Without sounding insensitive, the large majority of the modern day community perceives Christmas not so much as the birth of Jesus Christ, but as the time to have fun with the dear ones, to shop, to offer and to receive presents. Christmas is generically associated with lights, decorations, toys or numerous other weird elements. This year however, the spirit of the holidays is threatened by the economic crisis, which drastically reduced the purchasing power of individuals. In these times then, the ability to get free things is of growing importance. Here are some pointers as to how the financial burden of this year’s gifts can be reduced.

The presents to the dear ones can be retrieved from the already existent belongings of the individual, or they could be made. In terms of the first situation, the individual could for instance be aware that one family member really appreciates his comic books collection, his coffee maker, his mugs collection or any other personal belonging. He could then offer the respective item to the family member who appreciates it. Secondly, there is the possibility to make the gifts by oneself. A relevant example in this sense is offered by a hand knitted sweater, a pair of socks or other pieces of clothing.

Some people for instance, like myself, really appreciate the Christmas decorations. These could be made from scratch and could easily constitute the basis for the Christmas present.

A growing popular idea for presents is that of hand making coupons and handing them to the loved ones. The individual will basically write down on a piece of paper, generally colored, glittered and otherwise special paper, what he promises to do. A husband could for instance offer his wife coupons in which he promises to take her to the theater or opera, whenever three times she wants, regardless of his personal desires. A child could for instance offer his parents five coupons by which he promises to entirely agree with the decision made by the parents, regardless of his own stands, in accordance to the belief that the parents are better able to make the best informed decision.

There is also the possibility of offering the dear ones gifts retrieved from the internet, beautifully wrapped up. These gifts would most commonly apply to the younger generation and they could for instance refer to music, films, computer wallpapers and screen savers or mobile telephone themes and ring tones. All these can easily and legally be retrieved from the internet (as depicted in various other articles of this website) and can then be offered to friends and family. Some free Christmas screen savers could be retrieved from www.freechristmassavers.com, while themes and ring tones for mobile telephones could be retrieved from www.cellbits.com/holiday-pages/christmas-cell-phone-wallpapers.htm.

A final idea as to how free gifts could be procured comes from 7th Heaven, a popular television series. In one episode, reverend Eric Camden (the father of the household) went to the local pawn shop and exchanged his record collection for a necklace he would give to his wife. At the same pawn shop, Annie Camden, his wife, traded her medallion for a record player. At the end of the episode, the owner of the pawn shop gave them back the items they had traded so Eric had both his record collection and his record player, and Annie had both her medallion as well as the necklace. Despite the fact that one cannot expect this to happen in the everyday life, fact remains that trade represents a valid opportunity to get gifts for this year’s Christmas.