10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!

10 Christmas gifts that don't cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!
10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!

I do so love winter!

It’s that time of year.

Christmas!

I love the crispness of the air, the early evenings, the freshness of the cold, and the darkness  when the lights come out.

I love it so, because December is my most favourite month ever, and also the month of my birth!

It was my birthday a few days ago.

Yay!

img_2803-2

Just look at my delightful yummy birthday cake. It’s cherries and cream, but it sure does look like cherry tomatoes.

But that would be weird…!

The horror of Christmas shopping!
The horror of Christmas shopping!

And even if you’re not into the horror of Christmas shopping, you are still liable to the festive season.

At least in Europe you are!

However of late, Christmas has been high-jacked by activities contrary to what this season is all about. Everywhere you look there’s some disaster or another, and then in a few weeks, merriment galore, then huge bills!

Yikes!

So let’s make a deal. Instead of wasting a huge amount of money on things you either don’t need, or probably already have, making the issue of #firstworldproblems completely and utterly true. Let’s figure out a way to make Christmas time as pain-free as possible.

So come with me as I feature 10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing if you’re broke, and don’t have a penny to your name. And 10 gifts that do, for those who have the dosh, and really want to spend it!

Here we go!

10 CHRISTMAS GIFTS THAT DON’T COST A SINGLE THING, AND 10 GIFTS THAT DO!!

  • MAKE A PERSONALISED MIXED TAPE
A personalised mixed tape doesn't cost a single thing!
A personalised mixed tape doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Ha! Ha! Not a real tape. I mean tape!? Tape?!&%!!

When was the last time that you actually saw a good ‘ol cassette player?

Like never!

Nevertheless, the sentiment remains the same. Why not make a customised mixed playlist from your huge collection on iTunes or Spotify, and make a CD! You can even sing on it….!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

On the other hand, if you don’t want to embarrass yourself or your family, perhaps getting an actual musical CD is the way to go!

I recommend the highly successful soulful talented Scottish singer/songwriter – Emeli Sandé. Get your hipster friends Emeli Sandé: Long Live The Angels. If you can find it…! If you’re in Britain buy it via Amazon UK. If you’re in the US buy this CD via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy this CD via Amazon.de.

  •  MAKE A PHOTOGRAPHY ALBUM
Photographs don't cost a single thing!
Photographs don’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

In todays’ world, pretty much everyone and his mother has a mobile phone. In many cases a smart phone too. It doesn’t take a genius to take a photograph or two of yourself, your friends, and family, or even your hobby using stuff like postcards, ticket stubs, old T-shirts, money, etc, making your photography more than just a bunch of photos, but a scrapbook of your life. And theirs!

Then all you have to do is upload the photographs, edit as appropriate, then send off to your loved ones by Email.

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

fujifilm-instax-mini-8
It does. It’s Christmas!!

Buy your loved ones a fun retro camera via Amazon UK. If you’re in the US, buy this camera via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy this camera via Amazon.de.

  • MAKE YOUR OWN COOKBOOK
I'm a terrible cook, but I do like writing about food! How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!
I’m a terrible cook, but I do like writing about food!
How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

I’m not the best of cooks. In fact, although I love eating wonderful food and I have a whole bookshelf of cookery books. I CAN’T COOK! But if you can, why not make your very own cook and recipe book for your friends and family. Add personalised notes and extra information about why you chose that particular recipe, ‘cos who doesn’t like something delicious. Or even the secret to making a good cup of tea!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

If you fear that you might kill people, leave it to the experts and buy your loved ones a cookery book so that they can make it like mummy used to, properly! Why not try one of the best food books of 2016 – Salt is Essential by Shaun Hill. And if you’re really quick, you can have an extra book – Rib Ticklers & Choux-Ins: 110 sensational recipes, from steaks & bakes to cheesecakes by Glynn Purnell, bundled in at no extra cost too. But hurry, there’s only nine (9) left!

If you’re in Britain buy them via Amazon UK. If you’re in the US buy these books via Amazon.com here and here. If you’re in Germany, buy these books via Amazon.de.

  • GO ON A WALKING TOUR
Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending 16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!
Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending
16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

You’re broke and you can’t afford to travel the world. Not to worry. Let the world travel to you! Join a walking tour in a major city near you. Completely and utterly free (except for the tips of course. We said save money, not steal it!).

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment! ©Scott Herder - BoboandChiChi.com
Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

On the other hand, you’ve got holiday time due to you, or you want to surprise a loved one, then don’t be shy take the next train, or flight, and book a hotel to anywhere in the world. Go on. You deserve it!

If you’re in Britain, book a hotel room via Booking.com. If you’re in the US, book a hotel room via Booking.com. If you’re in Germany, book a hotel room via Booking.com auf Deutsch.

  • MAKE JAM or CHUTNEY
Plum jam doesn't cost a single thing!
Plum jam doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

We all eat far too much! Using the fruit and vegetables from your garden, your terrace, or even your window sill, can give you jams and chutney galore. Instead of throwing out your excess fruit, make jam and give them to your friends and family.

We have a plum-tree, a blackberry tree, and hundreds of tomatoes. Fresh produce doesn’t do itself justice, bearing in mind that there are no added chemicals. In fact, no added anything! Just put in a little sunshine, a bit of water, some basic pruning from time-to-time, a couple of old teabags, and you’ve got yourself a vegetable patch, and freshness to last you through the winter!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

If you’re as bad a cook as I am, get yourself a cookery book and learn how to to find fruit and vegetables all around us. Buy your loved ones a book that has never been out of print called appropriately: Food for Free by Richard Mabey! If you’re in Britain buy it via Amazon UK. If you’re in the US buy this book via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy this book via Amazon.de.

MAKE A HOME-MADE MOVIE

A home-made film doesn't cost a single thing!
A home-made film doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

If you have a smart phone, a camera, or a selfie stick, you can start making your very own-home movie, starring YOU. Produced by you, and directed and scripted, completely and utterly by you. Boy, but what a thrill!

I’m not going to show you any of my own home-movies. I’m not mad you know! But if you want to see some of my professional ones, click here!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

If you’re serious about movies and films, and want to take making a movie to the next level, why not go to film festivals for inspiration, then enrol at a film school nearby. I’m constantly being asked to make some sort of film production, made and produced by myself.

Er. Nope!

I love watching films. I love being in films, but I’m not skilled enough to actually make the film! And nor do I want to. I love being in front of the camera, rather than behind it!

I was even asked by the BBC to take part in an creative art make your own digital film project, but I turned it down. The BBC. I know!! Having said that, I love learning stuff which is why I’m always at one workshop or another, and there’s nothing wrong with adding to the skills that one already has. So I might book one of the MET practical filmmaking world renowned weekend courses after all. And certainly, if you’re serious about this stuff, you should do the same, or get one of your grannies to pay for it!

  • READ A BOOK
Reading a book doesn't cost a single thing!
Reading a book doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

If you’re clever, getting a book for free is as easy as getting a slice of bread, all you had to do is search for a classic book online, or go to your local library, and the book is yours. Certainly the Berlin Central and Regional Library (ZLB), yearly library membership cost between just €5.00 – €10.00 a year and include being able to borrow DVDs, Videos, Music CDs, Booklets, Audio books, Art related items, and up to 60 books at a time! On top of that, you have access to every other public library in the city. All pretty much free of charge.

Gosh!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

Why waste time. Buy your loved ones a kindle, and they can have a book for life!

Kindles are on special offer right now and they’re much cheaper than an iPad! I have Kindle on my iPad, and my phone, and a few years ago we bought “The Tall Young Gentleman” a Kindle Fire Tablet, and he’s still using it! For children, teenagers and millennials, Kindle Fire is your man!

If you’re in Britain, buy Kindle Fire via Amazon.uk. If you’re in the US, buy Kindle Fire via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy Kindle Fire via Amazon. de.

If you’re a dedicated reader, then a Kindle Paperwhite is more useful! If you’re in Britain, buy Kindle Paperwhite via Amazon.uk. If you’re in the US, buy Kindle Paperwhite via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy Kindle Paperwhite via Amazon. de.

Whatever. Buy a kindle!

ps. Fire Kindle does Snapchat too, if you download Google play store…

  • CHARITABLE GIFTS THAT YOU CAN SEE!
Donating an old toy, doesn't cost a single thing!
Donating an old toy, doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

I personally like to donate clothes, books and toys. I’ve also donated my time by teaching for free, or offering some other service. At one point, I was a Charitable Director of a Woman’s Shelter in London, and a civilian sergeant in the Engineering Unit of the Territorial Army!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

Most people by their very nature are charitable and want to help others, but sometimes there’s a nagging feeling if you’re really doing what you can? Is your money going to the people who need it most, or some administrative office in Switzerland?

Some organizations offer more tangible ways to do this. I’ve donated to UNESCO for children and natural disasters. I’ve also given money to start-up organisations in Berlin, as I like to support up and coming talent in various ways!

I was first introduced to a company called Kiva.org via my previous company who made a donation of $25 on my behalf, promising to double whatever I donated myself.  It’s a non-profit organisation that allows people to lend money via the internet to low-income entrepreneurs “to alleviate poverty.”

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

I donated another $25 and got to choose who I would give this loan to. I chose the owner of a small corner shop in South America. She paid me $2.00 every month and paid back the loan. But not to worry, I didn’t take the money. It’s put into your account where you can loan it out again!

Well-known charities like Oxfam, allow you to donate a specific animal – a goat or llama – or other basic items needed by the village.  You can also “adopt” endangered animals through animal conservation organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

  • FAMILY HISTORY 
Researching your family history doesn't cost a single thing!
Researching your family history doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Research your family history  and ask your grandparents about your ancestry, your roots, and your family history. You can also go to the local library, local burial grounds, church, place of worship, the town hall or failing that, get online and do some digging via  Ancestry.com! You’ll be surprised at what you find!

Via an old newspaper article, I found out that my dad was the first engineer of colour, in his Northern England unit! He’s in his 70’s now, so you can imagine what an achievement that was at the time!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

You can hire an expert historian who will do the digging for you and make your genealogical tree, or you can get your family tested for DNA. After all how do you think I know that I’m descended from royalty. I always tell people that I’m related to the other Queen Victoria. I’m not. It’s different royalty. But I might be!

Failing that why not go to Europe and find out. Many of you are descended from people in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia. Don’t you think it’s time you took a plane and found out!

  • WRITE YOUR OWN BOOK or START YOUR OWN BLOG
How to write & publish a book! I prefer paper or hard back!
How to write & publish a book!
I prefer paper or hard back!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Get yourself a glass of wine, grab some plain  white paper or your laptop, and get writing!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.
The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.

Buy the book of someone else. An ordinary person. Just like you.

Someone like my very own  brother, who wrote a children’s book called THE BEEHIVE, in just three (3) months!

If you’re in Britain buy it via Amazon UK. If you’re in the US buy this book via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy this book via Amazon.de.

Also, if you want to be like me when you grow up – a well-respected smart British – German blogger, all you have to do is to get yourself a website host such as Blue Host, and open up the website of wordpress.com.

It’s really easy and can be done in all of 10 minutes! If you really want to know how to set up a WordPress website in any language, let me know, and I’ll set up a post about it in January! Speaking of languages, have you seen my language tab at the top of the page? Now you can switch my post to any language you desire! Nifty!

I'm a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin - © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin –
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

So what are you waiting for, Xmas is just around the corner, get to work!

And good luck!

10 Christmas gifts that don't cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!
10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and amazing gifts, are my very own!

In January, I’ll be going to Holland.

The British Shorts Film Festival will take place from 12th – 18th January, 2017

Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th –  20th January, 2017.

At the end of January, I’ll be skiing in the Czech Republic.

Save the Date!

December is going to be bouncing!

Watch this space!

Please also note that there are three affiliate link companies (for the very first time), connected to this Christmas gift time post! Every time one of those services are used,  booked, and paid for via my link, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself! A win-win for all!

10 Christmas gifts that don't cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!
10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!

Which of these gifts would you use?  Do you prefer to buy, or give away? Let me know!

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

4 thoughts on “10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!

  1. Happy (belated) Birthday! Your cake looked yummy. Loved this post and you are so right that Christmas does not need to be about spending a fortune and financial ruin. A bit of imagination can go a long way. I like to give presents that are experiences…rather than just things. Walking tours are a great idea, I bought a food tasting walking tour for my son, he is currently living in London and I think he will love it. But don’t tell him shhhhh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Gilda! Your’re awfully sweet. 😀 Yep! It’s all about experiences. One year, I organised a treasure hunt with clues written in Shakespearean English. That was fun! As a child, we were huge on board games, and one year that was all we were allowed to give each other as gifts! I’d have to say that was one of my best Christmases, and not only because I’m the Queen of Board Games, and won them all!

      Sadly, my son has now taken my crown…! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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