Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crafting X-mas gifts for non-crafters

Yesterday, I highlighted my strategies for buying holiday gifts in an economical way. Now I’d like to highlight some ideas for making meaningful gifts. For all those anti-crafty people who would like to tune out now: these are all gifts that you can make online! No scissor or glue required!

Three gifts to give from non-crafty people:

1. Family Calendar
Make a calendar that has all your personal holidays on there- yes it will have Valentine ’s Day and Halloween, but it can also have all your friend’s and family’s birthdays and anniversaries! It will save your friends and family the chore of transferring all those events from the ’08 calendar to ’09. VistaPrint is nice because you can choose from their stock photography or if you have your own photos (say photos of all the grandkids) choose a photo printer retailer.
Suggested vendors: Vista Print or any photo printing retailer (like Shutterfly or SnapFish)

2. Personalized items
Maybe you want a personalized stationary set, an engraved necklace, or monogrammed bed sheets. My first stop would be Alchemy at Etsy. You can write a description of what you’d like and what you’d like to pay and then crafters will bid on the project! You can also brows individual sellers sites through etsy and convo them asking them to make a personalized project for you. I’ve never been turned down, and I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Etsy vendors. Also, depending on what you want- just Google it. Don’t let your imagination be limited!

3. Make an investment for a gift recipient
Go to Treasury Direct and buy US savings bonds for them. You’ll buy them at a discounted rate and in a couple years they’ll be worth more to the individual than what you bought them for.

Or want to give the grandkids money, but not the kind they can use at the videogame store? Set up a 529 plan for them and help their parents save for their college years. You can set up a 529 plan through any brokerage house (Vanguard, Fidelity, etc.)

Fund someone’s ROTH IRA. If you know someone who is eligible for a ROTH IRA, but hasn’t funded it (i.e. college students or young working but struggling people), you can do it for them. Since the ROTH IRA limits ($5K if aged 49 and under) are under the amount of money you can give tax free to someone ($12K in 2008) there won’t be any surprises on your tax forms come April.

Give a charitable donation in their name. Any large charitable organization (to see how much of your donation goes to the cause see: charity navigator) will be able to handle this for you. Creative ideas include: giving a water buffalo or honeybees ( Heifer ), a tree (Arbor Day), or start a business in the developing world ( by making a loan at Kiva ).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

giving a savings bond for $10 would be a funny gift....and would look much cooler than just cash.