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The Lookout | January 20, 2018

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Bells jingle, pockets don’t

ShelbyColumnHeadBWAccording to the ubiquitous Christmas music, now is the time for joy, fun and pretending snowmen can talk.

Unfortunately, now is also the time for stressful gift shopping and empty wallets.

If you are anything like me, you also struggle with finding the perfect gift for the ones you love.

To help you get through the holiday season without breaking your bank or your spirit, here are five inexpensive and thoughtful gift ideas:

Food and sweets: Who doesn’t love food? There are hundreds of tasty recipes online for cookies, brownies and more. One year, I made popcorn and covered it with melted white chocolate I had turned green and red with food coloring. I put it into Christmas themed baggies for my friends. It was tasty and made a lot of gifts!

Do-it-yourself gifts: The best part about do-it-yourself gifts is that they are so unique. There are many DIY ideas online, so get creative!
My personal favorite source is www.the36thavenue.com/25-handmade-gifts-under-5 because the ideas are varied and there are tutorials for every gift.

Movie night package: Get a movie you know (or think) the person may like, pair it with popcorn and candy to give the gift of a relaxing evening. Discount media stores such as Disc Traders provide a large selection at a low cost.

Photographs: Anyone with a semi-decent camera can take an interesting photo. It can be a nature scene, a cute animal picture, or even a simple photo of you and the person you’re giving it to. Many stores can create photo gifts like canvases and mounted photos, though a nice-looking frame will do just as well.

Handwritten letter: Sometimes the best gift of all is to know you’re appreciated. A heartfelt letter could help you show someone how much you care about them even better than an expensive item from a store.

Similarly, an original poem about the holiday or the person receiving the gift would be memorable as well.

The holidays are meant to bring people together, not about lavish gifts or how much money is spent.

Buying gifts is not something to worry about, as the people who receive them enjoy them because they are from you.

You are OK, and you will get through this. Just breathe and enjoy the holidays.

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