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Skillful Xmas gifts

Today I am looking for presents, that don’t cost the earth, for you to give your friends and family for Xmas.

Do you have a particular skill? It doesn’t have to be related to your work, if you are working.

For years we have struggled financially and in 2010 I suddenly needed about 15 gifts for 12 year old girls. This is the Bat mitzvah year which is the Jewish version of confirmation. My hobby is beading and making jewellery, so each girl in my eldest daughter’s class, and since then, my middle daughter’s and, next year, my youngest daughter’s class, were given watches that I had made in their 2 favourite colours. I have beaded cutlery for housewarming gifts, hostess gifts and even wedding and engagement presents. I now have a small online shop and sell internationally (not a lot, but enough to cover the costs and a little pocket money). I also give classes once a week.

Are you really good with make-up? Why not give a “gift voucher” to a friend and offer to do a makeup make-over or to do her make up for her next important event or photo shoot? Make your hobby into your job.

Offer a make over to a friend
Offer a make over to a friend

Are you good with nails? Offer a manicure as a gift and, if they like it, charge a friend price and a loyalty card every 10th manicure free. What a way to start your own business!!

Give a manicure for a special occasion
Give a manicure for a special occasion

Good with hair and hair cutting? Offer the same deal. They bring the colour and you do the rest!

Offer a colour, cut and blow wave
Offer a colour, cut and blow wave

I was reading in a discussion, in a mom’s group, that some woman, either being tired of cooking, or hated cooking, wished that she could cook for a friend and the friend could cook for her, just once! Well, why not offer to make a main course for a specific night?  They have to book the meal in advance so that you at  have time to prepare it!

Offer to make a main course
Offer to make a main course

My daughter is amazing at decluttering her room, (if only she would do the rest of my house, sigh!) If that is your talent, offer it to a friend. One room only and offer a special price for the rest of the house.  Is that a new business on the horizon? The lady I called charges R200 per hour, so I guess I will be doing it myself, sometime.

Declutter a cupboard for a friend
Declutter a cupboard for a friend

Personal shoppers cost a fortune; I hate shopping and wish I could pay someone to do it for me.

Offer to do a shop run for someone
Offer to do a shop run for someone

Good with scrapbooking? Offer to make a collage or a scrapbook of their new babies photo’s or even of their Xmas cards and birthday cards.

Offer to scrapbook their holiday pics or cards
Offer to scrapbook their holiday pics or cards

Just remember to ask the recipient of your gift to supply the raw equipment.  Like the nail polish, the nail file, the hair colouring, the dish for the meal, the storage boxes and rubbish bags for the mess and donations, the shopping list and the money. (I have a debit card for groceries and put the amount I have to spend into that. This means I can send my son or daughter to shops and they can’t go wild with the card!)

What about a 1 hour or 2 hour babysitting, so that the mom can get out and do her shopping? You can manage 2 hours; think about how nice it would be if someone offered that to you?

Offer to baby sit
Offer to baby sit

For moms out there:-  if it is something you would like, then I guarantee that someone you need to give a gift to would also like it.

If your husband has made you something that you love, get him to make it for one of your special family friends.

For the men:-  do you know someone who isn’t as handy as you and needs a few light bulbs changed, a plug changed, the TV reset.

We all have things we are good at. Why not use that as a meaningful gift instead of spending tons of money on something that will last a week and then be forgotten?

Download your free printable gift certificate.
Download your free printable gift certificate.

I have included a list, which I think is fairly comprehensive, but please add suggestions, because you are not the only one struggling with ideas. I have also made some ‘gift vouchers’ that you can print.




Sew 10 hems or 20 buttons on shirts.

File and polish manicure

Full manicure

Full pedicure

1 x makeup makeover session

1 x makeup session for a special occasion or photo shoot

1 x cut and blow wave

1 x simple single-colour hair session

1 x decluttering session of a cupboard or chest of drawers

1 x 2 hour decluttering session

1 x 2 hour babysitting session

1 x grocery shop (recipient to supply the money)

1 x main course for 4 people

5 x starter sized tubs of homemade baby food

5 x light bulbs and 3 plugs changed

1 x lawn mowing

1 load of washing ironed

1 car wash (outside only)

1 x car detailed (cleaned inside and out)

10 x windows washed

1 x pool cleaned

To give kids:-

1 extra hour of TV/Internet

Extra data (amount to be decided by the parent)

1 day off of chores

Kids can also get involved:-

All the beds in the house made

Set the table for 5 suppers

Do three loads of washing

1 x Breakfast in bed

1 bathroom cleaned

Do the dishes for 5 meals

The list is endless.

This time of the year is about giving and giving doesn’t have to cost a fortune. These ideas can be used as birthday presents, anniversary presents and rewards for anytime of the year.





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