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It’s the most expensive … I mean the most wonderful time of the year. No, pretty sure I said it right the first time! Gifts for family, holiday gift exchange at work, and children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews asking for everything under the sun. Even if you do a grab-bag, that’s money coming out of your pocket that you may not have. While the holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, the chaos of the season, as well as the financial burden, can bring plenty of unwelcome stress. As many of us in the addiction treatment community are aware, high levels of stress can make the person who has always turned to alcohol or drugs for relief from uncomfortable emotions more likely to be unable to resist relapse. So, if money stress is bringing your holiday spirit down, read on for the 5-holiday gifts to give anyone in your life for under $25.

 

For the Sentimental Sally

Is there anything better than seeing someone open your gift, put their hand over their heart, and get all watery eyed? Print off pictures and purchase a photo album. Place one photograph on one page and write your recollection of the memory on the other page. Try to only fill the photo album halfway! Why only fill it halfway? To leave room for new memories!

 

For the Frugal Friend

Maybe you aren’t the only one on a budget. If you have someone that is in the same boat as you are financially, I’ve got a gift for the both of you! Buy a planner and fill it will all things free! Free days at museums, free concerts in the park, free popcorn days at nearby movie theaters. You can even schedule in a day together where you go all around your city and act like tourists together. Who says fun can’t be free?!?

For the Book Bandit

We all know that one person in our life that we talk to about a new movie we love and their response is, “It was good but, did you read the book?” Go into any Barnes and Noble and you are easily going to drop $30 on the newest hardcover books. Why spend that when you can give someone something that brought you enjoyment? Go through your bookshelf and pick out a book or two that you think the person would enjoy. On the inside cover, write an inscription to the person or a quote about sharing memories. You can even encourage that person to gift the book the following year. Then your joy can be passed on for years to come!

 

For the Kitchen Crusader

Any dish made is made better with love… and in my opinion, cheese! If you have someone who loves to cook in your life, give them the gift that keeps on giving. First, purchase a recipe book or box. Next, ask different friends or family to write down their favorite dish they love to make. Lastly, give the gift! Not only will you be giving the chef in your life something new but, if you are lucky, they’ll test out the recipes on you! Now that is the gift that keeps on giving!

 

For the Partner, You Want to Pamper

When it comes to your sweetheart, I don’t think there is a person out there that doesn’t want to spoil the love of their life rotten. Unfortunately, you may not be able to give them all that you want to give for Christmas… or can you. I gave this idea to a friend a long time ago when he and his wife were going through a tough time financially. I helped him make and print a coupon book to give to his wife. In it were coupons for a 15-minute massage, her favorite homecooked dinner, a day off from doing laundry, breakfast in bed, etc. It cost virtually nothing to make but, he said she absolutely loved the gift and redeemed her night off from doing dishes immediately!

 

So, don’t stress out right now while we are in the holiday homestretch. Instead get creative, be inspired, find joy in the simplicity and remember, a gift from the heart is the best gift of all!

 

If you’re looking for more resources to help manage the holidays, The American Psychological Association has a Holiday Stress Resource Center – Click Here!

 

Author: Lisa Musialowicz, Footprints to Recovery – Director of Alumni

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