Seems that Christmas is everywhere we look. In some ways that makes me sad. I love Christmas lights and decorations and music, but they start it all so early anymore, I get burned out on it. I almost fear it will never come down in between.
But I am one who starts planning the day after Christmas each year for the next year where gifts are concerned. I am always looking at thrift stores, or clearance sales and the like to try to find gifts on the cheap for the next year. I am thrilled we started doing three gifts and a stocking a few years ago. It greatly cuts down on spending and expectations as far as the kids are concerned. And we try to get them some wants and some needs in the mix. Of course some gifts are really a combination, so maybe two things wrapped in one gift. We would do that in the case of headphones with a radio perhaps. This year one gift both my kids is getting is a junk food basket. This will contain things I know they like, that I don't normally buy. For DD for instance, she is getting poptarts as part of her gift this year. She loves them, I never buy them they are solid junk as far as I am concerned. But a treat here and there doesn't hurt anyone, so as part of a gift, I have no issue. She is also getting some Pepsi in hers as it is her favorite soda. These are things that unlike the normal home groceries, the receiver is not expected to share. They can share if they choose, but they are not forced to. This is a fairly inexpensive gift that I work in as I grocery shop for the couple of months before Christmas. I combine sales and coupons on all my shopping as much as possible (even these gifts). So in my grocery budget, if I have used coupons and have $10 left over, I can put it towards one of these gifts. Not everything in the box is "junk" food, but much of it is since I hardly ever buy them that any other time. I will give a list of some of the food gifts that are a hit in my family! Of course there are more, and it differs by person.
flavoring for bottled water
choc. milk powder
marshmallow creme (for making fluff)
I challenge you to come up with a creative gift this year, hopefully one that will save you money! Keeping in mind, that the amount of money you spent almost never has anything to do with how much someone enjoys it!