DIY Gift Baskets: Things I learned from being a poor artist

Being a starving artist has its ups and downs.  Mostly, emotional ups and financial downs.  It’s tough to wake up to “hopes and dreams” and go to bed muttering “Ahhh, sleep for dinner again.”

However, this economy has certainly made it very artist friendly.  Now EVERYONE understands what it’s like to hustle day in and day out.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying THIS ECONOMIC MELTDOWN IS AWESOME.  But THIS ECONOMIC MELTDOWN IS AWESOME.

Around the holidays, it’s always embarrassing and guilt inducing asking for a plane ticket home for your Christmas present.  Then everyone insists on giving you something to open, adding to the guilt parade.  I used to spend WAY too much money at Christmas to compensate for all of the generosity and support my friends and family give me throughout the year.  Then this year, I got a card from a family member — and realized that was really all I needed from them.  I know they just had a baby and don’t have tons of money.  Call me a slow learner – but hey, I’m a late bloomer.

*Cue fountains and swell music*  Not having a lot of dough doesn’t make you a cheapskate!  It makes you creative!

*Children’s chorus enters and sings Silent Night*

My friend Paula told me what she’s giving her extended family.  She’s doing a “Cozy Night In” gift basket.  She got some mugs, hot chocolate, a bottle of wine, and a DVD.  I thought that was brilliant!  A little bit of thought goes a long way.  Especially if you have lots of performer propaganda like I do! (The Apple Sisters have a CD!  Just in time for the holidays!)

Here are some ideas:

“Pick Me Up Basket” – Some coffee, an aromatic candle or lotion, chocolate,  DVD of “Up”

“Spoil Yourself” – Manicure set, nail polish, eye pillow, bottle of wine

“Holi-boozy” – Six pack of beer, Aspirin, Snacks, “Hangover” DVD

“Propaganda” – Apple Sisters CD, some Pink Wine, a pair of tickets to the Apple Sisters, and a candy apple

Come on, I had to!

Here are some additional tips for making your own gift baskets:

*Steer clear of bubble baths.  I don’t know anyone who actually uses the bubble baths they receive.

*Use DVDs, books, and music to build a theme.

*Don’t over think it.  Pick 3-4 items and you’ll be great!

*No need to overspend!  Go to Trader Joe’s or Target and get what you need.  Wine is only $3-$4 at Trader Joe’s – and it’s good.  Unless you’re buying for a wine connoisseur, don’t sweat it.

*Make your own cookies and snacks.  This is always a nice touch.  And also good on the wallet.

That’s all from Cheapskatewood headquarters.  I’m assembling my Apple Sisters themed gifts now!!

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