This time of year is filled with lots of gift giving. Whether it's for your neighbors, your boss, co-workers, PTA members, family or friends - your shopping list can get really long really fast. And, as we are all more and more mindful these days of our budgets, these lists can become VERY expensive. With this economy, that's something we could all afford to cut down on. The stress on your budget at this time of year can lead to cost-cutting in other important areas that can impact lifestyle choices like healthy eating, physical fitness, adequate sleep, and the generally unpleasant feeling of heightened stress levels personally.
So, this week, as part of The Pink Cart Team's efforts to help you all have a Healthy Holiday, we are offering up some wallet-friendly ways to cover your gift list this year. We hope this will let you cut down your holiday budget, cut out the unhealthy lifestyle choices, reduce your physical and emotional stress levels and keep you focused on taking care of yourself - the most important step in keeping yourself breast cancer free. Let's get to it!
DIY GIFTS - These "Do It Yourself" gifts can be fun and affordable. Picking a gift with a minimal number of components and looking for deals on the supplies you do need can help keep this a manageable gift option. You can also personalize a lot of lower cost gifts you would find in a store such as picture frames or journals by adding a little crafty flare. Doing gifts like homemade soaps or candies can be a great way to take care of a lot of people on your list without having to come up with several different ideas. Giving a homemade gift shows that you took the time to create something special for that person, which often times means more than a high-priced item. Here is a great list of DIY Gift Ideas: 2011 Ultimate DIY Gift Guide
PERSONALIZED GIFT BASKETS - These are a great way to bring together a collection of lower cost items that can be a fun treat for the person you're gifting. Chocolate Lovers could indulge in M&Ms, candy bars, and baking chocolate for making their favorite treat - throw in a recipe for your double fudge brownies or hot chocolate and you have a personal yet inexpensive treat they'll really like. Themes such as Coffee Lovers, Movie Buffs, Sweet Tooth, or New Pet will be a big hit! Find more ideas here.
THE GIFT OF GIVING - The holidays back up onto the time of year when charities near and far are looking for your end-of-the-year donations. You can save time and funds by giving one gift of whatever amount you choose or can afford to your charity of choice and in your Christmas Cards let your friends, coworkers, neighbors, or whoever is on your list, know that you made a donation in their name to an organization that is doing important work in your community, in your country, or around the world. This is a truly meaningful gift that doesn't require you to spend above your means. Charity Watch can help you find a top-rated and reputable charity for whichever cause you are looking to support.
This year, you may also have someone on your list who was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer or has been fighting the disease for some time. Many times it is difficult to know exactly what to say or what to do to let that person know that you are there for them and want to support them in their Battle Against Breast Cancer. This year, take the Holidays as an opportunity to give something truly meaningful, and useful, to the women and men in your life who are experiencing breast cancer with their families. Here are some ideas, pulling from our list above.
DIY Gift: Paint a picture frame pink or use a paint marker to write a heartfelt message around a picture of the two of you or create a photo album of the moments you've shared. With so many things changing in their lives, it is comforting to know that some things, including relationships, will stay the same.
Personalized Gift Basket: Helping Hands themed basket could include 'vouchers' for help with housecleaning, an 'IOU' for a home-cooked meal you bring to their family once a week or once a month, 'coupons' for driving them to and from their doctors appointments - these small things add up to a lot for the families who have to rearrange their lives to help care for their loved ones fighting cancer.
Gift of Giving: Find a reputable breast cancer charity and make a donation in their name or their family's name. Give them a handwritten card explaining your gift and why it is important to you to support the Fight Against Breast Cancer.
We hope these gift ideas are helpful to you this holiday season. By saving some green you can spend more of your time Living Pink and doing everything in your power to make the lifestyle choices that will keep you cancer free. Whether you are trying to find just the right thing to give to a friend experiencing breast cancer or a trinket for a friendly neighbor, everyone will appreciate something homemade just for them.
Those are some of our thoughts - what about yours? Leave a comment and share your ideas for spreading holiday cheer without spreading yourself and your resources thin. Can't wait to see your ideas!