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Christmas can be an extremely expensive time of year – with food, gifts, decorations and lots of social occasions too. However, there are plenty of things you could so for free as a gift, which will save your spending but still show you love for your nearest and dearest.
In The Run-Up To Christmas
Here are some things you could do in the run-up to Christmas that are kind and loving but also don’t cost anything.
- Help an elderly relative with any of the following: Shopping, writing cards, posting mail, food shopping, baking, putting up decorations, cleaning.
- Include a letter or photographs with Christmas cards you send to family. In this age of modern technology, it’s easy to forget some elderly folks still enjoy receiving hand-written letters.
- Email friends and family a summary of your year including pictures of you and yours.
- Invite your neighbours in for a cup of tea and a catch-up.
- Get children involved with making cards to give to family – these make lovely keepsakes.
Volunteering is a great way to give back over the Christmas period and doesn’t necessarily have to take the most obvious forms of helping out a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
This year I am putting together a few bags of food for my local food bank and additionally collecting extra food from friends and family. It’s a small thing but something that is easy for me to do that could make a huge difference to someone’s life.
You could donate toys as a family, asking children to choose ones to donate they no longer play with.
As Christmas Gifts
A Voucher for your time – whether it’s for babysitting, helping with gardening or a promise to pop over and cook someone a meal.
Skills Swap – Lots of people have different skills and swapping these could help both parties get something they need but maybe aren’t able to do for themselves. For example, my husband is great at DIY and when my friend lived alone he’d help with her decorating. In turn, she would lend us the discount card for where she worked and save us money on our weekly shop – ok so not a skill as such, but still something that was of benefit to us and cost her nothing.
Organize a Meal or Get Together – being the host takes quite a bit of effort, and often it’s the same family members doing it. Offer extra help or agree to take charge of some of the organizing to give other family members a break.
For the New Year
Lots of people can feel lonely during the New Year, especially after all the festivities have died down. Organizing some free activities that stretch into those last few winter months will hopefully help keep the Christmas spirit going.
- Arrange a book swap. When you’ve read a book, swap with someone and then meet up later and discuss. Repeat.
- Start putting together a family tree. It’s a great way to stay in touch with older relatives and they’ll love regaling you with your family history. Plus you could type it up and would be a great Christmas gift for next year!