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Dec 03 2014

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Gift giving for Christmas

Gift Giving for Christmas

Gift giving for Christmas

I was recently asked about how to make extra money for Christmas gift giving. As I thought about a good answer, I realized that there are no cookie cutter answers that will work for everyone. A part-time job might work for some but be too much for others. I have older children (my youngest is 5) and have much more independence than I did when my children were toddlers. Would it make sense for me to pick up a part-time job to earn some extra cash? Not for me. So, what can I do about being generous for Christmas on a limited budget? Here are some ideas.

Extra money

For some people, extra cash is the solution. For those that have little ones, a part-time job in addition to regular responsibilities is impractical unless that job could be done while kids are sleeping or could be done with the children.

Babysitting

Babysitting is a very part-time job I do. I can babysit with my children. (My children are an asset in this scenario because they are playmates with whomever I am watching.) Since it is the holiday season, there are more babysitting needs. There are office parties as well as extra shopping. Babysitting in this season doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment.

Selling

Selling what is sitting in your house is another idea. I don’t think we have a lot of stuff compared to some, but even I have things that could be put on eBay. There is a commitment of time to look for items that sales worthy, but a quick search on eBay is a way to find out if an item is marketable. The double bonus of this is losing clutter in the house.

 

Another sales idea is things that you can make. Since other people are in the market for Christmas gifts, putting together a teacher’s gift or office gift is a possibility. That takes time, skill, and investment on the front end but could be another income venue. If you can use the materials you already have (like scrap fabric), it’s even better.

There is another approach

I have not chased after extra money-making for Christmas (apart from selling MaryKay a thousand years ago), but I am content with my gift giving. For the most part, I give gifts that require my time and creativity.

Sewing

I don’t sew a lot, but I can make my way around a sewing machine—and I can research what I don’t know how to do. Most years, I break out the machine. I’ve made coffee cup sleeves, rice sack heating pads, and PJ pants. I am no master, but the gifts are enjoyed.

Photo Gifts

Every year, I make a photo book for the grandparents. I like to take pictures throughout the year, and creating a photo gift is getting easier each year as technology improves. The gifts are personal and well cherished.

Writing

One of my favorite gifts to receive and to give is a personal Christmas letter. My husband, kids, and I write a letter to each other. It is a personal gift that is gold to me.

The biggest piece of the puzzle for gift giving for me is heart. The point is not to fulfill another person’s fantasy. The point is to express love for another. There isn’t a dollar amount that can be placed on the value of love expressed in a gift. A heart-felt gift is generous in my book.

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