Thursday, November 18, 2010

Frugal Christmas: More about Giving Homemade Coupons

Either it’s that hard to buy for person on your list
Or it’s someone with tastes bigger than your budget
Or your strapped for cash
Or you’ve plain and simple run out of ideas
Or you just don’t want to go on one more shopping trip.
Whatever it is- it saps your Christmas Spirit and starts making you think Scrooge wasn’t such a bad guy after all….

In this post, I shared this wonderful gift idea that just might help keep things Merry and Bright.
Food Coupons….
Now let’s expand on that….
A gift certificate.
No bah-humbugging allowed- I’m talking about a very special gift certificate that does not require much preplanning on your part.Give a gift that lasts the whole year through- and I’m not talking about the fruit of the month basket. A gift that carries anticipation beyond the season and doesn’t require extra effort from you right now in the midst of the season.

Let’s just go right to the idea: You’ll make up a pretty certificate that states:

Dear [insert name of loved one here]—You are receiving a very special Four Month Christmas Gift. On the first of each of the months listed below, we will deliver the following treats to your door:
February- A pot of homemade soup and a loaf of homemade bread
April- A bag of specialty coffee and fresh muffins
June- A special homemade cake
September- Apple pie

See- isn’t that wonderful? Who wouldn’t want to get a gift like this? And you don’t have to do anything right now besides make the certificate.

Another great gift— tie a certificate for dinner together to a couple of pretty fabric napkins and wrap it.

For Kids- a small stuffed animal and a certificate for a trip to the zoo. A golf ball and a certificate for miniature golf. For a boy- a couple of fishing lures and a certificate for a day of fishing. For a girl- nail polish and foot cream and a certificate for a spa day with you.

You get the picture! All it takes is to “think outside the box”. Instead of 4 months of foodie gifts you could set up four months of game nites or other activities. I’m sure once you get to thinking- you could think up some fun stuff!
The biggest thing is to not forget to give these gifts! Don’t leave it up to the recipient to cash in the certificate- set up specific dates/times (notice my certificate mentioned delivery on the first of the month). I marked my calendar a few days before for each foodie item on the list above. Giving myself time to make sure I had ingredients on hand and to make sure I called to set up a delivery time.
For the game nites- talk with your friends and set up a date- like the 3rd Thursday every other month.
For the kiddos- talk with their parents and set up a date- mark it on your calendar!
There is so much going on right now during this Christmas season, a gift that gives after all the hubbub dies down will be a special treat.

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