Friday, November 12, 2010

Frugal Gifts - Who?

As time inches closer to the upcoming holidays, I started thinking about frugal gifts. Why do we want to give them? To whom do we give them? Where and when should we give them? How do we approach giving them? Over the month of November, I plan to write a series of posts giving my thoughts and ideas on the subject, as well as ideas for frugal gifts to give.

When thinking about frugal gifts, who is it appropriate to give them to?
Think of all the people in your life that you give gifts to. Make a list. Children, parents, siblings, neices, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandchildren, friends, co-workers, newspaper delivery boy, are all people who you could give a frugal gift to. I don't think there is anyone on my list that wouldn't qualify for a frugal gift, to be honest. Folks who know me also know that we live and gift on a budget.

Reflect on the why of your gift giving gesture. Are you giving because you care for that person, and would like to give a gift as a gesture of your caring, or are you giving because you are trying to make an impression? For me, anyone who would think a frugal gift is inappropriate really isn't someone who I would want to give to anyway. I have no boss who I am trying to get a promotion from. I have no clientele who I want to get special treatment from. In fact, my gift giving impresses the people in my life because the gifts are frugal.

I hand make useful household items for relatives and friends. I make gifts-in-a-jar for people that reflect their individual tastes, like cookie and hot beverage mixes. I knit dishcloths and scarves for people in colours that they love. I know these things will be used too, unlike some dollar store trinket that I could have bought that will only take up space and require dusting (Did I mention I hate dusting?). I make gift tags from last years Christmas cards. I sew gift bags out of themed fabric to give gifts in, reducing waste, that can be reused for years to come.

I urge you to put some thought into frugal gift giving this year. Search the internet for ideas. There are literally thousands of items and how-to guides out there. If you have a particular frugal gift that you give, please share your idea with us in the comments below.

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