I don't know about you, but most of my gifting is done during the fall/winter. I guess that could be pretty common because of Christmas and all, but almost all of my friends' birthdays are in October/November (weird, I know), my parents' anniversary is this month and my anniversary is in November. Oh yeah, and then there's Christmas. Whew! So what's a lover of thoughtful gift-giving (on a budget) to do? DIY, DIY, DIY.
And while most of these gifts aren't really gifty (like a sweater or new pair of flats), I'd rather my friends come over on my birthday with a 6-pack of seasonal beers and/or cheap champagne, cupcakes and Hocus Pocus any day.
1. Buy a knifty knitter and knit to your heart's delight! Don't be intimidated by the way it looks - it's surprisingly easy and there are tons of tutorials out there for different knitting patterns. I bought mine at Wal-Mart a couple of years ago and I use it every single year. I just go to my nearest craft store, stock up on the chunkiest knits that I can find and knit away.
2. Cold weather means yummy seasonal beers and ciders are available. I can't wait for the seasons to change because it means getting to try lots of yummy seasonal drinks. Every autumn/winter, my friends and I get together and bring lots of different beers and ciders and either relax on someone's porch or have a movie marathon. Go to your local grocery store and build your own 6-pack for your favorite beer/cider-loving friend. If they're really your friend, they'll share. Oh, and if you and your friends don't drink, look around your local grocery store for some apple cider or indulge in some gourmet hot cocoa. Yum.
3. Indulge in something homemade. I've assembled lots of recipes in jars over the years, and they always manage to be a hit. This website actually has a ton of ideas if you want to mix it up a little!
4. Give the (always delicious) gift of baked goods. Pinterest has made yummy recipe-finding even easier. Find out what your friend's favorite cookie/cupcake is and try to make them! Look at it this way, if it turns out to be an epic fail, you can always submit your photo to PinterestFail.
5. Make it one-of-a-kind. What kinds of things have your friends really been into lately? Have you discovered something music-wise that you think they'd enjoy? Do it old-school and make a mix cd, or curate a perfect playlist on Spotify and email them the link. One year for my friend's birthday, I made her a mix cd of all the songs we used to listen to in Junior High. We even managed to find some of the old notes that we used to pass to each other! Ah, memories.
As I said, while it may be a bit too soon to start stressing out thinking about Christmas gifts, my gift-giving season starts this month and I've gotta get myself in gear!
What's the most thoughtful gift that you've ever received? Do you try to make most of your gifts or do you buy most of them? Any ideas/tips for some DIY gift-giving on a budget?