This article, entitled "Controlling the Little Extras of Christmas," comes from partner site SavingsAngel.com.
Little extras when gift-giving can add up to big bucks. Use these suggestions to save on them.
Don’t wait to shop stocking stuffers. Some of the best prices on small items will be found in the days leading up to Christmas. Watch sales for candy and gum, small toys, batteries, Christmas-themed items, personal items like razors and special soaps, and more.
Wrapping and Tags
Save on gift tags by using up the odds and ends of Christmas card sets. You can either cut out the pictures on the front or use them whole. If you have kids or grandkids, let them write a keepsake-worthy personal message to loved ones.
Use scrap or extra paper from school, work, or from printing items out at home to wrap small gifts. Wrap blank side out, and decorate. This is another way for kids to be involved in gift-giving as they go crazy with their creations.
Another idea is to use fabric you do not need. Or even consider cutting the sleeves off a stained shirt to make a gift “bag”. Creative options make for interesting conversation and great holiday memories.
Avoid the time writing, and expense buying gift tags – just use different wrap for each person. For example, if you have 2 children: wrap one child’s gifts in one wrap, the other’s in different wrap. This saves time, and receivers can immediately tell which gifts are theirs. Likewise, wrap items that are identical, but for multiple people, in the same wrap. For example, if you give gifts to teachers, hairdressers, employees, etc., just wrap them all the same. That way, you won’t have to tag them, or try to remember whose is whose.
Decorating your gifts
Use homemade ornaments, or ones you thin from your collection, instead of ribbons or bows.
Photographs make great personalized gifts or even package decorations. Think of those school photos you keep meaning to get out to people! As a gift, you can keep this inexpensive for you, and easy for the recipient, by giving the photo already framed. The easiest are acrylic, magnetic frames.
Forget expensive greeting cards. Unless you shop bargains, greeting cards are outrageous – and aren’t necessary when giving a gift. Consider using one of the options above instead OR just write the person’s name and a little note right on the wrapping paper.
Sending Christmas cards
If you still love to send Christmas cards, there are a lot of ways to save on them. Consider writing a Christmas letter on the computer, or handwriting your message on Christmas themed paper, rather than cards. Then mail in a plain envelope, decorated with a Christmas sticker over the seal on the back. 100 pieces of Christmas stationary will cost less than $10. Want cards? Try the dollar store for packages before buying anywhere else.
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