Five ways to give festive cheer on the cheap
1 Personalised 'time' vouchers
The gift of your time is the most thoughtful of all, so give a voucher for something you can do and it won't cost you a cent.
How about making one where you offer to babysit for a harried mum; cook a three-course meal in your house for your favourite friends.
If you have a skill, why not give that as a gift? You could offer internet lessons to your gran or finally fix the leaky tap.
2 Wrap it up
Whatever you give, if it's wrapped up with style it'll be like two presents in one.
Forget spending on glossy wrapping paper and baubles. Use old newspapers, magazine pages or tissue paper. Add a bit of ribbon and then stick on a couple of leaves or flowers from your garden.
If you have old fabric use that, and paint or draw on it to personalise the wrapping if you like. The quirkier the better!
3 Video from Santa
If you have too many little people in your life to buy for, don't panic. Instead, you can arrange for Santa to give them a personal video message all the way from the North Pole.
You can tell Santa all about the child and even send him a photo. The smile when the video is received will be worth a million but it's free to you at www.portablenorthpole.tv
Don't feel like shelling out on Christmas cards and postage? Then send a free e-Christmas card. You'll find a myriad of sites offering this service by doing a web search.
Or to make the card more of a gift personalise it. Use a template from a site such as www.smilebox.com, upload photos or a video, add a personal message and music, and you've got a gift that keeps on giving.
5 Personalised pressies
Present your loved ones with a printed book of photos of happy memories. You can get an A4 sized book containing 26 images for €26.99 at www.photobox.ie or a mini-book with 31 images for €6.49.
Or you could give a calendar complete with whatever photos you choose, from €14.50. You could also try www.snapfish.ie for ideas such as a mini photo book for €7.92.