Here's Your Ten (Mostly) Free Gifts to Give This Holiday Season

The holidays are expensive: in fact, a survey in 2016 saw that Singaporeans spend over S$500 (SingSaver, 20161) on gifts during the year-end holiday season, and it can be assumed that the amount has increased over the past three years. Yet there are various ways to avoid that huge credit card bill that inevitable arrives after the holidays are over. Before you head straight to the store, here are a few things to consider if you're interested in focusing on the true meaning of the season instead of a pile of wrapped boxes!

Try Out Your Baking Skills

Holiday cookies are a seasonal delight, making them an extra special treat for your loved ones during this specific time of year. Bake a selection of traditional holiday cookies, place them in a festive tin, and wrap it with a bow to present to your intended recipients!

Share Family Heirlooms Early

Family heirlooms are priceless gifts, and what better time to share them with your loved ones than during the holiday season where your ancestors are lovingly remembered?

Dig Out Old Collectibles to Regift

How many times have you promised to sell or get rid of those collectables that sit around, collecting dust? It may be the perfect time to gift them to those who would admire and cherish these special items.

Get Out Your Scissors: Scrapbooking & Crafts Abound

Scrapbooking and handmade crafts can be a fun thing for the entire family to participate together. Gather old photographs and create a scrapbook that tells a story about the memories you've made together over the past few years. This can be fun to look at with others during the holiday parties ahead.

Put a Box Together of Heartfelt Letters

If you're looking to start a long-term tradition, consider exchanging heart-warming letters with your loved one instead of getting an expensive gift. Keep these in a box and read back on years past before opening the newest addition each year. Meaningful words will always be a priceless gift (The Penny Hoarder, 20182).

Plan a Date Night for the Future

Although this one will eventually cost money, spending quality time with the ones you love can be a great gift. Make this one extra special by planning each activity as a secret and surprising your family at each turn of the evening!

Upcycle Free Furniture

Research free household items or furniture online or in your neighborhood and fix it up to look brand new (The Penny Hoarder, 20182). Put your creative spin on it, as your personalization of the project will mean that much more to your loved one.

Get the Creative Juices Flowing

Although it's not entirely free, you can find reasonably priced acrylic or watercolor paints and canvas from a local arts store to create your masterpiece. If you're not as artistically inclined, you can print free stencils online and follow them closely to create a one-of-a-kind art installation for your family and friends.

Create a “Couponing” System

If you're hoping to celebrate the holidays nontraditionally after December, creating a personalized coupon booklet is the perfect gift for your friends and loved ones. Gifting someone your time to babysit their children for date night or to help out in their home can go a long way! Just be sure that you actually follow through on your present before the next holiday season!

Be Present with Your People

Perhaps the most important gift of all this holiday season is to be present. Although we may spend the entire holiday season surrounded by those we love most, it is common that we are not truly present and engaged. Listen and encourage deep conversations and create long-lasting memories with each family member (North Forty News, 20193).

Although the holidays are traditionally an expensive time of the year, with a little effort, inspiration and imagination, you can create thoughtful and relatively inexpensive or free gifts for those that you treasure the most. All you need is some time, a little planning, and some thinking outside of the box to make this holiday extra special.

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Content Sources
1 - Fang, Alexa (2016, October), How Much Should Singaporeans Spend on Gifts In A Year?, retrieved from
2 - Dieker, Nicole (2018, July), 100 Free Gift Ideas Your Friends Will Actually Want to Receive, retrieved from
3 - Wilson, Cynthia (2019, November), 8 Tips to Not Go Broke This Holiday Season, retrieved from