BOSTON (CBS) – For many families money is tight this holiday season.

Martha Stewart has some great ideas, she loves homemade gifts. Get one of her books on Christmas from the library and give the gift of time this Christmas.

You will have to spend your time here but not much money. And if you have any talents, use them. Are you a good cook?

Anything homemade is such a treat. Fudge, peanut brittle, cookies. Go to Target or Walmart and buy some fancy containers or better still get some Rubbermaid containers and they become part of the gift.

Can you knit? A sweater, scarf or mittens. If you don’t have the time to finish the sweater by Christmas, wrap the yarn and pattern up and give that with a note telling them when it will be done.

Flower arranging. Cut some greens from your yard or your neighbor’s yard (with their permission), buy some red carnations, search around for some interesting containers and make flower arrangements for your friends and family.

Photography. Smart phones take great pictures. Find some reasonable priced frames and you have gifts for all on your list. Frame the kid’s school pictures for grandma. You can create a calendar with pictures of your family for under $20 or a memory book about last summer’s vacation.

How about time itself? Literally give away your time and you won’t even have to give it on Christmas. This is what I like best about the gift of time. Give a gift certificate, an IOU for what you will do in the future.

Create a coupon book. Some examples; snow shoveling, lawn mowing, help with a party, back rubs, gardening, dinner by candle light, brownies, fudge, desserts, party help, babysitting.

Promise your elderly aunt a weekly trip to the grocery store, church or the COA. Give your nephew a fishing trip in the spring. Your niece, skating lessons at Frog Pond. You get the idea here!


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