Many of us are finding our purses are a little more pinched this holiday season, and may be scrambling to put together an affordable Christmas for our families. In our own family, we're fortunate in that our parents and siblings have been very kind to our kids, but that doesn't mean we don't want to leave something under the tree for them from us, to remind them that we love them and we're thinking of them (even if we occasionally have to reintroduce ourselves to them after a long work week.)
Over the last couple of years, we've come up with some creative gifts. I'm a big proponent of home made elements. Paper mache and unpainted wood boxes can be cool and personal presents when they're dressed up with leftover paint and decoupaged with downloaded photos of family events. Add some bargain candles, some inexpensive makeup and a mirror glued on the inside cover (in my daughter's case), or even home baked cookies or bon bons, and you have a thoughtful gift that makes an impact.
My favorite gifts from my dad and my mother-in-law are their paintings and photos. Both of them have talent and excellent eyes for composition. My late mother thrilled the family with her exquisite pinecone wreaths one year, and she could sew an outfit that would put the pros to shame.
Maybe your skill is on the computer. Offer to construct a website. Gardening or yardwork? Bet you could start some clippings for someone in a (discount) pot tied with a bow.
Not trying to sound like Martha Stewart here (if you saw my house, you'd know that is soooo not me!) but you can find a way to show your loved ones you're remembering them for the holidays, without putting yourself in the poorhouse. You may also find that pulling together your gift puts you in the holiday spirit, too!
Merry Christmas from the Monk & Kelly Family