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christmas gift ideas
A Scrumptious Gingerbread House
Photo by Maritoom Maashinossaar
Who Can Resist Homemade Christmas Cookies?
Photo by Robert K

Christmas Candy Has Been Around Over the Ages

Photo by Alan Cleaver

 Stretching the

Christmas Dollar

Wow. It is hard to believe Christmastime is here. I think I say that every year. Recently, it has been necessary to squeeze the life out of the bank account. I must stretch the Christmas dollar. There are some truly effective ways of getting good value for money.

It is hard to find quality, inexpensive Christmas gifts. It might require thinking ahead of time. The result will be worth it. It is a good idea to set yourself a budget before you start shopping for Christmas gifts, and then break it down. In other words, X amount of money for the partner, X amount for the kids, X amount for the extended family, and so on.

Good Ideas for Saving Money on Christmas Gifts

One way of saving money on Christmas gifts is by shopping around. Don't be compulsive. There are good deals to be found. Here is something that is a little more difficult and requires organization: shop ahead. When you see something on offer, even if it is weeks before, think of someone who might like it. If you can, and they are on your Christmas it.

Be more practical. Until recently, people have been shopping extravagantly. The bulk of these purchases have gone onto the charge card. Taboo! Do you really need a big screen tele? Yes. Propaganda will tell you so. And a lot of people are “buying” the message.

How many video games do the kids have to have? How many pairs of earrings does your mother need? Do you think the people you are shopping for really want what they are getting? Something like over 50% never enjoy the gifts they receive. They would never choose them for themselves.

Choose Carefully Who and What to Give this Christmas

Knowing this cut back your Christmas list. Don't feel guilty. This will help you stretch the Christmas dollar, too.

Set aside some time for putting effort into your gifts. People really appreciate this. If you think you are not creative, enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend who is and exchange ideas. Surf the web. Skim through the pages of craft magazines. You can get some easy and great gift ideas that you can make with little effort.

Homemade Gifts Help You Stay Within Your Christmas Budget

For the past couple of years those on my list have gotten homemade gifts. I really cherish the spirit of the olden days when families traveled across snow and ice in their sleds to visit each other. They brought treasures of knitted stockings, oranges and nuts, wooden metal crafts.

Perhaps I am too idealistic. These days are gone. Christmas has gotten too commercial. It has become sterile.

Give Homemade Jams and Breads This Christmas

I am trying to put some life back into it. If you do not like these things, you will probably avoid being a friend of mine. I give homemade jams, jellies and sauces, including my ever famous chocolate fudge sauce. It is a winner every year. I make fancy labels and cut choice fabrics to cover the lids, wrapping them in assorted ribbons.

I bake homemade breads, cake and muffins like orange cranberry, banana walnut, dried fruits and nuts. The fruit for the jams, the nuts, and dried fruit, most of them I have collected as they were in season and did my canning then. I have even made pomegranate molasses! It is the secret ingredient in stir-frys and soups. It is gorgeous.

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