But when trying to get a handle on the holiday budget, this doesn’t always work. More time and money should be put into the gift itself, not the wrapping. The ideas presented in this part of the Budget Cutting Tips series can look just as inviting as the expensive wrapping without depleting the bank account. And even a non-crafty individual can put together a fun and imaginative gift with little effort.
Take advantage of the discount stores. Some locations even have department store items for pennies on the dollar. It is even better if these items can be purchased on clearance after the holidays and then saved for the following year. For this holiday season, if leftovers from last year are not available, there are still lots of ideas that can be put together for very little cost.
Things like gift bags, flat gift wrap, cards and tags and the like do not have to be purchased at full retail price. The key is to shop around, watch for sales, and grab them before they’re gone. Stock up on some extras when available, and store them in a large plastic tub where they can be easily found when needed. Rolled gift wrap can be found at low cost, though typically the “cheap” rolls have less square footage than regular gift wrap. Do the math to make sure it’s a smart buy.
The good news is that there are many different ways to “wrap” a gift than just regular wrapping paper. Gift baskets can also often be found at discount stores, or even second-hand stores. And they make a very handy re-usable item after the gift has been opened. They’re a great way to present several small gifts all together. There are even other practical gift holders that can be used, like laundry baskets for household gift items, utensil caddies for kitchen gadgets, holiday tins for sweets or beverage mixes, etc. The sky’s the limit when it comes to original ways to present gifts.
As for the actual arrangement when using one of these multi-purpose containers, feel free to be creative, even if creativity is not a typical ability. Go for fun and whimsical, or elegant and old-fashioned. Either way, go for it! Several gift items can be assembled into the gift holder and left plain if the items are themselves packaged with pizazz. Otherwise, for a little more flare, wrap the holder with clear cellophane and tie the top with a ribbon. Add a festive holiday pick, the ones that have a small artificial sprig of pine and a mini ornament or a tiny red cardinal. Or snip a little sprig of holly from the neighbor’s bush. Dried leaves, pinecones, mistletoe, even a personalized ornament can give a gift that special added touch.
Whatever the theme, every gift can be presented with color, originality and love. These are the best kind of gifts. They are not only fun to give but are exciting to receive, and bring put a smile to everyone’s face.