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Are there meaningful, cost-efficient holiday ideas?

Gifts do not have to be expensive to be fabulous. If you have the time, handmade gifts such as crafts or food are among the most thoughtful gifts you can give, and can be made at a fraction of store-bought price. Another thrifty idea is re-gifting. Items such as crystal and art make great candidates for giving to another once you have enjoyed them and are ready to pass them along. As an added bonus, you can give something that has had special meaning to you, which adds another dimension to the gift.

Sometimes the best gift is one of experience, not material substance. Your children will remember the trip to the lake fishing for years, but three months from now they probably won’t remember the video game they are dying for. And for your friends, have a party and have them bring a toy for a children’s charity in lieu of buying gifts for each other, and make it a good old fashioned potluck so everyone contributes.

“My family has a "white elephant" game during Christmas where the whole family wraps up knick-knacks and other small items to go into a pot of gifts at the annual Christmas party. Then, we roll a set of dice and if you get a double (i.e. two 2s, 4s, 5s, etc.), you get to pick out a gift. It's loads of fun - and cheap too!” – Craig Steinhoff, CPA