Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

By Nobulungisa Mangisa

The festive season is fast approaching and you are worrying about the toll it will have on your pocket – especially the mountain of expensive gifts you will have to dutifully buy for your friends and family. Well, it’s time to breathe in a sigh of relief, because you do not have to spend money if you do not want to. It is all a matter of choice, and if you are not keen on spending, then maybe these handy hints and tips will be of help.


Think of some creative ways to spoil your loved ones!


  • Bake for family and friends 

In terms of baking, you have to bake something that is edible, but at the same time, will not rot too quickly, so it must have a long life span. Try either chocolate brownies or fudge. You could quickly find a fudge recipe on the Internet. You could buy little green, white or red boxes (use colours that signify the spirit of Christmas) and then pack your mini delicacies inside and finish off with a fancy ribbon, tied into a bow.

  • Make a recipe book to pass along to family members

Think of all of your traditional recipes for the festive season that family members really enjoy. Type up these recipes and have them printed into nice little books to give out to your loved ones. In the long run, you will be ensuring that the traditions do not die, because if these recipes are in written form, they can be kept for generations to come.

  • Dedicate your time

Print out little promise letters, especially if you know someone who wanted to do something which you could teach them but you previously did not have the time to do. This could be dancing, music lessons or cooking. In the letter, there could be a timetable of when the class will commence and when it will end, the time and the venue.

  • Design a personal calendar for each family member

Create personalised calendars for every person in your family. These can  consist of the person’s photograph, or a motivational message or quote that you have to encourage them with. Important dates can also be highlighted, for example, birthdays or anniversaries. 

  • Invent a game

This can be any random thing that you can think of. For example, it could be a game that encourages family members to ask each other things they would not do under normal day-to-day circumstances. You could even name it Personal Trivia. Another game you could play would be to see how well your family knows you, by asking them things about yourself, and if they answer correctly, they, for example, earn a slice of that milk tart or a piece of candy. This could be called Do you really know me?

  • Draft a family tree

Draw up this tree and make copies to give to everyone. Colour it in nicely and even attach photos next to the name of the person, if possible. This is a good idea, especially for little kids, because it will give them a chance to know where their roots are, and just where the whole picture fits in. Spend some time discussing it if possible, and give the children some time to ask questions.

  • Give your parents a memory album

Throughout the year when you do manage to be at home, take random pictures of your mom cooking, your dad gardening, or anything and everything. Keep collecting your own pictures and pictures of your siblings and just before Christmas, combine these and paste them in a book or go out and buy an album. Couple these pictures with pictures of you and your siblings as infants and growing children. What makes this such an original and unique present is that it is personal and thoughtful, and you can write a special message or caption next to each photograph.

  • Write poems about your family members

Write a poem about each particular family member, telling them why they are important to you and what you love about them. Colour or decorate the poem nicely and buy cute frames to put them in, together with an ID-sized photograph of the person.

Christmas is not a time to be competing about who will buy the most expensive gift and for whom. The commercialisation of Christmas needs to come to an end. If you really look at it, the chances are that if you give a gift that you have not spent a cent on, but have spent a lot of time in coming up with, it holds a lot of sentimental value for the particular person. It will mean a whole lot more, be appreciated, remembered and cherished for longer than a DVD from or a Barbie doll from Reggies that everyone in your neighbourhood has. After, all it is not about how much you spent on the gift, but merely the thought that counts.