One thing about having such a tight (and often non-existent) budget during the holidays is the feeling of helplessness in giving back or reaching out to bless the lives of others.
Being able to give has always been such a big part of our holiday tradition. Then, all of a sudden, that ability was simply gone.
Growing up, my Mom would point out that there were always going to be those that have far more than us, but there would always be far more people who had far less.
Source: Google Images
But how do you give to others when you don’t have money to spend?
I’ve discovered a few ways to help make the holidays brighter for others that don’t require any money to be spent, gifts I can give from what I already have, or gifts I can bake for literal pennies.
Sharing Your Talents
- Do you sew? I can’t tell you how many times I wished there was someone who could hem a pair of pants for me. Sewing is NOT one of my strengths.
- Do you knit? Could you teach someone how? Or knit them something using their yarn?
- Could you bless a friend or neighbor with plants you’ve grown by seed for your garden?
- Share your garden produce?
- How about teaching someone how to can?
- Do you have a great eye for photography? How wonderful it would be to offer to take family pictures for a gift!
- Many times Reed has put his sprinkler installation skills to use helping family and friends fix their irrigation systems.
- How about mowing a lawn or getting up early to snow blow (or shovel!) a neighbor’s driveway?
- Do you scrapbook? Make cards? You could create a layout or a few cards and gift them to someone without your talents. Maybe create some Christmas gift tags and deliver them in time to be used this season! (Look how cute and simple these pom pom gift toppers are!
- Here’s a link for a beautiful FREE, PRINTABLE 2013 Owl Calendar. Owls are totally hip these days!
- Know someone who loves to read? You could pass on your already read books with nifty and new FREE bookplates from Helen Dardik.
A batch of cookies, a loaf of homemade bread, or a simple meal can all be gifts of both service and love.
Many times I find myself with things my kids have outgrown or items I no longer need. I simply post on my Facebook page or send out a quick email offering these items up to the first person to reply. Each time every one of my offerings have been received with thankful hearts. Money is tight everywhere!
It isn’t about the cost, or the size or the ‘wow! factor’ of the gift. It isn’t about money at all. It’s about having a desire to give a gift that is from your heart, with the intention of making someone else’s life a little bit brighter.
What do you do when your heart desires to give gifts, but your budget says no?