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Do-It-Yourself Christmas Gifts

Written by Nickel - 5 Comments

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Do-It-Yourself Christmas Gifts

With Christmas just over two weeks away, and with many family budgets being tighter than ever, I wanted to take a few minutes to revisit the idea of homemade Christmas gifts.

I’ve actually covered this topic in the past, and won’t re-hash all of the ideas here. Instead, I’ll just highlight a few of my favorites…

Homemade photo garland

A few years back, my wife laminated a bunch of small pictures of our kids, punched a small hole in the top edge, and then attached them to a bead garland with gold and silver thread. The end result was a very cute, customized garland that made a great gift for the grandparents.

Personalize photo calendar

This is another great gift for grandparents. Construct a calendar with personalized photos to depict the seasons, as well as to indicate birthdays and other major events. If you’re not particularly “crafty,” you can do this using a service like Shutterfly, or even Walmart, and have the finished product printed for relatively cheap.

Homemade jams, jellies, and sauces

There are few things in this world that I enjoy more than homemade jam. If you have a productive garden, why not share the bounty by making your own tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, jam, or jelly and sharing it with friends and family? Fill up a few mason jars, dress it up with a ribbon, and you have yourself a great gift.

Help around the house

This is probably my favorite… If you have older family members (elderly parents, grandparents, and so on), why not fix up some things around the house when you visit for the holidays. It will not only mean a lot to them, but it can save them a ton of money. I’m thinking here of things like minor plumbing tasks, etc.

If you have any ideas of your own, please share them in the comments.

Published on December 10th, 2010 - 5 Comments
Filed under: Frugality

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. I always thought personal coupon books were a nice, fun way to save money on gifts. You give the person a bunch of redeemable coupons for tasks you have to do whenever they chose to use it. It gives a personal touch, you don’t have to spend cash on material things, and you help out the person you care about by providing services. On the surface, it might look kind of lame though, I guess.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 10th 2010 @ 2:27 pm
  2. I’ve handwritten love letters and love notes for my husband – that’s always got a nice personal touch to it. As well, I like the idea of making a scrapbook or photo slideshow to load onto a digital photo frame.

    Some of the gifts I’ve really enjoyed are sort of “semi-homemade,” like when I get a whole bunch of little things put into a personalized gift basket for me – for my bridal shower, one of the ladies put together a baking kit with a recipe box, whisk, and cookie cutters. Not very expensive but put together it was awesome and very useful =)

    Thanks for the ideas!

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 10th 2010 @ 3:39 pm
  3. When our family gets together, we sometimes exchange rum cakes and different types of baked Christmas cookies. It’s definitely something I look forward to during the holidays and a great way to save money instead of buying expensive Christmas gifts.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 11th 2010 @ 4:06 pm
  4. When recommending any homemade decorations, insist on Fire Resistant materials. Paper and other combustibles can set up a deadly Holiday.
    Not trying to be Scrooge, just being real, and Fire Safe.
    Have a Fire Safe Holiday!

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 11th 2010 @ 5:51 pm
  5. Love the photo garland idea. Would work on a mantle or decorate the edge of any furniture even if they don’t put up a tree any longer. My daughter and I made homemade instant cocoa and put in a pretty jar one year. It was a bit more expensive than I thought it would be, but I think it was enjoyed. Goggle “gifts in a jar” for several ideas.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 12th 2010 @ 6:49 am

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