Are you B-R-O-K-E and feel like you have been emotionally steam rolled by 2016? Is Christmas a surprisingly pleasant distraction except for the piles of money that you need to have to keep up with the Joneses? Okay the piles of money that you need to not feel like a total failure asshole? Yeah me too.
Thus far my Christmas shopping has entailed picking up a couple of super cheap slightly damaged items from the TJMaxx clearance section for Ev, because she is still the age where quantity is much more important than quality. And I sent out Christmas cards, which suffices because stamps ‘aint free.
But other than that, no one is getting anything that cost money because I have none to spare #reallife.
So I complied a list of gift ideas that don’t suck for my poor comrades and well those of you who don’t want to go into Christmas debt or buy more shit, yay consumerism!
First and foremost Regifting:
This gets a little complicated for me because I generally don’t hang on to things that I don’t love for very long because I move every other year and am the purge queen. So here are ideas for gifting things that you actually like, but can live with out that- surprise-someone else will actually like:
-An (alive) plant.
-A favorite mug, dish set, knife set, small kitchen appliance (let’s be real you never
actually use that juicer…. And Ari your Vitamix is actually just taking up room and your friend Reagon would really love one ahhemmm. )
-A winter prep kit, gloves, hat, scarf, window scraper, snow shovel.
-DVDs or CDs that you don’t use anymore because it’s 2016 but your older relatives still think are cool.
-Pass on some jewelry, Okay so you don’t own the Hope diamond or anything
that wasn’t bought at Claire’s but that’s okay. I’ve been wearing one earring all week, please send the bottom of your jewelry box.
-A carefully selected dress, outfit or pair of shoes, from your closet that you know a friend would look great in. I have let friends borrow clothes and inevitably they fall in love with something and I decide you know what keep it, I may wear it once or twice but you love it. Then every time you see them in it, it gives you warm fuzzies. Dawwh.
The absolute laziest free gifts that people will actually love:
-Your password to a subscription service: Netflix, HBO Go, The New Yorker Online, Spotify, the options here are endless.
-A music play list, dare I say a mixed CD if you have a CD burner still I’m jealous.
-A youtube play list of videos, spoken word poems, ted talks, bloopers, what ever floats your boat, and you can email it.
-A piece of art from your wall, will you really miss it that much? Bonus already framed.
-Give away your kids school projects. You know that they came home with 101 Christmas ornaments this month, pay them forward Grandma will think it’s adorable.
-Do you or your kid have a rock obsession? Is it only me who has tons of beautiful stones and rocks lying around their house? I blame Ever. Sort them into collections, bless them with positive vibes wrap them in a pretty scarf, box or other vessel and give them away.
-Regift some beloved books or unused journals and a nice enough pen.
Free gifts that require you to exert effort:
-Offer to do some free lawn care, gardening, snow shoveling.
-Offer to babysit, just don’t be an ass and actually never come through.
-Make a funny picture of you and your friend, or your friend and a T-rex. There’s an app for that. Print it, throw it in a frame you have lying around. Or just send it to them digitally, they can set it as their screen saver.
-Offer to take their family photos, I mean we all know that you know that your Instagram is poppin. There’s nothing that a good filter can’t take care of.
Creative gifts that keep on giving:
-Write a thoughtful letter.
-Write 12 nice cards for someone to open every month, put in a box with instructions about opening one a month. I also think it would be cute to do 12 date night envelopes with an idea and a gift card to somewhere but ya know that requires money.
-Write a poem.
-Make some art, or regift some old art that you made once upon a time.
-Have a bunch of old art supplies laying around, compile them in a box or container and give them as a gift of creative inspiration.
Ideas for kids:
-Have a baby, just re-wrap things from the bottom of the toy box they’ll never know.
-Get on a Mommy board on Facebook or where ever else on the internet people do those things and see if someone is giving away free things or is interested in swapping gently used toys, clothes, gear. Win win.
-Make them non-toxic yummy smelling play-dough. Here’s a recipe for peppermint but one year my mom made a bunch of fruity ones with kool-aid that were amazing. Throw in some cookie cutters and bam.
-DIY mobiles for all ages, these ideas are super crazy cute, just looks like it requires patience. I can’t choose!
-Printables. There are so many great free little paper gifts that you can print on the internet for all ages of children. Here is one of my favorites, printable cards that they can sew with. Include needle and thread, done and done.
–DIY super hero costumes from old t-shirts. These totally work for any gender!
-A hand puppet tutorial, print this off, add a flashlight and spend 30 min with your kid. Ev can’t be the only kid obsessed with making shadow puppets.
And those are just the ones off of the top of my head. Happy gifting!