Skip Gift Giving
Make a pact to forego gifts with certain relatives or friends. Instead of spending money on gifts just skip this ritual one year. This takes the stress of shopping away and helps everyone save money too.
Booklet of Certificates
Give a gift book of free items for a present. Fill a notebook or hand-made certificate books with pages for “a hug,” “an hour together,” “a day out in the sunshine,” or other free activities you could enjoy with someone. The gift of a hug or time is often precious and very much appreciated.
Buy decorations only at the dollar store. They really do have some nice holiday décor items at the dollar store. This year, limit yourself to shopping only there to find holiday decorations and you will save some money. Then, after the holiday, go to other retail stores and look for holiday decorations 80% to 90% off. Stock up for next year at hugely discounted prices. Resolve to never pay full retail for holiday decorations again.
Plan a Holiday Swap Meet
Hold a swap meet for holiday decorations. You may have some holiday items that still look new, but you are very bored with them. At a swap meet everyone gets to trade items that no longer excite them. It is fun to get rid of stuff you no longer like and pick up some “new” items too.
Shop Thrift Stores
Shop thrift stores for holiday items. A lot of people like to donate stuff to thrift stores in December to get an end of the year tax deduction slip. Thus, in December a lot of thrift stores have an over abundance of holiday decorations. Shop without guilt as most holiday items cost under a dollar at thrift stores in most neighborhoods; the best deals are found in the week or two before the holidays.
Gifts from Nature
Make holiday gifts from items found in nature. Use twigs, pinecones, tree stumps, logs, sea glass, sea shells, and other items from nature to make a special hand-crafted gift such as a plaque, necklace, candle holder, wreath, or other items. A hand-made item often becomes a treasured family heirloom.
Give Seedlings as Gift
A pack of flower seeds will create a lot of seedlings that make wonderful gifts. Flowers such as geraniums and petunias are easy to grow from seed. The flowers would look lovely in a pot or a flower box. Also, tree seeds grow into seedlings that will eventually be a tree. Collect pine cone seeds (shake the pine cone to get them out) or seeds from other trees like the mimosa. Look under trees to see if you can find some seed pods or tiny seedlings you could transplant into pots for a gift.
Write a Letter
A hand-written letter is a rarity these days. So create a letter for someone telling them how special they are and it will be treasured forever. This special gift doesn’t cost much to create but once given as a gift its value will be priceless.
Source: Personal Experience