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McLEAN, Va. (12/19/07)--With less than a week until Christmas, shoppers are scrambling to purchase last-minute presents. But an unsure economy is forcing many gift-givers to look for less expensive items and ideas (USA Today Dec. 13). One way to save: Put on your creative hat and make your own gifts or provide a service for the special people in your life. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Center for Personal Finance suggests:
Volunteer your time. Shovel snow or rake leaves for an elderly or disabled neighbor, or baby-sit for a friend. Heat up your oven. Get your hot pads ready and bake someone’s favorite holiday pie, frost cookies with nieces and nephews, or provide a home-cooked meal for those who aren’t up to doing it themselves. Hit the trails. Instead of worrying about individual gifts this year, take the family cross-country skiing or enjoy a day at a local park. Scrap it up. Present someone with an assortment of homemade greeting cards or a ready-made scrapbook or journal. Smile, you’re on camera. Consider making your own calendars, beach towels and mouse pads. With today’s technology, it’s easy to go online and make creative gifts using favorite family photos. Help the needy. Instead of exchanging names this year, pool your resources with siblings and friends and provide gifts and food for a low-income family in your community.
For more nontraditional gift ideas, read “Avoid the Red, Save More Green This Holiday Season,” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
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