It is that time of the year again dear friends when we get excited for the month of December because of Christmas. There are many facets of this season that makes us joyful and thankful for the year that has gone and most importantly for the people we love most. One thing I’d like to focus on is the whole idea of gift giving and the inevitable Christmas shopping. Whether it’s for your family, boyfriend/girlfriend, officemate or whoever it is, it’s that time to empty our wallets and head to the mall.
Every year, it amuses me when I see friends and workmates get so excited with the money they’ll get for Christmas and then become slightly sad all of a sudden because they spent it all. I’d say slightly sad because there is a cheerful feeling whenever you give someone a present. But still, the money you worked so hard for can simply fly by you in a blink of an eye.
With the money being an important issue, I thought of ways how to lessen the cost of your Christmas shopping this year but still give tons of presents to your love ones. Here are a couple of my suggestions:
1) Do-it-yourself presents
This is when you can be creative. Get your bond paper, colored markers, paintbrushes, glue, and all that and just make stuff up. I would say this is perfect for kids (or people you think it’s okay to give them a mini Art Attack). You have to be careful with “kids” though because it’s in their nature to be materialistic and if they say they want a Barbie doll, you have to get a Barbie doll. Trust me, you don’t want to mess little girls and their Barbie dolls. Don’t give them like a painting or anything (though Meg gave me one awhile back which was cool because it was really good) but for kids I think it’s something that they can play with. It can be an origami and you can have fun by teaching him/her how to do one. See, it’s simple fun, plus doesn’t require an app on your phone.
2) Downloaded music or movies
Another cheap thing you can do is to make a modern day “mix tape.” You know how people back then use to give mix tapes to their girls containing love songs and stuff like that? Well, I wouldn’t 100% percent recommend this now but there’s still some level of sweetness into this.
This isn’t restricted to couples however. Euge used to give my classmates and I CDs that contained random songs that reflected our personalities. He would select songs that he thought we would like. Pretty thoughtful don’t you think?
In this day and age when you can just download pretty much anything online, you have a wide range of music and movies you can give. If you know that your friend’s favorite movie is “The Royal Tenenbaums” then you can give him/her that movie.
This is probably as cheap as you can get. Get a pen and a piece of paper and just write stuff. Though seems ultimately low cost, there’s a big sense of sincerity into it, because well, it is still a letter. Somehow, there’s just more things you can say with a letter than with a material present. The good thing with letters is that you can give it to anyone: your five-year old nephew, your grandfather, old classmate, and more.
I’ll tell you this though: a letter has more chance getting remembered years after than let’s say a t shirt or something.
Now I know what you’re thinking; giving time this Christmas is common sense. Of course we have to spend time with our friends and loved ones. However, I hope you’ve realized as much me that dividing your time proves to be difficult. There’s your family, friends, workmates, old barkadas, and the list goes on. It’s like one Christmas party after the other.
Time is truly important because I know that there are a few people in your life that you only get to see during Christmas time. It’s an annual thing and people just try harder to see each other every December. Time is a precious gift, let’s not forget about that.
Of course if you’re really rich you can forget about all the things I’ve said and just buy stuff. Then again, you can always choose the ones you’re going to give a new pair of shoes or a letter. That’s the beauty of giving; you get to decide what to give. In the end, the other person will always appreciate what you give. As cliché goes, “it’s the thought that counts.”