Some of the most thoughtful, most memorable gifts that I’ve ever received have sat on the frugal side of the financial fence, like the necklace my husband gave me. He fashioned it from a penny that was created the year we married. I absolutely adore that necklace. I also cherish the sticky notes of encouragement my daughter sprinkles everywhere, and the hilarious graphic comic strips my son creates and excitedly reads to us. We get so used to commercials and advertisements, telling us what we’re missing out on, that it’s uber-easy (for us all) to simply overlook the many economical and fun ways we can demonstrate love. Below is a quick list to help you show those special people in your life, just how much they mean to you, and they’re so frugal that you can start today.
1. Write a card.
This is something that you can stop and do right now. Has someone been kind to you? Is a friend going through a difficult patch? Let him know you care with a simple card. Whether on blank paper or from an economy-sized pack, the sentiment is the same.
2. Let someone else choose.
Is it time for a family movie? Are you bringing home some take-out? Has one of the family members not chosen in a while? Let him. Let him know that you all value his likes and dislikes.
3. Make a meal.
Maybe a friend has been sick, or a loved one just had a new baby. Double the ingredients for dinner and do a meal drop-off. You can keep this low-cost by doubling one of your less expensive recipes. Better yet, get the kids involved with the cooking.
4. Make that call or send that text.
Most people know that I’m really not a talk-on-the-phone person, so I would go with the text, but, either way, do it. Maybe communication is just what that person needs, and there’s a really great chance that afterward, you’ll be “all the better” too.
5. Invite the family on a walk.
Exercise is a superb mood-lifter. Enjoy nature and engage in conversation. With social-distancing and masks, in these unusual times, this can be great for friends also. What a simple, uplifting way to show you care.
6. Support others.
Many of our friends and family are small business owners, which is no small feat. Take the time to write a positive review. Like their pages. Share their posts. Be a connection to others who may be looking for just such goods and services. These businesses are their hearts, their livelihood. Acts like this cost nothing and are truly special ways to demonstrate love.
7. Give compliments and kind words freely.
Did someone do something super impressive? Tell him. Are you feeling extra appreciative of a relationship? Say so. Compliments and kind words are fantastic means of love.
8. Send pictures.
Every so often, print an envelope of pictures out at your local store. Walgreens has great deals, even, at times, fifty-percent off your entire picture purchase. Send them to family and friends who aren’t on social media and don’t see your family pictures on the daily. If they don’t really do physical pictures, zip them an email with attachments. We all get busy, but it’s important to keep those connections.
9. Celebrate others’ accomplishments.
Did someone get promoted? Hang a CONGRATULATIONS banner. Did a child just conquer a great reading challenge? Make his favorite dessert. Some of my most cherished memories are celebrating progress. I know, during these times, it may look like a Zoom call, but it’s still an experience that leaves everyone smiling.
Pray with them. Pray for them. Pray when they are on grand mountaintops. Pray when they are in overwhelming valleys. Prayer is available to all and a beautiful expression of love.
About Amberly Clowe
Amberly Kristen Clowe loves to make children smile with stories, and if they laugh, even better. She is at home with a cup of coffee and a pastry. Amberly lives in Houston with her family, who just so happens to share her same zest for life. Amberly teaches both elementary and middle school students, and she hopes to learn at least one zany thing every day. You can find out more about Amberly at www.amberlykristenclowe.com.