Every year I approach this season wishing I had more to give. While we have been able to eek out gifts for our children and close family from our often meager budget throughout recent years, I always come to this point hoping to find a way that I can at least extend some token to those who are not related by blood but who have been gathered into our inner family circle none the less. Of course I know they don’t need or expect a gift, they understand where we are coming from and would never feel slighted if a package was never received, but I still wish I could do something!
So today I want to share with you some simple but heartfelt ideas for how you may be able to bless your friends this holiday season with more than a verbal, “Merry Christmas!” I have tried to keep the ideas under $15 (at the most) but have them still be meaningful and well appreciated… aka- things people would actually want, not just stuff for the sake of stuff. Ya know?
A Personalized Journal. Who doesn’t love something with their name on it? And well, give me anything paper or office supply-oriented and I’m downright giddy (I know- it’s odd but I’ve heard I’m not the only woman with this particular fetish)! Grab a simple art journal or even a moleskin, a few decorative pens and go to town on the cover of that baby. You could even add little verses or messages throughout on some of the pages. To make it extra fun, pick one with a black cover and use a chalk pen to embellish the cover (just make sure to cover it in a nice layer of Mod Podge when you’re finished so I doesn’t rub off). Let the journal stand alone as a gift or include a fun pen or some pretty paper clips or sticky notes. Wouldn’t you be delighted to receive something like that? I know I would!
A Goody Basket. A bottle of sparkling cider, a mini loaf of some holiday bread, a few fun Christmas treats you’ve made. This is a great one if you are wanting to bless a whole group of friends. A little baking goes a long way and can easily be divided up between many. Attach little notes to each treat, maybe with how you prayed for your friends while you baked. You could also include the recipes for each item (handwritten on some cute recipe cards is always more personal and fun). If you have a little but more money to work with then head on over to Target or Walmart and look through their cheap old movies (they are usually no more than $5) and find a fun chick flick from days gone by to throw in there as well. Who knows, your little goody basket could be the catalyst for an all out girl night! Which brings me to my next idea…
Girl Night! Ship the kiddos to the grandparents, tell the hubs to go hang with the guys and invite one or two of your best girlfriends over for chick flicks, popcorn, ice cream and chocolate! Send them a fun invitation in advance about how you just want to bless them for an evening this holiday season and then giggle the night away. Take up another notch by breaking out the nail polish for some mani-pedis! Just make sure that everyone understands one important detail- PJs are required!
Bath in a Bag. Who doesn’t love to relax? And let’s face it, we mamas could use all the help we can get! Pick up an inexpensive bath/make-up bag (you should be able to find one for around $5-7) and then fill it with yummy homemade bath products. Bath salts are super simple to whip up with your favorite therapeutic grade essential oils and Epsom salts. You could jazz them up a little bit more by adding some herbs like calendula leaves, lavender or even rose petals. Whip up a little bit of luxurious body butter with just coconut oil and therapeutic grade essential oils too (Frankincense is especially awesome for the skin). Maybe you could even get extra adventurous and try making your own lip balm or soap- the possibilities are endless!
Flowers. This one might seem silly or trivial, but seriously, how often do you receive flowers? Like…. never? But wouldn’t you like to receive some every now and then? I know I would! Especially in the winter when it’s so hard to find anything green, a simple and inexpensive bouquet of flowers in a cute little mason jar with a bow of burlap and lace could just be the perfect thing to bless your friend’s socks off! You could even get her one of those little Amaryllis kits that bloom in the winter so that your gift will last the whole season long.
Use Your Gifts! Do you love to sew, or knit, or paint? Make something for your friend from whatever it is you love to do! A pretty scarf, a new canvas with a pretty painting you did yourself, a fun new pair of pajamas sewn with your own two hands- the options are endless! Feeling uninspired, hop on Pinterest for about .27 seconds and your guaranteed to find something that fits the bill! It doesn’t have to be extravagant, or expensive or something you are just totally not good at, but making something from the heart is a wonderful way to show you care!
A Letter. Sometimes words can be the most meaningful gift of all. Pick out a pretty piece of stationary and write down why exactly it is that you think she is so awesome! Tell her why you are thankful for her and how she has blessed your life. Tell her how you are hue here’re for her through thick and thin. Putting your commitment to your friendship down on paper can encourage a whole new level of friendship between you that will only continue to blossom in the coming months of years. A little bit of vulnerability is a beautiful thing in friendship. Go out on a limb and tell her!
So there you have it- my top seven ideas for how to bless your friends in meaningful ways this Christmas season without breaking the bank!
I’d love to hear what you have done or what you are planning to do for your friends this year as well! Share your ideas in the comments below!