Archived Story

Thrifty for the holidays

Published 7:11pm Monday, October 10, 2011

With only a little over two months until Christmas, I have to admit that I haven’t done any of my holiday shopping.

I’ve written down ideas of things to buy, and I’ve even tried figuring out a budget (a very small one, for that matter) to fit in a present for each person I love.

But the fact of the matter is that Christmas is clearly on its way, and I’m not ready.

Most of the stores I walk into are already displaying Christmas decorations along with Halloween and Thanksgiving décor.

Even my husband already has a list of expensive items he’s hoping to get.

I can feel the pressure to buy gifts coming like a cold wind from the North.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I love Christmas time. It’s one of my favorite times of the year.

But this past year flew by so fast I barely had time to take in what spring and summer had to offer.

Now it’s almost winter, and I wish I had taken the route that some people take – shopping all year long, collecting things here and there so they’re ready when December hits.

And with Christmas so close and my pocketbook not getting any bigger, I believe I will have to resort to thrifty gifts, yet again, this year.

So if you’re like me and have waited and haven’t budgeted very well, here are a few things I’m going to try.

Maybe you can try them, too.

ν Make a photo album of the past year – nothing too difficult, just some of my favorite pictures of me and the person I’m making the photo album. I might even consider reframing and retouching one of my favorite pictures of us from the past.

ν Bake some goods. But make sure you don’t get yourself into anything too daunting. Simple foods like sugar cookies with holiday sprinkles, easy candy recipes and, if you’re up for the challenge, a cake.

ν Visit a thrift or antique store, find something good and make it even better. This may require some extra creativity, but I think it will be worth it even if it’s just taking something, cleaning it up and making it like new.

And while I wish I could buy my friends and family all of the things they want, I also know that simply making them something from the heart goes a lot farther than anything I could buy.

I hope these few ideas get you ready for the upcoming holiday season and help you to see the real meaning behind the holidays and special times during the year: to love others more than ourselves by showing our love through our words and our actions … not by the price tag on our gifts.

Jessica Hargett is a staff writer for the Outlook.