I thought I would start a thread on ideas I've picked up recently from Tightwad Gazette. Some ideas I read years ago seem new now. These are not ideas I will necessarily implement, because they may not apply to me. I am reading old issues of the newsletter at the rate of about one a day. I'll add to this thread (and invite you to, also) as I come across others.
A reader wrote in the December 1992 issue that the rule of gift-giving in her family is that only consumable items "with a festive edge" can be exchanged. (Note it did not say they had to be homemade, but I'll bet a lot are). They give flavored salad vinegars, honey, spices, fancy jams and jellies and candy (often homemade); they also give cotton balls, boxes of soda, tissues, soaps, pens, light bulbs and so on. Check this article--it may be in the book--for more ideas.
The same issue also has a pattern to make paper doves. AmyG said she made "scores of them" for her first Christmas tree. There are also directions to make a three-pointed star out of styrofoam meat trays and the suggestion to cut Christmas-printed fabric in strips 12 inches long by 1/2 inch wide and tie bows on the tree. The comment: "One quarter yard of fabric goes a long way." (I'm thinking how cute a tree would be with only doves and red and green plaid bows). These ideas are great for people just starting out, or who change their tree from year to year. I mention them now in case you'd like to get started!
This message has been edited by MaxineS on Mar 26, 2012 7:40 AM