Less is more right? Just by uttering that phrase aloud around Christmas time could create a hernia or two among many of us panic-stricken need-to-get-the-perfect-present buyers. So what happens next? Yep, you guessed it – we end up spending way too much, and in my case, end up digging deeper into that student overdraft that I should have probably never have opened in the first place.
Indeed, we as a nation see Christmas time as Manic time. Materialistic? Yes. Worth it to see the big smile creep up on your boyfriend’s face as he rips open those one too many shiny wrapped boxes? Yes. How about if I was to say that I created some of those presents myself? Shock Horror! Am I a scrooge? No. Am I being cheap? Nope, but I sure am saving money which otherwise would have been spent when I most certainly cannot afford it.
Like many graduates, I am definitely not oozing money from my ears and eyeballs. Money most certainly is not growing on any trees in my back garden. So, what am I meant to do? Now, I will openly admit I am (to a reasonable level) fairly materialistic, and I love nothing more than the latest fashion trends and to splurge on my most beloved at Christmas. But this year I may have to re-access my usual spending, and take a big much needed step back.
I was guilty of buying way too many presents for him before. A beautiful Armani watch just wasn’t enough, I needed to purchase the beautiful aftershave, the beautiful tie, the beautiful – yep, you get the idea. This year, I am going to try and make some gifts myself. Now, I am not talking the terrible painting of mother I made as a five year old child, now that type of gift would go beyond cheap – I am dreadful at painting. I am thinking more like re-creating things, rather than just buying them already created. You will understand me soon, as I am going to offer some ideas for home-made gifts. Well, home-made(ish) … I am still new to this after all!
Top Ideas for Home-made (ish) presents this Christmas
1) A hamper
There are many shop bought hampers out there, and they can cost quite a bit! Usually they aren’t even packed with many great things, if anything, we are paying for the presentation. Well, how about you create one yourself? They can be SO much fun to do. If you enjoy all things creative like me, you can really put your stamp on it, and make all kinds of hampers. The list is endless! Purchase a cheap hamper box, or even use that old picnic box which is lurking in your attic! Buy some tinsel, and all that jazz, to make it look shiny and have a lovely bed to sit all your treats on, and then blast that imagination! Think cheese, miniature wine bottles, crackers, sweets, chocolates, or get even more creative and make a retro sweet hamper, or home-ware accessories hamper! Trust me, it will turn out so much cheaper than a shop-bought hamper, plus you can pick and choose what you put in it to suit the individual whom will be receiving it!
2) Make your own candles
There are so many different make-your-own kits out there, and they can be so much more fun than trolling the streets in a panic on Christmas Eve! An extra benefit is that if you make your own candle, it is unique, which makes it extra special for your beloved this Christmas.
3) Get that sewing kit out
Sewing your own special gifts is so IN. In fact – it was never out! Instead of purchasing that Ralph Lauren scarf, why not make one yourself? Think of all the beautiful pieces you could make, and the extra thought is what makes it extra special.
4) Photo collage
It may be slightly clichéd, but putting together a cute collage of photos for your nearest and dearest really is such a thoughtful and loving gift.
5) Make your own aftershave
Create that signature and exclusive scent – they will love you forever!
6) Recipe book
If you see yourself as quite the Delia Smith, why not put a recipe book together? Very considerate, plus a great way to finally get your partner cooking! No more excuses!
If none of the above work for you, do not fret – there are trillions of ideas out there! Get onto your favourite search engine and get browsing, or go window-shopping for ideas. The list truly is endless! And remember one more thing, make sure you have a great Christmas!
By Heather Elizabeth