Last year my husband and I spent more on our holiday tip for the building's super than we did on each other (we had a $25 limit). And the only other person we purchased a gift for was our daughter, who was around 18 months at the time and in need of new toys (I hear people -- mostly moms -- say this all the time: "We just have sooooo much stuff!" like it's such a huuuuuge problem. Too much stuff. I wish we had that problem.) Anyway, instead of presents we shot a Christmas music video with the three of us and sent it out to family. I'm sure there were some who just thought we were self-centered and cheap. But really, the reality was we could not afford to buy Christmas gifts. And we were not going to accumulate more debt to do so. There was no moral high ground there. Just the shameful reality that people are going to buy you presents, and you are not going to be able to return the kindness. Even making stuff would have cost too much for us at the time. Purchasing materials was just beyond our mid-recession budget.
This year, things are better. But we are still committed to living within our means, even during the holidays. But at least we can afford handmade this year. Like the above felt flower corsage, which I made a bunch of for grandma gifts (Lucy has three official grandmas, plus one honorary grandma, and all of them are so good to her). I didn't make it up myself. I followed this tutorial at Holidash.com. My friend Lizzi hates it when I say something like this is easy, but it really was. (Just get your 10-year-old to make you one). I think it would look cute on a wool coat, or a hat or even a tote bag.