Thursday, November 27, 2008

Make a Difference this Christmas

Christmas time is full of joy and love. However it is also accompanied by the Christmas crunch, the inevitable desire to buy and spend loads of cash we know we don't have. But as we all know, this Christmas will be tighter for most of us than usual. Our wallets are on a diet and so are we. How can we still spread the cheer and merriment while short on moolah?

There are numerous ways to do this. Here's a short list:

1. Make a gift. Like the saying, it is the thought that counts. Any giftee that doesn't realize this, shouldn't count as worthy of a gift. One year, low on cash, I made a candle to give to my girlfriend at the time. I'm not the do-it-yourself arts and crafty type and it was a little messy. But overall, it was fun and successful.

2. Donate to a charity. There are a plethora of reputable and worthy causes that are waiting for your valuable money. Wouldn't it be nice to know the money you spend is getting better value than a monogrammed towel set?

3. Volunteer. Nothing shows your dedication than giving your time to a group in need of volunteers. You can help out at the local... anywhere. Church, hospital, shelter, zoo, school, fire dept., anything. But be sure that the place you give your time is worthy of it. Maybe they helped you or someone you know before.

4. Use your power. This is your time as a consumer to flex your spending muscle. Don't buy from companies or entities you don't know, trust or believe in. Be a responsible consumer.

5. Save a tree. Send an e-card.

6. Gift yourself (and those around you). Grow your own food and give yourself good health for the months and years to come. You can get some organic, heirloom, or rare seeds here and start your own garden.

Just some ideas to keep the Christmas season merry on a low budget. Before you blow the money you don't have on needless gifts, try one of these ideas.

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