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Low or No-Cost Giving

As we near Christmas with only three days left, you may find yourself scrambling with last minute shopping or nearing the end of your holiday budget to buy loved one’s gifts. This is especially true of teens who don’t have the money or transportation to go Christmas shopping for friends and family but never fret! We suggest several alternatives to store-bought Christmas gifts that might be perfect for all our special someones. At the end of the day, what really matters is the thought and love placed behind the gift.

For ʻōpio struggling as to what to buy your loved ones here are some suggestions of low or no-cost giving options:

Coupon Book: Make a coupon book where they can tear and turn in to you . Some activities to include: mowing the lawn, washing the car, free babysitting, making dinner, foot massage, breakfast in bed. Main thing is that these are activities that are not part of your chores and use your imagination to make it as creative as possible.

Scrapbook: If you have pictures, how about making a nice scrapbook or framing the pictures into a collage. CVS and Costco also offer very low costs for printing photo ornaments and photo-books. People really love sentimental gifts and a baby picture or nice family picture they can display goes a long way.

School Projects: If you took an art class and had to paint, or sketch, or create any type of artwork you think your parents would love, consider framing and gifting them that piece. Also for if you took any type of carpentry or ceramics classes, consider giving them a really nice piece you are proud of.

Gift of Time: Let your loved ones know you penciled them in for a whole weekend. Tell them that you are free to participate in any activities they wish to do for that weekend. People, especially parents, often complain that they may not see you enough so having you available to participate in a family outing to a nearby park or beach you are sure to make them happy.

Virtual Activities: With physical distancing and travel restrictions, people are not getting together for the holidays. Consider hosting an “ugly sweater” virtual party or gingerbread house build contest. You can even do a cooking session or recipe exchange, where you share a recipe and cook it simultaneously with your loved one. Grandparents would love nothing more than some Facetime or a family Zoom calls where they can see you if you have not been fortunate enough to visit them during this pandemic.

DIY: Go through YouTube videos or Pinterest boards and get motivated to create a personal gift that you know theyʻd love. Look at what supplies you already have and use your imagination to create a unique one-of-a-kind gift. Implement your sewing skills, or baking skills, or vocal skills, or instrumental skills and take the time to create either a gift or an experience for your loved ones that will leave a lasting impression on them.

At the end of the day, what matters most is the thought and love behind your gift. You can also do the same for friends and other loved ones. The holiday season is about giving and it doesn't necessarily mean spending money. It is really about creating joy for those we love so think about all the things you can create with what you already have.

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