Well, now it's really holiday time. Christmas is around the corner and we are continuously bombarded with the super store ads and mall messages that promote the great shopping for your Christmas gift giving needs. I think I speak for the majority when I say times are tough and I know I just can't afford to spend the money I used to, to complete my gift list. I've got some thoughts on some gift giving that will cost little and will give back to you many times over.
1. Take a family member hunting. I plan on giving my grandson a certificate from "Grampy" that will be good for 1 hunt of his choice; maybe turkey in the Spring or a Fall deer hunt. I'll let him decide what and when.
2. Take a family member fishing. Just like hunting, you can selectively choose how many to give out. If it works out well you might take a whole cartruck full of family members on the same fishing trip. Be it on a boat or streamside; it is a great getaway and will be appreciated.
3. I love tennis, so I will give my spouse several certificates good for just going to the courts and hitting with her. She loves to get her practice in, so I know she will appreciate this great gift.
4. Take family or friends hiking or camping. Again, a great venture may be in store and it's another reason to get into the great outdoors.
5. Build something: a bird feeder or house, a picnic table and benches, a garden work bench. There are plenty of ideas and plans are freely available on the internet. If you have the skills you can put your own effort into providing a loved one a gift that will be remembered every time it is used.
6. Go biking with a childgrandchild. I'm committed again to take my grandson, and soon my granddaughter, biking. We have some great biking trails in the area I live, so it's not hard to find a place where we can put in a few miles, stop for lunch, and be back home for supper.
7. Take your childrengrandchildren to a historic park. We are blessed in the south with many historic parks. Most are either free or charge a minimal entry fee. Be prepared to discuss the historic significance with your guests the make the most of your visit.
8. Go to a museum. My bank offers "free" weekends every month to some exciting museums in my area. I will use this benefit to take my grandchildren to some of the area's most exciting exhibits.
9. Are you the camp cook? If so, give a "cooking" lesson to family or friends. Teach them the secrets to your best meals and help them gain confidence in putting on the apron.
While I'm sure there are many more ideas for gift giving, these are ones I am thinking about giving to family and friends this holiday season. I expect the cost to be minimal, the pleasure to be great and the memories to be long lasting. A little thought will provide you a list of gifts you can put under your tree this Christmas that won't break the bank.
Happy holiday and enjoy the gifts that keep on giving.