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Christmas Money Myth Number 1: I can save money by making gifts

by Sarah McMurray Sane Christmas

This isn’t a myth for some people that I know.  The people who often make crafty things or lovely little food treats.  The people who already have a stockpile of material, glitter, a glue gun and 72 jam jars already on hand.  The people who can design and make something fabulous out of a left-over cushion cover, 3 feathers, and a packet of coloured rubber bands. I am not one of those people. But I have tried to save money in the past by making my own Christmas gifts.  It was not the carefree money-saving exercise I thought it would be. Here’s what I found:

  1. Making gifts costs time. The first step is to pinpoint exactly when you have the time to make    I didn’t.  I was going to do it “sometime.”  I ended up spending the late hours of Christmas Eve and the early hours of Christmas morning trying to cook jam and pour it into jars without burning it or dribbling it everywhere, which is a recipe for a terrible Christmas.
  2. Making gifts costs energy and skills. Skills which I am sadly lacking in.  Unless you are one of the people mentioned in the first paragraph, choose something breathtakingly easy (see links below).  Otherwise you run the risk of ending up making something which a four-year-old would be proud of, but which a 44-year-old is embarrassed about (ahem.)
  3. Making gifts can cost a fair amount of money. Especially if you don’t have material, glitter, glue gun and jam jars already on hand.  It’s a lot like modern wedding planning – in order for everything to look hand-made and artisan, you can either: be talented (with resources and time to spare) or else, spend a lot of money.

  Don’t get me wrong – homemade gifts can save you money, are a lovely thing to receive, and they can be wonderful to make and give.  Just don’t make my mistakes – figure out the time, energy and money involved before Christmas Eve. For those of you looking for something simple but effective: 

Good luck!

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