(NC) The holiday season often brings out the best in people. We want to help those in need. We want to spread Christmas cheer. Sometimes, we want to do more than our bank account will allow. If you’re in this situation, don’t resign yourself to being a Scrooge. With a little creativity, you can share your festive spirit with those who need it most.

Here are a few gift ideas that will cost you $30 or less.

  1. Share edible treats:  If you know your way around the kitchen, you can give the gift of a home-cooked meal or treats. Maybe make a bulk batch of your soup or pasta dish that your friend loves. Put it in freezable containers for a readymade meal. Or premix the dry ingredients for your favourite cookie or brownie recipe and share in a decorative container.
  2. Volunteer:  There are many volunteer activities you can participate in at this time of year, including working at a food bank, collecting winter coats for people experiencing homelessness or wrapping toys for children in need. If you can’t do it in person, there are volunteer activities you can do behind the scenes or online, such as using your writing or organizing skills. Volunteer.ca lists opportunities across Canada.
  3. Give a gift that multiplies in value:  Many charitable organizations partner with governments and corporations to provide matching donations, so your individual contribution is multiplied. One example is World Vision’s gift catalogue which includes several affordable gifts that get multiplied up to seven times and contribute to education, gender equality and food security.
  4. Re-gift:  Re-gifting has gotten a bad reputation as something you do to people you don’t like. But it can be meaningful. What book inspired you? What holiday decoration brings back memories? Wrap it and share it.
  5. Give of yourself:  Sometimes in the busyness of the holidays, what gets lost is focused time with family and friends. Booking some time with loved ones or devoting your attention to someone one-on-one can be the most caring gift of all.

Find more information about the gift catalogue at worldvision.ca/give.