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Christmas Gifts on a Budget

My birthday and Christmas are very close together. Every year around Thanksgiving I start receiving panicked texts from relatives asking what I want for my birthday and Christmas. And you know what my answer usually is? Nothing. It frustrates my grandmother and mother-in-law to no end, but it's the truth. There is nothing I want. I have everything I need.

If you really want to get me something, I'll tell you that some of the best gifts I've ever received and still remember and think fondly of aren't ones that cost a lot of money. A cheap candle in the scent that reminds me of my grandma. A handmade ornament. A friend's art class project. These are among my most treasured possessions.

I don't know where this idea that Christmas gifts must put us into credit card debt came from, but I'm hoping this is the year we can leave it in the past. This year has been a tough year for a lot of families, and that is likely going to translate to fewer gifts under the tree. And you know what? That is perfectly ok.

Christmas has been hijacked by big corporations that have sold us the lie that we must consume and spend to have a merry Christmas. We've forgotten that Christmas is really about family. It's about loved ones. It's about Jesus. In the words of Dr. Suess:

Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more. -How the Grinch Stole Christmas

You know what I really hate? Shopping. Don't make me go, I beg of you. You know what I love? Baking. Arts and crafts. Making music. These are the things I will be gifting people this year.

Get creative. Have fun with it. Use your talents. Need some help?

  • Here's a recipe for homemade clay ornaments. You can also buy blank wooden ones in bulk for very cheap.

  • This is my favorite gingersnap cookie recipe.

  • Give someone your favorite photo in a thrifted picture frame.

  • Put together a book of family recipes.

  • Know how to knit? Who doesn't love a handmade scarf or blanket?

  • Like to can? Homemade jams and salsas are a great gift!

The possibilities are endless! And these gifts will mean so much more than anything you can get from a store!

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