Christmas is such an expensive time of year for families with not only your own family to buy for but extended members and friends too. If you are not careful you can start the year with an extremely tight budget and all for the sake of that one day. If you don’t save it throughout the year, there are a few ways you can still save some money at Christmas. Home made gifts are thoughtful and a fantastic way to save money whilst still allowing you to be able to show you care.
Home made Gifts
I love to get my hands dirty and make my own presents, whether it is for anniversaries, birthdays, or Christmas itself. Nothing says it better than something which has been crafted by your own fair hands. Here are a few favourites:
-Home made body scrub – it will last for 6 months and you can decorate the jar as you like to give a personal touch:
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground all spice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup oil (sweet almond, olive or walnut oil)
Empty glass jars
Place dry ingredients in a bowl, add the water and stir to combine.
-Home made moisturizer – coconut oil is super natural so it helps with anything from mildly irritated skin to eczema. It is great as a hand, foot or body cream too so you can label it as you see fit for your chosen recipient.
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of shea butter
small tins (for lip balm) or plastic/glass jars (for body cream)
Combine these in a glass pitcher and heat in a pan half filled with water. Once melted, pour into your chosen containers and leave to set.
-Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments – a lovely keepsake for whomever you give them to, or keep them for your own tree.
1 cup of flour
½ cup of salt
½ cup of warm water
Food coloring of your choice
Combine the dry ingredients and slowly add the water and food coloring. Kneed for 10 minutes and rest for 40. (To give a
personal touch, add a handprint by simply adding a little more water to make the dough softer. Once the shape/pattern
is complete sprinkle over some glitter. Add a hole at the top whilst the dough is soft and add a ribbon through it once set.
-Home made bath salts – this is an ideal way to make the bath a special moment for a tired mom after a hard day of Christmas cooking:
4 cups of sea salt
4/5 drops of aromatic oils such as lavender
dried plants or petals for aesthetic quality
Empty glass jars
Sprinkle a few spoons of the salts in to the bath – give the gift of relaxation and silky smooth skin!
-Home made cookies – easy to shape into any form, from stars to Santa!
2 cups of caster sugar
2 cups of butter
4 cups of plain flour
2 vanilla extract to taste
Cover in saran wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll out, shape and bake at around 325 degrees until golden.
The decoration is the fun part so get as creative as you like. These are the simplest, cheapest cookies to make and will look great!
All these gift ideas are simple, thoughtful and quick to make. Our loved ones don’t expect us to spend a fortune on them at Christmas, but if we can give them something homemade it shows our love better than a generic, expensive gift ever could. Another lovely reason for homemade gifts is that your kids can help you make them – great for an afternoon of festive, family bonding time.
Or if in doubt…
Give the gift of time
Whether it’s helping a friend move house, cooking a meal for your loved ones, getting involved with your partner’s hobby just to make them happy (round of golf together? Trip to the boat show? Taking a run together?) or spending the day making festive memories with your little one getting crafty, sometimes our time is the most precious thing we can give, so don’t overlook it.