Buying something old or second hand
can be used for something
new and something special

We'll get kids out the way first!
The problem we have is that we buy them so many thing's through the year, mainly to keep them up with 'street cred' etc., that it comes to Christmas and we have to go one further for fear of being seen as 'unfair' or a simple cheapskate!
Note how most shrewd Games Consule people just happen to introduce something about late November!

All this usually ends up with something well in excess of our means and a somewhat overloaded Credit Card deficit!
So, I think I'll stay clear of any definitive answers here and let you work out your own method!!

Christmas has simply become a social commercial excuse for Manufacturers and loads of other business's to put prices up to the highest amount possible, take the money and run.
Like Christmas Cards, we tend to buy people things because they are expecting it.
It's here that we have to make a decision and write down the exact people we are going to give a gift to and stick to it.

If you're like me and have a fairly large family with all the relating nephew's, niece's etc, buying for them all is going to be ridiculous unless you're loaded with cash!
Even then, you may be buying something for them that they either don't like, don't want or it's the wrong size as well! There's that polite "Oh thank you, it's lovely", then when you go round to see them, you never catch an eye of it!

Being frugal about gifts isn't about being a cheapskate, in so many ways it is returning to the true meaning of Christmas where cost doesn't enter into it, just the thought, the gesture and the feeling someone has received something personal to them.

Here's a few things I've done over the past seven years of downshifting.....

Taken a branch junction off a tree, removed the bark, varnished, then drilled holes for pens to be put in. A nice desk tidy and the receiver can be sure that no one else on this Planet has exactly the same!

Purchased pictures from Charity Shops, the one's with pictures no one buys, then taking it out, cleaning it up & putting a family or other personal photograph inside it.

When I've brought ornaments, I've always brought second hand. Why buy new when the look is the same to the right eye?

I've also made bars of Soap, Pendulums (see Hobbies and Interests) and Candles. The garden has produced sufficient to make Jams and Chutney's etc.
Probably my best 'effort' was 3 years ago, when I made a DVD of various family events and gave everyone a copy along with a CD of all my Family Research - just the cost of the blank discs!

Finally, there's the wrapping of your Christmas Gifts. Days were when straight after all the opening, I'd get a bin bag and put everything in there or have a jolly good bonfire a couple of days later.
If you take the presents out of paper carefully, you can quite easily re-use them the following year. If someone notices they have their own wrapping paper at least it's caused a smile - and that's what Christmas is about isn't it!!!
The small cards can simply be cut outs of the previous years Christmas Cards, so it's important to put aside appropriate one's when you're clearing up the walls on Twelve Night!

All this isn't just for those seeking a cheaper Christmas because they have to. Many people with a lot more money than us maybe do it. Why not, that's how they've got money and if the savings at Christmas can be used for a little extra on the summer holiday (adverts start about 6am on Christmas morning!!) - good show!

Nigel's Eco Store
Loads of eco-friendly gift ideas and a section of 'Under £10'! Have a look at the Eco-Kettle price!

It's not just frugal. It's going back to true Christmas meaning

Some ideas for less expensive presents.......
Garden Seeds
Cinema Gift Voucher
Nice Mug with chocolates inside
Gardening Gloves
Bird Feeders
Blank CD's

There are loads of Books on Amazon for under £5. Just go to their Home Page (you can click the logo below or use the Search Box), then a category and click the 'Under £5 link'.
At time of writing this, they have a 'Buy 3 for £12' category - well worth having a look at!

A couple of desk tidy's I use at Home.
Click for full size

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