No Deal December! Eliminating Holiday Shopping

Last month I began the modern adventure of saving money by spending less, not working more. 

No Spend November was a strategy I invented to motivate my thrifty side and find fun new ways to save a lot of money.

When December rolled around, it was time to take my saving savvy to the next level. I call it No Deal December! While the consumerism of Christmastime had everyone asking everyone else...

"So, get all your shopping done yet?!"

I was busy creating.  I began spending hours a day crafting and crocheting gifts for my loved ones.

To my surprise, witnesses of my crafting craze were in disbelief that someone could spend so much time and energy on handmade gifts for the holidays. Friends and acquaintances used terms like "impressive," "brave," and even "impossible" after excitedly sharing my gift-giving to-do list. Many even responded with a condescending "good luck with that," proving that putting an extensive amount of thought into a gift is so often considered ass backwards from dumping extensive money.

As I endured the patronizing laughter of the mall-goers, my confidence remained mighty. I was ecstatic for the opportunity to experience an entire journey of gift giving. We all adore the joyful reactions our kindness brings to others, and creating gifts allowed me to appreciate the people in my life for weeks, beyond a cash register.

House socks for mom!
House socks for mom!

Secret Details of Operation Christmas Gifts 2014…

As I have yet to morph into Inspector Gadget, there were a few gifts outside of my crafting abilities that did require my wallet. To give you an idea, purchases included a digital camera, dad's favorite candy, self-made housewarming basket with make-up and wine glasses, Dominion card game expansion, and a Yoda travel mug. Thankfully, the list of handmade items is longer...

Gift Creations:

Panda for the bf!
Panda for the bf!

Crocheted gifts: House socks, Panda Amigurumi, Cafe mug cozy, Bookmarks, Lacy scarf

Other creations: Sharpie mugs, Fabric-on-canvas rendition of the Nintendo character Villager, Cardboard Hot Wheels garage, Christmas cards, Bed nook for the Gremlin :)

Total money spent: $139
Total gratitude: insurmountable

I was lucky enough to do all of my actual shopping within little Lakewood's borders, and stayed under my max goal of $150, less than half my usual holiday spending. This challenge has inspired me to crank it up a notch for 2015, setting a new limit of $100 and promising to spend money in local shops only. I'll also be brainstorming ways to bring handmade joy to my pickiest friends and relatives, hopefully eliminating the need for spending at all.

Last minute tips!

  • Re-gift items you already own but never use
  • Create crafty gifts from materials around the house
  • Watch prices to get the best deals on purchases

Hopefully this has inspired you to bust out the yarn, paint, crock pot, or whatever else heals you this season. Thank you all for accepting my cheesy handmade gifts and cards :) Don't worry, they'll be even better next year!

Wishing you a beautiful holiday season, Niki

 

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