There’s no denying that these are tough times, but we Kiwis are resourceful types. We know how to have a good time without blowing the budget, and this Christmas will be no exception. With the financial crisis has come a shift in attitude – homemade, be it food or gifts, has become our chosen approach, and that’s what will see us through. Here are a few ideas to inspire you.
If you can’t afford to buy gifts, make them instead for a fraction of the cost. Homemade baking, sweets, jams, pickles and flavoured vinegars and oils are always gratefully received. Or if you’re crafty, consider giving hand-sewn or knitted items.
There’s no need to spend a fortune on store-bought baubles when lots of useful materials may be sitting at home right under your nose. The pink-painted polystyrene ball pictured here is decorated with drawing pins, and the little Santas and elves are made of lollies. Felt is another useful material – you can quite easily cut simple shapes such as hearts and gingerbread men from it without templates. The stitching and other embellishments can be as intricate or simple as you like. The spray-painted pinecone is a perennial favourite, and biscuits look amazing when hung as decorations. The only problem is, they’ll probably get eaten well before the big day arrives!
When it comes to wrapping, tags and cards, the world’s your oyster. Gather various decorative bits and pieces and let your imagination take over. Stores such as Spotlight and bookshops have a huge range of stamps and stickers, and beautiful cardboard and printed paper by the sheet.
One to one
A hamper of homemade treats would be a great gift for a family, which brings us to the issue of streamlining Christmas gifts. Suggest that your family goes for a secret Santa arrangement with a set price limit – it means everybody gets one nice, well-chosen gift.
Front & centre
These nut tree centrepieces were made by gluing nuts onto polystyrene shapes, then sitting them in lovely vintage vases. The stunning wreath was created using a variety of natural materials – many of which can be found in your own garden.
Another idea for reducing the expense without sparing the thought is to hang vouchers on the tree that offer your time to babysit, mow a loved one’s lawn or wash their car.