Since I have been posting on Gift Giving, I’d like to share some ideas on inexpensive gifts and, the least expensive, “The Gift of Time”.
MASSAGE: One needn’t be a licensed masseuse to give a good foot rub, you just can’t do it wrong! One time, a woman’s husband died unexpectedly in my small community. Of course I knew her but we weren’t close friends. I wanted to go visit her and share my condolences. I decided to take some Lavender Essential Oil and give her a foot rub. This was perfect. We didn’t have to stumble through difficult, shallow conversation that neither of us wanted. I took her foot in my lap (after soaking it in bubble bath water from the basin I brought) and tenderly dried with the towel in my lap then poured the oil into my hands and began massaging her foot. Words were unnecessary and we spoke very little. I like to bring a portable music device and play relaxing music which adds to the whole experience. I have never forgotten the bond created that day nor the satisfying feeling of doing something of meaning for one suffering. “The Heart That Gives, Gathers.”
GIFTS OF SERVICE: These cost nothing (but time and labor) and, believe me, if we are aware of a need someone has, something they can’t do on their own…nothing beats a gift of service. Many lawns are full of leaves this time of the year. How about dropping by with rakes and yard bags and cleaning up a neighbor or elderly person’s lawn? Kids love to do service projects and come away with that good feeling of being of help to someone else.
GIFTS FROM YOUR KITCHEN OR GARDEN: I am busy baking during this season. I really have grown quite sick of cooking after a lifetime of it and reluctantly approach this necessity with wishes we could just eat a piece of bread and peanut butter! Although, when I’m in the mood to cook and especially if I am creating a new food item for a purpose, I enjoy it. I’m making Gluten Free Peanut Butter “Reindeer Cookies” today. (My husband has celiac disease and can’t eat anything with gluten in it.) These are the cutest things.
I found an old egg poacher pan at a thrift store of high quality, possibly an antique even and bought it for a few dollars. I’m going to put some of these reindeer cookies in it and take to my neighbors across the street who love antiques.
MUSIC: Does anyone go caroling anymore?
How about burning a CD of your favorite (Christmas) music as a gift? I’ve done this before. Very inexpensive and, yet, it makes a great , inexpensive gift. If you play an instrument, plan a visit or invite someone to your home and entertain them with your talent, good food and conversation!
RE-GIFTING: This has two benefits: we give a gift and also get rid of something no longer useful to us or that we have no room for. As I am downsizing, I like this idea a lot. I have quite a few sentimental items that I don’t want anymore but they’re too meaningful to donate to goodwill. I am re-gifting these to my children and grandchildren. Things I own that were once my mother’s or grandmother’s are especially “valuable” to other family members. I like giving them to someone who has some attachment to them rather than keeping them stored away in a box in a storage unit. Another purpose of re-gifting is to pass along a brand new item we received as a gift ourselves but can’t use or don’t want. I see nothing wrong in passing this along to someone else who may love it and just heard on the radio they did a survey and 60% of the population also feel okay about re-gifting! It’s just recycling a gift.
For my local grandkid’s birthdays I have started one on one “play dates” in lieu of presents. I pick them up and we go out on a “photo shoot”. We turn common, everyday places into something magical. After a few hours of exploring and photo shooting, we go somewhere and I print them instantly then we go to my apartment and I give them a scrap book to start making something beautiful with their photos. If they aren’t old enough to manipulate scissors, glue, glitter and stickers…I just give them their own, little photo book that we put the photos in and they have it as a remembrance of our special day together. We usually go get a treat somewhere before coming home.
I’d love to hear what you have discovered that are inexpensive, or free, in the way of gifting.