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Twelve Simple, Intentional and {almost} Free Gift Ideas

Posted by on December 15, 2017

About ten years ago we made some decisions about Christmas that we have been so thankful for ever since.  There are two words that we used (and still do) to guide us in everything holiday……simple and intentional.  One of the most obvious areas to apply these two words, first, was gifts!!We had never really gone crazy in the area of gifts, but we wanted to scale back even more.  We wanted to stop that feeling of just buying things because we *had* to buy a gift for someone to open and really focus in on well thought out, meaningful gifts.  I can also testify that typically those are not the gifts that break the bank. In fact, one year we challenged ourselves to not spend anything!!!  It was crazy and fun and one of our most special Christmases!!

Here are a few ideas that we incorporate into our gift giving every year!  And don’t worry….you don’t have to be crafty or creative!!!!
1) Heirlooms – I love to dig through things we have and pass along special family things to my older kids. It’s nice to include a note about what makes it special or a fun story behind the item.
2) Books – If you have books on your shelf that impacted you in a big way, write a note inside the cover about what you took from the book and wrap it to go to an older child, family member or friend.
3) Recipe Binder – perfect for an older daughter/granddaughter or new sister-in-law! Print a cute cover and slip into a clear binder. Copy favorite family recipes into it! I made photocopies of my mom’s, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and Ryan’s grandmother’s recipes in their own handwriting to go into my girls binders. Each year for birthdays or as stocking stuffers add a few new recipes! You can also write in stories or memories of meals shared serving that food! If you don’t have time to do a full binder this year, just passing along a few recipes is great!! Make sure you write them in your own handwriting!! These are some of my most cherished possessions from the women in my family who are not here anymore!
4) Tools – pass down tools to an older boys or grandsons.  My Dad gave our son a tiny tool set that was his this year for his birthday and he LOVES it!!
5) Jewelry – I recently had some of my James Avery pieces freshened up at the store to regift to my girls.
6) 12 Dates of Christmas – Fun for a spouse or even for a child! I think it’s especially great for a teen or tween! 1 date for each month of the coming year! There are lots of cute ideas on Pinterest for this! When I did it for Ryan I actually planned out all of the dates ahead. I collected items from all of the places I planned to take him each month for the coming year. You don’t even have to go that far though!! Keep it simple! Search Pinterest for lists of inexpensive or free date ideas.
7) Coupons!! My kids always get these in their stockings!! Here is a few things we include: 1 hug anytime you need it, Choose What’s for Dinner, 1 Amazon Movie Rental (or RedBox), Pick a dessert, Stay Up 30 Minutes Late, Have a Friend Over to Play, Date with Mom/Dad, Get Out of Chore Free, $5 anytime you need it!  For older teens add a 30 Minutes Past Curfew Pass or a Large Pizza ordered anytime you want it! If you are not feeling creative in coming up with your own go to Pinterest and search “Printable Christmas Coupons”, click, print, tie together & add to stockings!!
8) Printables – we always add fun printables to our kids stockings. I find that these really help stretch out the time on Christmas morning while our kids are waiting to open gifts. I added links in the comments to the ones my kids got last year.  We love to print out coloring pages of scriptures verses, coloring pages of their names, Christmas games and last year we printed this Christmas village to color and put together!  This Christmas Would You Rather was SO fun, too!
9) Love Notes/Compliments – these are free and right from the heart! There have been years when we didn’t have much money for gifts for anyone other than our kids and so we wrote notes and letters to tell people how much we love them! Last year all 7 of us added compliments to each person in our family into the stockings!! I cannot tell you how special it was to read these on Christmas morning!
10) Gifts of Service – one year my brother gave my husband a day of his time to help him get his garage organized!! Best.gift.ever!!! My kids have given me a car detail done by them, help with a project I have been wanting to finish (you could wrap needed supplies) & one day of doing all of my “mom chores”! Last year we gave 10 Freezer Meals to my Dad, who lives alone and needs to eat healthier). I have also done this for my brother when he was in college.
11) Babysitting Gift – you might think someone knows you are available to do this for them, but giving it as a gift and making sure it happens is so special! We have been given this gift, complete with movie & dinner Gift Cards! FANTASTIC gift!!
12) Cookie of Month / Ice Cream of The Month – Print 12 Coupons and tie them together with a pretty ribbon, leaving a blank for them to fill in the type they want! They get to turn in one each month for the coming year! Either homemade or store bought! My kids LOVE getting this gift!!!!

Avoid the mall and the traffic!! Stay home and get your creative on!!

Gifts from the heart are the best kind and they don’t have to cost a thing!

Merry Christmas Friends!!!

And feel free to share!!

XO,

Maggie

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We are all super busy.
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