Christmas is but days away and perhaps you are feeling a bit more like Scrooge before the midnight visitors. Maybe the Ghost of Christmas Present shows you job hunting and you are concerned that the Ghost of the Future will show the same. Part of the concern is you would really love to give gifts but can’t afford them. You figure, no job equals no gifts. I say no way! Before you let one “Bah, humbug” roll out of your mouth, here are some gifting ideas that may put the twinkle back in the tree’s star without having to hock Santa’s reindeer.
I am guessing your loved ones already said something like, “I know things are tight, please, don’t buy me anything.” They do sincerely mean it and would feel awkward if you do. You want to honor their kindness but want to express your love…don’t buy, make.
There are some very inexpensive crafts you can make. As a kid, my family made all kinds of gifts from candles and ornaments to embroidered towels and yummy candies. Talk to people in your local craft store; they have all kind of ideas. Hum, this could be another opportunity to network.
I hear some of you saying, “But that takes a lot of time and I need to look for a job.” Now don’t stop your search but by also working on a craft you will be using that time positively instead of perhaps soaking in the negative TV and you will be thinking about that loved one. Focused away from the negative onto the positive will supply more energy for the job hunt.
Alright, maybe you should have started sooner on the project. If you decide to say, hook a rug and it will take you into January, wrap up a picture of the finished project. This will give them something to look forward to. They might even join you on the craft.
Perhaps you feel “craft challenged.” Here’s another idea: create a coupon book. No, not BOGO, but how about for that couple with children at least one babysitting coupon. Is there a chore your friend really hates to do? Maybe make a coupon for your child offering to play their favorite game without interruptions. Get the idea? Make it specific to the person with no expiration.
Try this; write a letter telling that person just what they mean to you. You may want to quote song lyrics or poetry. Wouldn’t you love to have this from someone whose road has taken another fork? This could be a good reminder to those still walking beside you on this bumpy road that you appreciate them.
Now when I say write, I mean the old-fashioned pen and paper. Take it from me who accidentally deleted an email like this, pen and ink adds an extra special touch and can’t be deleted. Though my dad’s handwriting looked more like chicken scratch than English, what I wouldn’t give today to have something like this from him since cancer took him over 15 year ago.
This is the season for thoughtfulness so, think about it. Whether it is making it, couponing, or note writing, think about what would really touch your special someone. Perhaps you have already thought of “fiscally responsible” gift ideas, do share. And in the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us everyone.”
Cheryl Sandifer is a Regional Facilitator with Workforce Solutions. In that role she has been able to apply her knowledge and experience as both an educator and social worker to conduct job search skills seminars throughout the Houston-Galveston area. She has had opportunity to work with those ranging from entry-level to C-level to help them find a job, keep a job, or get a better job.