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No Money for Christmas: Ideas on What to Give on Christmas Without Spending a Single Cent

By Edited Sep 28, 2015 0 0

merry christmas

Besides celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is all about giving and sharing but in the current state of the economy, there isn’t a lot of money to go around for people’s basic needs, much less for buying expensive gifts for everyone. This results in many people actually dreading the season, to the point that an occasion that is supposed to bring cheer and goodwill instead promote stress (both physical and financial)

So can you still celebrate Christmas without spending? Of course you can. All you need to remember is that you can still give out gifts that people will appreciate, without spending a single cent. Here are some ideas you can mull on:

Cakes, Cookies, and Pastries

You probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard for this one! Cakes and cookies are very easy to bake and with the help of the internet, you will be able to find easy and delicious recipes that you can use. Remember, it’s all in the presentation – put them in old jars (make sure to clean and sterilize them first), tin cans or even in simple boxes and put colorful ribbons and wrappers. With a personalized gift tag, you are ready to give batches of your Christmas goodies to your family and friends!

Self-Narrated Audio books

Take advantage of technology. Sending out audio books that you have recorded yourself is one of the best ideas for purchase-free Christmas gifts. This is especially great if many of your family and friends enjoy audio books or kids who still enjoy being read to. Just pick up a short enough books or a short story that you love and have at it.

Photo Album

If social media is any indication, everybody loves photographs of themselves and their friends. You can take advantage of nostalgia for this one. Just look for old pictures that you can scan. If you have a lot of time in your hands, you can even create a scrapbook as a gift. While it may require a lot of effort, time and creativity, it will be appreciated. You don’t need to buy a new photo album – just rummage old unused construction papers or even magazines to make the pages of the album.

A collage of pictures could also make a great Christmas gift, especially if your collection of pictures is not enough to make a photo album. The collage can consist of the pictures, hand-drawn flowers, quotes and messages.

A Special Playlist

For your special someone, you can create a playlist. This is a very romantic way to show how much you love them. Pick his/her favorite songs and add some of the songs that you feel she needs to listen to. If you can carry a tune, why not sing a song, record it and give it as a Christmas present?


Try writing a poem. Compose something that would make your loved one feel even more special. Print it out and frame it, or you can send it hand-written, giving it a more personal touch. You can use the Internet to help you with fonts and design.

If you are not a poet, a message from the heart would also be great. Pick a prose of writing that you think the receiver would love, print and decorate it. You can put a frame on it or just laminate it to make it a bookmark.

To make your gift really personal and heart-warming, write a letter. It could be witty and simple, as long as you are sincere about it, it is a Christmas gift that will never be forgotten.

A Jar of Love

This is one of the best ideas for a purchase-free Christmas gift. However, remember that this ‘jar of love’ is a project that needs a lot of time, creativity and effort. It is recommended to start this a couple of months before the holidays especially if you have several favorite people on your list.

First, you need to find a nice and clean jar, vase or glass. A small one will do. Forget about the lid – you can create your own. You can easily do this by using a fabric or a colored paper towel. Cut the piece in a circular shape (2 inches bigger than the lid itself). Look for spare ribbons/strings for the cover.

What to put inside? Notes that could make the receiver smile. It could be their favorite quotes, photos, handwritten notes and small objects with special meanings (that movie ticket you watched together for the first time, that wrapper of the chocolate he/she gave you on your first date, those rose petals). You can also cut colored papers into different shapes (hearts, circles, triangles, flowers) with sweet notes such as ‘I love you’. Candies and chocolates can also be included in the jar. The possibilities are endless.


With some twine or yard, beads, jewelry, seashells and charms, you can easily create old-fashioned bracelets for everyone. If you have a collection of buttons, you can also make them into nice and fashionable bracelets. Research online to discover simple yet wonderful ways on how to create bracelets.

A few more ideas on free Christmas Gifts

  • Share your art this holiday season – a painting or a portrait sketch.
  • DIY Christmas card – this doesn’t go out of style.
  • Make old pillows look new and more fun – cut out old cute designs from old shirts and sew them into your kid’s pillows.
  • Use old news papers, maps, pieces of clothing and scarves for wrapping your Christmas gifts.
  • Make a cute puppet out of socks – children will love them!
  • Sew laptop/cell phone case from old but colorful cloths.

Times are hard but you can still make everyone (including you and your wallet) happy this holiday season by sending out no-cost Christmas gifts like the ones above.



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