The holidays are a great time of year, bringing family and friends together to express their love and create happy memories. The flipside is that they can also bring a certain amount of financial stress for many people. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers, on average, spent $1,007.24 in 2018 on gifts and non-gift items (food, decorations, etc.) during the holidays. That amount is expected to increase by about 4% in 2019.

If you’re worried about having enough money to cover your holiday expenses, know that with a little creativity and time, you can still enjoy the holiday spirit and exchange gifts without putting yourself into debt.

Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube have hundreds of DIY gift ideas and instructions on how to create them. When thinking up gift ideas, make sure you play to your strengths – if you’re good at baking, whip up a batch of your specialty and give those out as gifts. If you’re good at website building, offer that service to a new entrepreneur in the family. The most cherished gifts are thoughtful ones; those that show how well you know that person.

Here are a few more DIY gift ideas:

  • Bubble Bath gift basket – Fill a small box or basket with scented bath salts, chocolate, a bath pillow…whatever you think might be perfect for the person it’s intended for.
  • Christmas Tree ornaments and decorations – You can cross stitch, carve, paint, or sculpt personalized ornaments for your favorite people or create holiday decorations for the home.
  • Coasters – You can make them out of tile, wood, or even crochet them. Add an image or favorite saying the recipient will enjoy.
  • Candles – With a few simple items available at any craft store, you can create your own scented candles in a jar.
  • Certificate for a service – Offer your talents as a gift, like giving a few guitar lessons, free babysitting, or cooking a week’s worth of dinners.

Creating gifts can become a family activity as well, enabling you to pass on your talents to other family members.

If you’ve never made gifts before, try it this year. You’ll have more fun and less financial stress.


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