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Truthy Tuesday: The best gifts don’t cost a thing

{by guest Maven, Michelle Gay}

The holiday season has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I love baking with family, making cards and ornaments, and most of all, gifts for people.

The holidays are supposed to be about sharing and that doesn’t always mean our pocketbook. Some of the things that I have cherished most in my life are not the things that I have been given, or that I have given, but the memories of the time spent with people I value.

Time is one thing that we always hear no one has enough of, so what better gift than to give someone a bit of your time?

One of my favorite Christmases was the year that my family decided to have a handmade Christmas. The rule was that everyone had to make their gifts for each person and you could only buy your supplies. I truly enjoyed receiving gifts that were filled with thought and creativity and most of all the investment of time.

There are many ways that you can create a gift that will bring happy memories for years to come. I have created a list of a few to get you started on your season of giving and sharing.

Gifts that don’t cost a thing:

• Create a recipe box and fill it with your favorite recipes. Take it a step further and send them a new one each month.

• Give a gift certificate to help a friend: maybe help them with a project that they have been trying to get done forever like paint a room or clean the garage.

• I have a friend that will come and visit us for the weekend now and then when she needs to get away from her life. We sleep late, cook together and just have great girlfriend time. She refers to it as her rejuvenation weekend. Maybe you have a friend that could use one.

• Give someone something of yours that you know that they have wanted or fits their style. Thoughtful re-gifting is not a bad thing. Recently a friend of mine was downsizing her collectible collection and gave a friend one of her pieces. Her friend was thrilled as it had been a piece that she had always admired.

• Give friends or family members with kids a date night. Babysit for their kids. Take their kids to your house for an overnight adventure.

• Plan a dinner for someone featuring some of your culinary specialties.

• Create a photo book. I made one for my parents a couple of years ago and it has been looked at time and time again by many members of the family.

• Maybe you have a big garden every year and a friend or family member that doesn’t have time to garden. You could give them a share of your harvest as you harvest it.

• One year, I found a beautiful handmade wood cutting board perfect for a checkerboard and made it into one for my son. For the checkers, I used clear glass stones (found at the dollar store) and glued copies of his drawings to the bottom. He loved it and that I used something that he made.

• Kid’s art is one of my all time favorite things and luckily for me, my son loves to draw. I started taking his drawings and putting them on tea towels and embroidering them. People loved them and everyone wanted one.

These are just a few ideas to make your holiday season full of memories that will last a lifetime. I look forward to hearing how you made the most of giving this season!

Michelle Gay has been an avid crafter and entrepreneur for many years. You might know her as one of the faces of Eclectikid or may have seen her at the now defunct Paper Zone. She is currently a small business consultant which you can learn more about at www.michellegaysbms.com. When she isn’t talking business and organizing things, you can find her creating new projects with a variety of mediums from paper to fabric and beyond. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and son.

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Share your thoughts/tips/struggles around gift giving on your blog too, and we’ll post a link right here for our readers to check out!

Ashley Pahl shares her ideas on five gifts that don’t cost a thing

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What about you, Mavens? Which of these ideas do you love? Or what are some gifts you’d like to give, or receive, this year that don’t cost a thing?

4 Responses to Truthy Tuesday: The best gifts don’t cost a thing

  1. Coral says:

    Hi Michelle
    I love the ideas you suggested using drawings done by children – such a beautiful idea for parents. And using your kids own drawings in something you make for them – gorgeous.

    I’ve been loving all the handmade gift ideas I’ve been seeing on my favourite blogs lately – I may not get them made for Christmas, but I am going to make lots of things over the Christmas break that I can use for birthdays throughout the year. So special instead of bulk manufactured junk. Handmade is so huge at the moment, not just for makers but for people who aren’t arty but want to give gifts that are unique and have meaning. Beautiful revolution to commercialism.

    • That’s a great idea using those DIYS to prep for birthday gifts and what not, and not stressing about getting them all done for Christmas. Viva la revolution! :) Thanks so much for being a part of it and always sharing your thoughts with us here, Coral! -jena

  2. I love the idea of offering to babysit! I’m the only one I really know with kids right now, but I will tuck this one away for the future. I know how much it would mean to me.

    Kid’s art is another fantastic idea. We like to give family (mostly the grandparents) paintings and drawings for birthdays especially :)

    I LOVE the photo book idea! I have so many photos I could part with, and it doesn’t take much effort to scan the photos I don’t have doubles of. Will do this!

    I wrote my post on Tuesday, and am late sharing with you again, but here it is. I sense a bit of a gift-giving revolution on the way, thanks to you Mavens. http://www.shemakesahome.com/2012/12/five-gifts-that-dont-cost-thing.html

Share your thoughts. We want to hear from you, Mavens!