The Price Tag on Friendship

Written by
Published on December 7, 2014

This time of the year amidst snow flurries, Christmas lights, and the sharp scent of pine trees in the air comes expectations for gift giving. While relationships aren’t based on material items more than any other time, there’s a strong sense of providing a token of appreciation to those who are closest to you and whom you care most about. This doesn’t mean you have to drop a ton of cash on trying to find the perfect present. Buying someone a DVD, some scented candles, or the latest trendy hat scarf combo is nice, but it’s also expected. Defy the expectations! Be extraordinary!

 Making your friend’s favourite cookies or sweet treats is a great gift you can give this holiday. (Photo Chanelcoco872 on and used with permission.)

Making your friend’s favourite cookies or sweet treats is a great gift you can give this holiday. (Photo by Chanelcoco872 on and used with permission.)

I’ve found that taking the time to DIY my gifts to friends and family has been more meaningful and left a stronger lasting impression than anything I’d typically purchase. There are an abundance of ideas that make alternative gifts– I’ve bought empty cookie tins, and baked an assortment of cookies with ingredients I already had in my pantry. I’ve used old magazines and some cardstock and scrapbook papers to fashion handmade cards, I’ve written short stories and poems, and made quick-bread loafs that I wrapped in wintery patterned plastic and topped with a bow. The Internet and magazines are full of even more ideas for interesting gifts that won’t empty your wallet. Mason jar cookie dough mix– flour layered with sugar and chocolate chips and other ingredients, and hand-knitted scarves or hats are some popular ideas of gifts that could be made with just some time and are sure to be warmly received.

If anything, with these gifts by taking the time to make something custom tailored to a friend or family member, whether that means just making them a batch of their favourite treat, or creating and writing out something a hell of a lot more personal than some pre-bought Hallmark card, you truly capture the essence of the holiday. It’s not all about spending money. It’s about using a different currency, one that doesn’t come in papery green stacks or jangles in your pockets.  It’s about giving your attention, offering up kindness and taking the time to step back and truly appreciate those who mean the most to you.