Christmas shopping a huge source of stress for many families because they simply can’t afford to spend as much as they do. The average family will spend about $846 on Christmas gifts this year, including $46 on their pets. One in three families will go into debt to pay for Christmas.
Now wonder 45 percent of Americans would prefer to skip Christmas altogether.
Fortunately, there is a better way.
If you’re dreading the thought of paying for Chrsitmas gifts this year, don’t. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t give gifts but that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to give something of value to others.
God gave the gift of himself for Christmas, and you can do the same. Here are 10 great gift ideas that are absolutely free.
Something you already have. It isn’t cheesy to give a “previously owned” gift if it is something of value to you and others. That could be a rare or collectible item, or something with sentimental value. Or it might be something more ordinary that would bless the receiver—such as a book that was meaningful to you.
A handwritten note. Now that everyone on earth can be a mass communicator, handwritten sentiments in a Christmas card or letter become valuable treasures.
Your company. Whom could you bless with an evening of conversation or shared activity?
A hand-crafted item. If you create with wood, fabric, paint, or yarn, you may already have enough stock in your studio to create this year’s gifts. And digital photos are completely free.
A compliment. Everyone loves them, nobody sends them back, and they’re totally free.
Connections. Host a party for friends who haven’t met each other yet. Give them the opportunity to share conversation and form relationships.
Your skills. Chances are that something you do professionally or as a hobby would make a good gift. Donate an hour of your time giving legal advice, math tutoring, or financial planning.
A recipe. Everyone loves to eat, and many people love to cook. Share your secret salsa recipe or grandmas pie crust technique.
Babysitting or respite care. If you know anyone with small children, a disabled family member, or an aging parent, you know someone who needs the gift of time. Give them an evening.
Listening. Don’t daydream, work on your shopping list, or plan what to say next. Just listen to another person for 20 minutes. It’s a great gift.
Don’t go into debt this year trying to find the perfect gift. You have plenty of free gifts right at your fingertips, including the most important one—you.