Thursday, September 21, 2017

Use Your Talents for a Christmas Without Debt!

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Do you ever get to the holiday season and panic?  Wonder where the money is going to come from to buy gifts, decorations, cards, and all the foods and candies that in our mind seem to make our December the most costly month of the year?  Do you wonder how you can cut down on the stress of the holiday and do more than just survive but actually do something you haven't done since you were a child -- ENJOY Christmas to the fullest?

The goal of this series is to arrive at Christmas without debt and to be better prepared.  Christmas isn't an emergency, and it's something we can plan for, and planning takes preparation and time.  This month I'm going to focus on homemade gifts.

For some crafts it's a little late to be starting on a project now.  (Think of an intricate cross stitched Christmas stocking.)  But there's still time to make an afghan or sweater for someone.

First, think about what talents you have.  You used to knit but haven't picked up those needles  or your crochet hook in years?  Now is the perfect time to do so.  There are plenty of free patterns on the Internet or you could buy one off of eBay or from etsy at your skill level.  If you love to crochet but haven't done it in years, there are now ergonomic crochet hooks with large handles!  Are you a skilled woodworker but your family has never received any of your gifts?  Maybe you should think about giving everyone -- or even one person a gift you created with your own hands.  My mother didn't have much talent in handicrafts, but she was a skilled writer, and she often wrote a new book or story each year for family.  Now it's easier than ever to publish on Amazon Kindle and get a paperback printed from that, so not only can your family enjoy the story but you can earn some money on it as it is shared with others.  If it's a more private story, you can look into Blurb.

Also, think about crafts you could make and sell if you have given everyone gifts you have made. With the Facebook yardsale pages, you can sell your items locally and still have the joy of creating.

This is the month I want to encourage you to purchase your supplies for your crafting gifts and get started!  If you already are making a number of gifts, just set a little extra money aside for this Christmas -- or purchase supplies for next year's gifts.  (Any excuse reason to buy more yarn, right?)  Alternately, if you have time before now and Christmas, plan on making a gift for someone else, even if it's for someone you don't know and donate to charity.  If you decide to write something or give everyone a photo you have taken, start planning now for whatever you need for the project.  It could be paper, finding a place that does binding (most office stores can spiral do a spiral bound book for very low cost), or whatever else your project entails. -- plan for it now and set aside that money this month, even if you don't purchase all that is needed right now.  Alternately, if you aren't making gifts, instead of purchasing supplies, maybe think about buying a handmade gift for someone and go ahead and purchase it.  This provides you with a gift for someone, and provides the craftsman with some cash, so it benefits everyone.

It's not difficult to plan ahead for Christmas, and with fall approaching, it's the perfect time to be curled up watching TV while cross stitching.

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