Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Just ask Andy Williams if you don’t believe us. What isn’t mentioned in this slice of classic festive crooning, however, is just how expensive the Yuletide season can be.
For some people, Secret Santa is an additional financial burden they could do without. All the same, such individuals may prefer not to duck out of the process lest they labelled a Grinch.
If money is tight this year but you’d still like to take part in Secret Santa, there are some suggestions for DIY gifts that bring a personal touch without breaking the bank.
Few things are more personal than a hand-knitted item of clothing. This isn’t a challenge to undertake lightly. If you do not know how to knit, December 1st isn’t the time to make a start.
If you do have this skill in your arsenal, however, a knitted hat, gloves or scarf will likely be welcomed. You can find a raft of free patterns and designed all over the internet for inspiration, such as these super jolly knitted Santa patterns. The mindful act of knitting may even take your mind off all the stress of Christmas.
A Personalised Poem or Story
How well do you know your recipient? If you’re comfortable doing so, you can pen them a personalised piece of creativity. A poem, for example, could be framed and presented. Just avoid using this opportunity to declare any long-held feelings of unrequited love. This is not the time or the place.
Another approach could be to rewrite a classic book. That’s easier than you may realise. Most work older than 75 years is out of copyright. If so, you can find the text online, copy and paste it into MS Word, and use good old-fashioned find and replace to personalise it. This way, you can rewrite your recipient’s favourite literature with them and their family as the protagonists.
One of the best things about Christmas is the invitation to eat our body weight without judgment. Worries about the waistline can wait until January 1st, when we all invariably start a crash diet and rejoin the gym for the umpteenth time (this time we’re really going to attend regularly, though.)
There’s another universal truth about festive food, though – nothing purchased from a shop tastes quite as appealing as a home-baked cake or batch of biscuits. If you’re a dab hand in the kitchen, and your recipient has a sweet tooth, a personal recipe will go down an absolute storm. You can even repurpose and decorate a cereal box for low-cost but tailored packaging.
Future Favour Vouchers
If you’re struggling for both time and financial resource, take a, “gift now, pay later approach” to your Secret Santa gift. This can be achieved by drawing up a book of favours that can be cashed in across the year ahead in the form of vouchers.
Tread carefully with this one when offering to a work colleague. It doesn’t matter how innocent your offer of a shoulder massage is intended to be – you’ll still end up sitting in front of HR explaining why your name is trending on Twitter.
You could offer valued favours though, such as offers to swap unfavourable shifts upon request with no questions asked, or the offer to take on busywork that you know a colleague hates. For friends of family members, offers of free babysitting or a home-cooked meal will likely be welcomed.