Gift of the Month Suggestions
By Melanie Christiansen

The homemade "gift-of-the-month" plan is an awesome idea for a budget stretcher, especially for a long-distance relative. It encourages the recipient to keep open communications and teaches youngsters the basics of currency exchange by requiring payment in the form of a coupon for their monthly gift. Corresponding by mail is becoming a lost art in this electronic age. But with a dozen pre-addressed and stamped envelopes, people are motivated to send a short note, photo or drawing with each coupon at no cost to them.

Print up your own gift certificate and include twelve coupons, each in their own self-addressed, stamped envelope. Tie them up with a bow and present them as is or in a gift bag or box. This is a great gift for any age or gender. Customize to the individual's personality and interests to become more involved with far-away contacts. Have a great time keeping in touch. Here are 25 ideas to get you started:

1) Home-baked treats

2) Gifts in a jar

3) Books

4) Neckties

5) School supplies

6) Art supplies

7) Dining out

8) Puzzles

9) Software

10) Coloring books

11) Craft projects

12) Socks

13) Jewelry

14) Lip gloss

15) Nail polish

16) Pens

17) Teddy bears

18) Angels

19) Photographs

20) Jokes

21) Toys

22) Rubber stamps

23) Kitchen utensils

24) Movies

25) Hair ornaments (barrettes/scrunchies)

Melanie Christiansen lives in northwest Ohio with her husband of 12 years, their two cats of 11 years, and their two-year-old child. Raising their daughter is her full-time job. On the side, she runs an online support group for housewives and sells educational toys, along with her own handmade crafts. Her website is mamalanie/craftycrafterson..

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