Art of Frugal Giving, Part I – The Gift of Thought


This is easily proven by my neighbors’ Christmas decorations, which have already been up for more than a WEEK.

NOT SHOWN: The fact that no one else has even taken down their harvest decorations yet. 

Between now and Christmas, I’m going to be doing a short series of blogs showcasing different ways you can give inexpensive but meaningful gifts to the ones you love. Today’s entry is about the Gift of Thought.

Make a Mixtape

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Try choosing some well known songs and mixing in more obscure choices. 

It’s been done a million times before by a million different people, it’s true, but when done right, a mixtape can convey any emotion you desire. If you can’t afford to purchase the music you need, try handwriting a list of the songs and asking your loved one to look up the songs on YouTube. Maybe even make it into a booklet and include some of your favorite lyrics. Try to find a common theme or two to tie the songs together along the length of the mix tape. Examples: light, gold, water, nature, etc.

Try to choose songs you like, but that you also think your loved one would like. Take your time, put thought into it. Tell a story with your music. A really well done mixtape will unfold over time, revealing deeper and deeper meaning to the listener.

Write Your Story

2015-11-17 21.08.58.jpgDo you remember how you met? What about writing down the story of the first time you laid eyes on your loved one. Use as much detail as possible. Try and remember how you felt when you met your loved one. Did they comfort you? Make you laugh? Do you remember what they were wearing? Try to include silly things, like if your shoelace came untied, or if you spilled coffee everywhere.

Write Your Reasons

2015-11-17 21.36.26Tell your loved one why you love them. Have you been friends for 10 years? Give them 10 reasons. Write it out by hand, or make a document and set it up in a nice format. I wrote this for my dad the year before he died, and had it professionally framed. Now it hangs in my living room, so I can remember that I told him how much I loved him while I still could.

Better Than a Gift Card

The best part about these gifts, is spending time thinking about your loved one in depth like this helps you, too. It gives you a greater sense of appreciation, and reminds you what it means to truly care for someone. In times of gift giving it’s easy to get caught up in how much you have to spend and lose sight of what giving is really all about.

Stay tuned for the next entry in this short series on gift giving!


9 thoughts on “Art of Frugal Giving, Part I – The Gift of Thought”

  1. Love love love love love love love this post!! Mix tapes…..sigh. Oh the memories. One of the best parts of using a real tape back in the 80’s and 90’s was when the person (or you if you’re the maker) got to draw all over the paper that came with it. You’re making me re-live my youth. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this idea too and last Spring did one for my son-in-law. I had a post card here with blank lines that
    said, “Ten reasons I love you.” I was expecting to use for my little grandson, but when my son-in-law’s
    birthday was due and it was cold and rainy and I didn’t want to go out for a card, I wrote it to him instead. It
    was full of meaningful things like, “for giving me the sweetest grandson ever” to funnier ones like “for choosing
    a house that only has 32 steps up a cliff to the front door instead of 33 (and I have arthritis.)” My daughter
    reported that he really enjoyed it and found it both funny and meaningful. I had a method to my madness too
    as #7 was, “I just know you’ll find the very best nursing home for me.” I’m counting on that – I want good care!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this series! It is coming at a great time for me as we just unexpectedly had to spend our Christmas money to repair my husband’s work truck. My favorite of these is the 30 reasons why I love you. I’m seriously considering doing that for several people on my list this year. I am also going to do the music mix idea for my mom. She recently was telling me about some of her favorite songs. Now if I can only remember them! Thanks so much for sharing these ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I think the 30 things list really helps you think about what you love about someone. It can be hard to think of 30 things. Glad you’re going to use some of these ideas!


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