Seeking to avoid the financial "holiday hangover" that often comes in January, many consumers are planning to spend less than they did on holiday gifts in 2005. In fact, although overall holiday spending is expected to increase this year, a survey by Prinicpal Financial Group found that just 9 percent of workers and 5 percent of retirees planned to spend more money than last year. Looking for a thoughtful gift idea? A pretty package of your homemade Christmas cookies is sure to please (and you get to enjoy the moments you share with your family while making them). Further, fed up with the increasingly prevalent materialistic aspects of the holidays, many Americans are seeking ways to bring back the real meaning of the holiday season. Finally, some people are just plain old very last-minute shoppers, and are therefore, well, pushed to consider alternatives to typical purchased gifts. One such way is giving gifts from the heart, which cost no money but impart a lot of meaning.

  1. Give a family heirloom.
  2. Give a "Freebie Certificate."
  3. Create a painting or poem.
  4. Baked goods are always welcome.
  5. Share your plants with an avid gardener.
  6. Give the gift of your talents.
  7. Plan a special outing.
  8. Make a scrapbook.
  9. Send a video.
  10. Homemade dog treats for a pet-lover.
  11. Make Them a Salt Dough Ornament (Perfect for Kids)
Tags: , , , ,