Life has been great since we started our farm and permaculture became part of our life. On the flip side, we also started realizing that, although growing food is personally rewarding; it is part of a lifestyle that won’t make us rich. Farmers and homesteaders are seldom well to do, and that is fine with us.
Not having a truckload of cash can be a bit of a challenge at times, especially during the Christmas season. Don’t despair as there is an excellent solution. You can always make gifts!
Homemade Gifts by You
Many folks believe that homemade gifts have to be intricate and perfect. That could not be homemade gifts further from the truth. It is the thought and effort that counts. Adults have skills, and kids can make drawings; learn to sing a new song, cut out pictures for greeting cards, and help bake cookies.
Don’t have fancy gift bags, paper, and boxes, decorative bowls, or serving plates? Buy decent-looking wrapping supplies at second-hand stores and garage sales throughout the year.
I firmly believe that everyone has skills that can be used to make gifts. Put some of the vegetables and fruits you grew in a basket. With all the scandals hitting the news in recent years, people truly appreciate non-contaminated, delicious-tasting, all-natural foods. Is there nothing left in the garden after the season?
I often gift canned spicy pumpkin butter, turkey soup, and jams. I also add a small jar of dehydrated parsley and hot red peppers to the package.
Gift Certificates from the Heart
Are you a new permit and your garden barely produced enough for your family? Is money tight due to lay-offs, inflation, and no more bonuses? Create gift certificates. You have talents and can offer services like house cleaning, helping with a move, organizing a room, pruning trees, babysitting, companionship, or helping a loved one or neighbor start a vegetable garden.
This last suggestion is great, especially when you are trying desperately to convince someone that growing food can help them survive tough times. Job security and peace are no longer a guarantee in this day and age.
Homemade Gifts by Children
I firmly believe that homemade gifts are a perfect solution to bring people closer together. Involve your entire family, including your kids. Age does not matter as all children have something to contribute. Asking them to participate also teaches them the value of homemade gifts.
You can even turn the event into a fun family activity, encouraging creativity, and teaching your offspring a few new skills. Kids will, generally, not refuse attention, especially when baking cookies, and licking spoons.
Usually, modern children are spoiled. They receive expensive electronics, fancy games, homemade gifts, and luxurious gifts. They have a “give me” attitude and no longer recognize the true meaning of gifting.
As bad as this statement sounds, this attitude often changes when these girls and boys are given the opportunity and are encouraged, to make presents.
Suddenly, they realize how much work is involved in homemade gifts. They also have to think about the recipients and what makes them happy. Give the kids a budget for supplies, and they learn the value of money as well.
The mainstream media lies when telling us that the economy is growing, and the future is rosy. Statistics are altered to prevent panic and keep us in check. Just look around. More often than not, your family and friends are experiencing financial setbacks and difficulties.
This being the case, they will appreciate homemade gifts and your thoughtfulness. Share your garden harvest, chicken and duck eggs, and talents this Christmas season and every special occasion beyond. It will save your pocketbook and will bring you all closer together.