The holiday season is all about spending quality time with friends and family, but let’s be honest—it can also be the most stressful time of the year! From figuring out plans to shopping for gifts, winter is the season that tests our sanity… and our budget! With all those expenses coming up all at once (and perhaps worries about not being able to afford everything), it’s natural to be slightly apprehensive about how you will manage to find an affordable gift for all your loved ones. Fret not, we have you covered! Read on for free Christmas gift ideas that your friends and family will love, allowing you to spend less this Christmas!
Buying vs Making Presents
Let’s keep it real – buying a gift is an easy option, provided you have the funds and know a little something about the person you’re buying for. But…
Does ordering a gift online or handing a credit card at the checkout really say ‘I love you’? We think that putting effort into making something special for your loved ones is a far better way to express your love and wish merry Christmas! And you will save a ton of money along the way by making these free Christmas gifts!
Edible Christmas Gift Basket
Yes, I know what you’re going to say – ingredients to make edible gifts cost money! But hear me out! If you get organised in advance you can create beautiful (and delicious) Christmas hampers for your family and friends without spending extra money. Start thinking about making gifts in the summertime, when fruit and veg are abundant! Go foraging, or grow our own in the garden/ windowsills and start making those free Christmas gifts in summer! Whether it’s a jam made with plums growing in your garden, homegrown chilli chutney or mint tea (from dried mint leaves that grew on your windowsill), your loved ones are sure to be impressed with the efforts to make them something delicious.
And if you are stuck for ideas, head to our guide on Edible Christmas Gifts That You Can Make In Advance!
Employ The Internet To Make Free Christmas Gifts
Most of us have broadband at home, and there is nothing more valuable than the internet when you’re looking to make free Christmas Gifts. Not only is the Internet full of ideas, but you can also create beautiful gifts online that won’t cost you a penny! Here are some of the free Christmas gift ideas that you can make online.
1. Create An E-Book About Something You’re Knowledgeable About
Instead of buying a book, why not share your knowledge with your friends and family by writing your own? If you are creative, write a short novel, a short story (maybe a bedside storybook for children in the family), or express yourself through poetry.
And if you don’t consider yourself a creative writer, share some practical knowledge:
- Are you a good cook, and have a bunch of recipes that your loved ones should benefit from?
- Do you pride yourself on your time-management skills and could give your friends invaluable advice?
- Could you write a book about gardening?
- Do you work in retail and have plenty of tips on how and when to get the best bargain?
No matter what you do for a living, or what walks of life you come from, you are sure to have the skill or knowledge that someone else may benefit from. Believe me, everyone will be impressed if you present them with a short e-book! Especially if you create a beautiful cover and make it look professional. There are plenty of free tools online to use for this purpose like Canva.
Create a Playlist
If you and your friends subscribe to any of the music or video streaming services, here’re some frugal Christmas gift ideas for you:
- Make a Christmas playlist that could be used for your friend’s Christmas party!
- Make a playlist of all the songs that remind you of them with a letter explaining why.
- Save a list of films (movies) that you think your friends will enjoy.
Create a Useful Printable For A Free Christmas Present
We all could use a bit of help organizing our lives, right? Why not create a handy personalised template that your family and friends could then print out? Use one of the free tools on the Internet (like Canva). Here are some ideas:
- Birthday Tracker
- Meal Planning Template (maybe including some useful tips?)
- Daily To-Do List Printable
- Affirmations and Self-Care Printable.
These are just a few ideas. Think about what your loved ones would benefit from and get creative!
Make An Online Photobook
Gift your family and friends a free trip down memory lane by creating an online photobook with all the best memories you have together! It is sure to bring back some great memories and evoke plenty of positive emotions.
Create an Automated Email Sequence
This Free Christmas Gift can last as long as you want! You can write a series of emails, and schedule them to go out every morning, or every week to your friends and family. This way, they will be reminded of you and how much effort you’ve put into their free Christmas gift regularly! It’s a gift that will foster better communication and help you keep in touch with your friends and family, as they may respond to your emails with their own thoughts.
What to share in your email sequence? Well, there are plenty of free ideas that you can choose from:
- A motivational quote straight to their inbox every morning.
- A tip of the day on a subject that you know a lot about.
- Learn a new word and expand your vocabulary sequence for people who are thirsty for knowledge.
- Send a link to a funny youtube video that will brighten up their day!
Get your thinking hat on, and create a wonderful email sequence that your family and friends will enjoy for weeks (or months) to come!
Share Your Skills And Knowledge
If writing isn’t your thing, maybe you’re a good speaker. Or maybe you can show your abilities in a hands-on workshop. Why not share your skills and knowledge by gifting your loved ones a one-on-one or a group session where you teach them how to do something that you do well?
- Make some slides and invite them to a lecture about something you’re passionate or knowledgeable about, whether it’s a country you travelled in, dog training or tips on productivity.
- Teach your loved ones how to draw/ paint/ sketch!
- Teach everyone in your family your best make-up or hair tips!
- A cooking class will be fun, and informative and will teach people you love how to prepare something they only ever bought at expensive bakeries and restaurants.
What Can You Upcycle?
If you consider yourself a bit of a handyman/handywoman, you will never have to buy presents ever again. Make free Christmas gifts by first raiding your house for things you can upcycle and use them to create wonderful free gifts! For example:
- Old fence panels: make a Christmas tree, crates for storage, planter boxes etc.
- Old clay pots can be painted, decoupaged or decorated in other creative ways using things you already have in your home.
- Fabric pieces and old clothes can find a new life in a form of a free Christmas gift for someone: make potholders, placemats, cushion covers or ragdolls for the children in the family.
- If you can knit and have an old jumper that you don’t wear anymore, make some woolly socks for the family – it’s my absolute favourite Christmas gift to receive!
- Can you make a wreath with branches of plants growing in your garden, some dried orange slices and old bobbles that you no longer use to decorate your tree?
What Can You Multiply?
Multiply??? Hear us out! If you have houseplants, coming up with free gift ideas will not be a problem! Take cuttings of your plants earlier in the year and start growing a bunch of beautiful houseplants to gift at Christmas time.
Are you a keen gardener? Dry out butternut squash, cucumber, tomato, chilli etc seeds from your current harvest, then make seed collections for your friends and family!
Alternatively, why not gift a mini herb garden to someone who loves using fresh herbs in their cooking? Grow mint, parsley, dill, chives etc on your window sill and gift them to your loved ones. No need to buy pots for them either: repurpose old glasses, yoghurt pots and even toilet rolls!
Provide A Service
Sounds wrong and hardly dignified? It’s not what it sounds like. We are not suggesting you walk up to your friend and say: “Merry Christmas! As a Christmas gift, I will take your trash out every two days for three months!” Whilst this may give someone a good laugh, a better gift would be creating a personalised coupon book where you gift a promise of your time when they need you.
Coupons could include:
- Babysitting, pet sitting, house sitting.
- Running an errand for them when they are short on time (people can be reluctant to ask for help, so it may actually help them to get over that if they have a coupon to use).
- Making a cake for a special occasion.
- Doing their make-up.
- Any other skill or time that you can offer that will make your friend happy in the future?
Regifting Unwanted Christmas Presents: Is It An Awful Thing To Do?
Have you ever received a gift that you either didn’t like or didn’t need? Sure, you thanked the gifter for it and really appreciated the thought, but what did you actually do with it?
Sure, you acknowledge that someone spend time thinking about what to get you as a present and spent money on it, so it must be extremely unappreciative (and possibly immoral) of you to regift it, right? But aren’t gifts meant to give someone joy and bring happiness? Will your unwanted gift do any good getting dusty in the drawer until you simply throw it away on your next decluttering project?
If you know of someone who would appreciate the gift that otherwise has no value, maybe it’s time to rethink where you stand on the regifting matter. Should the unwanted gift find its purpose and bring someone joy? Just something to think about…
You don’t need to spend money on presents to have a memorable Christmas. Our Free Christmas Gift Ideas must have helped you find something special to surprise your family and friends with over the festive period. After all, all of these free Christmas presents are designed to create positive emotions and memories and enrich people’s lives. Could anyone ask for any more than that for the most beautiful time of the year?
For more frugal Christmas tips, visit our guide on How To Save Money On Christmas Cards and Christmas Dinner on A Budget. Join the community of our loyal subscribers to receive more tips on frugal practices around holidays and in everyday life straight to your inbox by filling in the form below.
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