A guide to thrifty gifting this Christmas

Feeling the squeeze this Christmas? You’re not alone! Our handy guide to handmade, thrifty gifts will make you the best present-giver in town.

If you’re feeling the squeeze this festive season, you’re not alone! Many more households are dealing with the ongoing effects of the cost-of-living crisis. But as we approach Christmas, a time of celebration and, lets face it, indulgence, the pressure to spend is higher than ever.

But, as reports share that 2.4 million UK households are thought to have missed or defaulted on essential payments in recent months, it’s clear many of us are struggling, and the worry of how to make a magical Christmas can add to the pressure.

While we can’t resolve the cost-of-living crisis, we can help with the fun-factor, so we take a look at our ideas for thrifty, handmade gifts that are sure to put a smile on everyone’s faces.

Eat, drink, and be merry!

If you’re a whizz in the kitchen, then look no further for your Christmas present inspiration than baking some yummy goodies for your family and friends to enjoy.

Baking festive biscuits and cookies or edibles like Christmas jams and chutneys make for a great gift that is sure to be enjoyed over the festive season.  Baking uses staple ingredients that you’re likely to have in the cupboard already, or will use up in other recipes.

You could go one step further (or rather, do one less step) and make your loved one a ‘cookie mix in a jar’. Simply fill a mason jar with all the dry ingredients they need to make delicious baked treat, decorate the jar with a festive ribbon and add a label.

Chutneys and jams are also a great way of using up any fruit and vegetables you have at home that might otherwise end up in the food compost, and can be cooked in batches.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, why not try making your own alcoholic gift, like a limoncello, liqueur or mulled wine? Plus, whoever you give these yummy treats to may also be feeling the pinch, and appreciate how your gift adds to their own Christmas spread.

Once you’ve made your edible gift then presenting it nicely is the finishing touch. Use ribbons, cut out old cards, and other items you’ve saved to package your gift beautifully. A homemade Christmas cake presented in a festive box is sure to be a big hit. The same can be said for Christmas chutneys, which will be quickly gobbled up with the cold meats on Boxing Day!

Make your own Christmas crackers 

A traditional Christmas wouldn’t be the same without decorations and crackers. But these can quickly eat into your budget. Why not try making your own to keep costs down, as well as being more green too? These ideas make lovely presents and help to keep little fingers busy! What’s not to love?

Making your own Christmas crackers is loads of fun because you can personalise the gifts you get to add to your cracker. Choose the colours, style, pattern, and add jokes you actually find funny! In addition to making some crackers for your own celebrations, making a set for family and friends will also ensure that everyone’s Christmas Day goes off with a bang.

What’s more, making your own decorations for your family and friends is a thoughtful, creative and budget friendly way to spread good will and joy to all this Christmas. There’s a massive range of ideas for homemade Christmas gifts, so enjoy doing some research and think about what your friends and family might enjoy.

Knits, photos, secret Santa and homemade vouchers

‘Tis that time of the year when knitted gifts are very welcome. If you’ve got the skills, then a knitted hat, scarf, or jumper is always appreciated for the colder months. Otherwise, why not put together a thoughtful photo album, or make your own gift vouchers for your nearest and dearest. Your gift voucher might be something like a private screening of your loved one’s favourite film in your very own homemade cinema complete with popcorn and snacks, homemade pizza experience. Or perhaps a homemade spa day, or one car cleaning service, etc. That way, your present can continue giving into the new year!

Alternatively, another way to keep track of your budget this Christmas is to do a £5, £10 or more Secret Santa. Agree a manageable budget so that no one feels overly stretched. It’s a very popular idea which is being quickly adopted in families after starting in offices across the globe.

There are all sorts of ways you can show your loved one how much you care with an act of service, after all, it’s an official language of love! A little thought goes to show how well you know them.  

Win Christmas on us!

Our branches are hosting hamper giveaways, Christmas canapes, and family portraits or pet pawtraits, as well as a range of charity donation points this December, to celebrate the festive season with your community. PLUS, take part in our Christmas On Us campaign, where you could win a 50” TV, Salter air fryer, Nintendo Switch OLED and Mario game, a board game plus supermarket vouchers – just pop along to your local branch and scan the poster to win!

We’ll also be giving away daily prizes ​on our social media, including heated throws, a hamper, children’s bike, board games, a Kindle, Lego, Prosecco and so much more! Make sure to follow our Facebook, Instagram, and X accounts for updates.

Sources: Guardian, Good Housekeeping