Free Last Minute Gifts That Cost Nothing.
Three days before Christmas. Your paycheck is not what you hoped. You have not bought gifts for everyone. And you’re not sure how you’re even going to pay the bills let alone celebrate the holidays. You’re not alone. This is a very stressful time of year for many people. 2021 has been a very difficult year with job loss, health problems, feeling uncertain about the future and how things will be as we look towards 2022. So, here are some free last minute gifts, you give to your friends and family.
Holiday Gift Ideas That Cost You Nothing
- Night on the Town where you provide the free babysitter. It could even be an overnight event. Tell them to make a date and let you know when your services are needed.
- Meals on Wheels. You can pick dates that work for your budget and time and bring the lucky friend a dinner, ready to eat. What busy person would not love to come home to a home cooked meal. Give them a calendar with dates circled when they are not to cook.
- Maid for a Day Service. Go in and clean their home for them, help them with a spring clean out or yard services in the spring. What ever your friend would find the most helpful. Older people and busy families are sure to love this one.
- Nanny For a Day. If you are close friends offer them a day where you take over. Get the kids up, off to school, pack the lunch, pickup from school and take to extra curricular events. Make dinner, do the homework routine, and get them into bed. A parents dream day!
- Date with Me Day. Pick a day or event and take someone for an outing. It can be out for a coffee or maybe a picnic in the park. Give them all the details about what the day will involve and then pick the date.
Our Favorite Free Last Minute Gift Idea
12 Months of Christmas. Arguably my favorite idea EVER!! If you have older kids and just can not afford to give them Christmas gifts this year, give them the 12 months of Christmas instead. 12 gift certificates for a gift arriving on the 25th of each month. You can vary the gifts. Some stocking stuffer sized and others larger depending on your budgets. For families with more than one child, alternate the gifts received each month. One month one child gets something smaller and the other a larger item. Set a monthly limit as to what you can afford and divide the money between the children. Advantages are that you do not have to pay for everything up front or carry credit card debt with high interest rates. The kids have something to look forward to each month, and they are not without a gift on Christmas
Gift Certificate Examples
Here are some ideas. September their certificate could be for a haircut at the local salon. Think about how much you can spend and set a limit on the card so they do not go in with an expectation of Hollywood hair. In the summer months offer them an hour of stand-up paddleboard rental. If your child loves movie theatre popcorn, give them a coupon for a movie theatre popcorn treat. (Did you know you can just go to the theatre and buy just popcorn?) The coupons could be for outings with you or friends. Think about the time of year and something you may have to buy them already such as new shoes for summer and give them a coupon for new shoes in May. Have fun with this. Get Creative.
The Flip Side of the Holidays
Often the people that need the most help do not ask for it. This holiday season, if you know someone struggling, send them a delivery of Christmas treats, things they may not be able to afford but are fun for everyone. Put together all the ingredients for a special breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a night of festive fun. Show up with the goodies and a new board game or deck of cards and have fun together. Or, have Skip the Dishes, Door Dash, or their favorite restaurant arrive unexpectantly. You can secretly pay a portion of their utility bill. Oh and here is the best part, you don’t need to tell them it was from you so they do not feel as though they need to reciprocate. How fun are surprises !
Christmas should not break the bank and be stressful. Think of small thoughtful things that say thank you for being you and a part of my life. Make this holiday a time we celebrate together as a family. Today, rethink the spirit of the holiday season and go back to the time when it wasn’t about what was under the tree but rather who was around it.