Spend Your Money Wisely This Christmas

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Every year, it seems like Christmas is getting more and more expensive. It’s not that you mind spending all of that money, but somehow it seems to lose the true spirit of the holiday season. Of course, gifts are a traditional part of Christmas, but the more you spend, the more impersonal your gift seem to be. Rather than maxing out your credit cards, wouldn’t it be a better idea if you did something more personal – something that shows that you have put in some thought and effort because you care for the person who is receiving the gift?

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If you are a whiz in the kitchen, or even if you are willing to give it a go, why not bake some of your Christmas gifts this year? For example, make a number of fruitcakes, and then wrap them in fancy red or green transparent film and then tie off with gold ribbon to create a truly festive holiday gift. Alternatively, preserves and jams are always a favorite – particularly if you give someone a selection of these in nice jars. Fresh fruit can be expensive around the holiday season, so you may want to make these well in advance – for example, take a trip down to your local market during the summer months, and pick up juicy, fresh fruit that you preserve right away, and then store until the holiday comes around.

For something slightly stronger, homemade wine and beer makes a welcome gift, particularly if you do something out of the ordinary. For example, why not try making some fruit beers, or even dandelion wine. This can cost you as little as a dollar a bottle for really good wine, so you could even afford to give someone an entire case as a gift. Just make sure that you try a sample of each of the wines that you make before you give them away – homemade wine can be absolutely gorgeous, but it can taste awful if things go wrong.

A completely different approach to gift giving is to do something good on behalf of the recipient. One of the most popular ways of doing this is making a donation to charity in their name. Obviously, you need to make sure that they are the sort of person who will appreciate this, but if they are, it will give both you and them a warm glow. For example, you could make a donation to help the relief efforts in the Philippines – donating to the Philippines through TransFast.com is a good way of doing this, since they have waived all fees for money transferred to a number of Filipino charities.

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Finally, consider not giving any gifts at all, and instead use part of the money that you have saved to throw the best Christmas party ever. If a number of you get together to do this, then you will have enough money to plan something truly spectacular – the memories will last a lot longer than giving someone a coffee maker.