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Can $150 buy a meaningful holiday gift giving experience for the entire family?

It’s Christmas – the most wonderful season of the year! Softly playing Christmas music and enchanting Christmas lights surround you as you stroll through the mall with throngs of Christmas shoppers.  You’re feeling generous and ready to spend, but when you open your wallet you discover that you have only $150 to lavish on the 10 people that make up your circle of family and friends.  Can you make it happen?
Think about this!  As well as your hard-saved cash, you also have your HEAD, HEART, AND HANDS.
The first thing I recommend is that you create a budget.  And remember that Christmas comes every year so you don’t have to buy everything this Christmas.   Next year and the year after that you can complete the set. Thinking of the longer-term will help you set a reasonable budget from the get-go.
if you have time and skills and patience, a handmade gift may be the way to go. One year I gave my spouse a desktop-sized Optimus Prime that I made out of cardboard. It took me almost 10 hours but cost nearly nothing.  He loved it! And If we hadn’t moved so many times in the past ten years, I would still have it to show you.  I have to admit that this was definitely a niche gift and one not likely to have wide appeal. But check out this article for ideas that might work for you: 20 Inexpensive Homemade gift ideas.
Sometimes a used item can be a wonderful gift (although a half-burned candle should not be one of your choices!) How about a great book from a 2nd hand bookstore – Peryton Books Saskatoon may surprise you with a rare and interesting read for less than $10 for your daughter or son-in-law who is planning a warm vacation this winter.
What is “brand new” anyway? Clothes from Winners or Marshall’s or Hudson Bay or Eddie Bauer’s or The Gap (to name a few Saskatoon stores) have likely been tried on many times before someone buys them. Just because an item has a tag, we consider it to be brand new. Guess what?  You can find trendy wear for all ages at Underground Trends in Market Mall and its Downtown location for a friction of its original price. How about getting a genuine leather jacket for $35?
Christmas is a giving season. If you are searching for a gift that is truly meaningful, consider donating in someone else’s name, or buy a gift that supports their favourite charity.  GoodCauseCoupon.com gives $15 to a local charity for each $25 digital coupon book sold online. These digital coupons provide special pricing at participating businesses in Saskatoon.
A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) might be THE gift you want to consider if you are buying for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. Now when you contribute to a child’s RESP, the government gives the child free money too. Through the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), the government will match 20% of each dollar you put into a RESP, up to an annual limit of $500, and a lifetime maximum of $7,200 per child. There are a wide range of investment options available for RESPs so the money grows tax-free.
Check this page on Affinity Credit Union for information on this topic and give a gift for the future.
There are some gifts that you cannot put a price on.  What about creating a personalized “gift certificate” that contains one or more time-limited offers to make your loved ones feel valued and appreciated?  These might include a homemade dinner, doing laundry for a month, or vacuuming the house weekly for two months.  My favourite is a “You’re right, no questions asked” pass.
By trying some of the ideas I’ve proposed above, I’m confident that you can make that $150 stretch to make every one of your loved ones feel special this Christmas!