Yes, you read it right, THRIFTY! The season can still be jolly even if one is staying penny-wise. Whether you are naughty or nice, you don’t have to trade your kidney just to make people happy. So here are some tips:

  • Meaning over glitz. People today may be more materialistic but that material doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be meaningful. For creative and fun gift ideas, check out DIY sites like Pinterest. A picture frame with a photo of you and your loved one, for example, will be timeless yet well within budget.
  • Time is gold. Got a sick friend or family member? They’d value your time and presence over any gift you can give. Well, not unless you volunteer to pay for their entire hospital bill.
  • Do what Santa does. No, I don’t mean you fatten up during the holidays; I meant making a list of your own, checking it twice, and budgeting accordingly.
  • Shop online. Online shopping is so trendy these days. You’ll save a lot of time by not hopping from one mall to another. Just make sure the seller is legit. You might even get a good bargain.
  • Shop in advance. Avoid panic buying. Yes, there may be more discounts nearing Christmas, but sometimes you buy well-thought-of gifts when you’re not in a hurry.
  • E-cards. You make two people happy when you send someone an e-card: first, the person you intend to send it to, and second, Mother Earth. Can you imagine how much trees are cut down to accommodate the global need for traditional Christmas cards?
  • Actions speak louder than gifts. Sometimes people forget what you give them, but people will never forget the favors you’ve done for them. Try to cook for your special someone. Bake cookies for your nieces and nephews. Offer to babysit for your frazzled sister-in-law. Drive the grandparentals to the nearest beach. Give your parents a massage. Be kind enough to write your best friend’s dissertation. Oh wait, that may be a bit of a stretch, but you get the point.

At the end of it all, when the smoke of this circus clears, let us not lose sight of what this season is all about. It’s about God’s gift to us. It’s about how He fulfilled His promise. It’s about why He sent His only Son. God’s gift to us is beyond currency and yet it’s value is beyond measure. Have a blessed Christmas and a sweet New Year!

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