Free Christmas gift ideas? Christmas gifts that cost nothing? Is that even possible?
It might come as a surprise to you that you can give gifts you didn’t even have to spend a dime on. But what probably is more surprising is the amount of money Americans spend on gifts.
According to Investopedia, American spending on holiday presents had been increasing since 2008. The Gallup survey also shows that American adults spent around $942 per gift per person in 2019. In 2018, the average cost of gifts among American consumers was $885.
Also, the PBS News Hour says that women spend a lot of time, as much as 15 hours, looking for that perfect gift. Additionally, women are more likely to go shopping during the holidays than men, shelling out a collective $1 trillion on gifts alone.
As we are in the midst of trying times, it’s more prudent to re-consider how much we spend on holiday gifts this year. So, I wanted to show you that we don’t have to over-commercialize gifting to our loved ones and save our wallets from financial distress. With lots of love and creativity, you can come up with meaningful and special Christmas gift ideas that are free.
Why Give Free Christmas Gifts?
Whether you decide to give free Christmas gifts this year out of choice or necessity, it’s good to remember that not giving costly gifts is also very beneficial in many ways. Here are top reasons why you should consider giving free Christmas gifts:
- It won’t cost you money – gifts can be expensive. If you’re trying to trim down your holiday spending and use the money elsewhere, you can opt to not shop for gifts.
- You put more thought on it – you won’t buy things just for the sake of having something to give. You go beyond the price tag and beauty of an item and think of gifts that would be more useful, practical, and thoughtful for your recipients.
- You’ll put your personal touch – giving personalized and homemade Christmas gifts carry more meaning than just another generic mug you see on the store. Your recipient will always be reminded of you each time they see and use your gift.
- You’ll put more meaning on the occasion – instead of focusing on the materialistic side of Christmas, you learn to put more value on things that are much more important – the gift of a family — which is, by the way, priceless.
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Free Christmas Gift Ideas: Sweet Presents That Cost Nothing
Swapping items with your friends and family is one of the best ways to give and receive Christmas gifts without spending. You can introduce them to the things you really love or give them something of yours that they’ve always wanted. For me, this is a wonderful win-win set up for everybody. Some of the things you can swap come Christmas time are:
- Home decors
Time as a present
Time is a luxury that not everyone has. And it could be just the perfect gift when you don’t know what to give when you have no money. If you can dedicate a few hours or days over the holidays and give them your gift of time, you could them some relief during this busy season. You can offer the following services as holiday gifts that don’t money:
- Watching over their kids or pets
- House-sit for them
- Clean and tidy up their home
- Help them in the garden
- Help them decorate for the holidays
- Drive for them
Make something from scratch
So, you have some time in your hands and you have the flair to DIY, then why not create a handmade gift? These gifts have a more personal touch and what you need to make them are just lying around at home or in the kitchen. Here are some of the best handmade gift ideas for friends and family:
- Bath salts
- Sugar scrubs
- Lip balms
- Oatmeal soaps
- Hand sanitizers
- Scented candles
- Customized luminaries
- Stovetop potpourri
Teach a skill for free
Lessons and tutorials can be costly. If you know a certain skill or work a specific profession that someone in the family has been wanting to learn, you give them those lessons for free. These non-commercial gift ideas include free lessons on:
- Playing musical instruments
- Playing sports like basketball and football
- Cooking and baking
Give them food
Food is a gift that never gets old. But you don’t have to spend much on ingredients if you can make something that’s both useful and has a long life-span. Instead of spending on lavish treats, give them something that they can use quite often, such as the following:
- Fruit and vegetable preserves
- Spice rubs
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Homemade jams and jellies
Create something useful at home
How to buy Christmas gifts with no money? Do it yourself! Do you have the knack for sewing, knitting, or creating useful items? Giving away these handmade items aren’t just thoughtful and sweet, but basically costs little to nothing too. Plus, you’re sure they’ll come in handy for anyone who receives them:
- Oven mitts
- Tea towels
- Knitted blankets
- Canvas shopping bags
- Wooden glass coasters
- Spice racks
Give sentimental family gifts
Sentimental gifts are perfect for people who love to keep reminded of the kind you love you share as a family. Here are some heartfelt gift ideas that are perfect especially for family who live far away:
- Photobooks or albums featuring occasions like family reunions, family vacations, first birthdays and anniversaries
- Home videos saved digitally, in a flash drive or CD
- Mixtape of their all-time favorite music
Give green presents
These gifts are perfect from one green thumb to another. Allow your recipient to experience the joy of growing plants right from their own windowsill, pots or garden. Here are a few things you can consider:
- Potted flowers
- Herb seeds and cuttings
- Seeds of fruits and vegetables
Crafted gifts are special because you’ll always bear your personal touch on them. With some crafting materials and a dose of creativity, you can come up with free meaningful Christmas gifts that will always be treasured by your recipients:
- Perpetual calendars
- Cookbook of compiled family recipes
- Framed photos
- Souvenir box
- Handwritten letters
- Physical photo albums
Free Christmas Gift Ideas: It’s The Thought That Counts, Always!
I believe you can’t place a price on thoughtfulness, so it doesn’t matter if you spent a fortune or nothing at all on Christmas gifts. But on the practical and frugal side, I think these free Christmas gift ideas can go a long way in stretching your holiday budget.
Instead of spending money on gifts, you can put the money that you’re supposed to spend on presents on your financial goals, such as your retirement fund, college saving for your kids, family vacations, and other things that truly matter to you.
Or, you could use that amount to pay down debts and consider that as a holiday gift for your self.
Do you have free Christmas gift ideas that are cheap or cost nothing? Do share it with us in the comments.