kit – Give parents of teenagers a “Let the Kids Cook” dinner kit with pasta, a jar of sauce, cans of veggies, and a loaf of bread.
Make toy soaps. Order the soap base here or find it at a local craft store.
Embellish accessories. Dress up dollar store hats, scarves, or gloves with fabric paint, appliques, or embroidery.
However you celebrate, whatever gift you give, may the God of Peace be with you and your family as you rejoice in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ!
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