What's Money Got to Do With It?

This time of year, spending tends to get out of control as we attempt to show those who we love, just how much using our $$$$ (paper or plastic).

For those of us trying to be reasonable, or just trying to be more mindful of what the holiday season is really about, here are some innovative ways to gift-give without breaking the bank.

1.  Give you what you do best.  Are you admired for your baking? Sense of style? Ability to fix things?  Why not give a gift that reflects that? Give a lesson in your talent, or a “coupon book” good for your services, or give one of your creations as a gift.  They will remember it always.

2. Create a Memory.  Plan a day or outing.  It can be elaborate (take in a show and dinner, for example), or it can be more budget-friendly — plan a lunch and go to a park or a museum.  Or, if you are a skilled photographer or story-teller, create a memory book.

3.  Touch the Heart.  For your loved ones who are care-givers, give them some care.  Pack up a basket with their favorite treats (food, magazines/books, etc.), or gift certificates to their favorite store, salon or restaurant.

4. Give what they really need.  Maybe you know a stressed out young couple, who could use a night away without the kids.  Offer to babysit as your gift.  Maybe you have an elderly friend who would appreciate having their groceries dropped off and unloaded.  Take a look around at their lifestyle and find what would truly be helpful.

5. Give to others.  For those who support charitable causes, go along with your friend and volunteer your time to the charity, or make a donation in the name of your friend.

Most important, know that the size of your love isn’t measured by the dollars you spend.  You have much more to give than that, and it is priceless.

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