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Reader Holiday Tip: Send Christmas Cheer All Month Long Without Breaking the Bank…

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Holiday Tip (sent in by reader, Jaclyn)…

I have a holiday tip (gift idea) to share. Every year I struggle to come up with great gift ideas for the grandmothers in my family. I love to give them things that they love, without giving them things that simply fill up their houses and are not really needed.

Last year, I came up with a gift idea I called the “25 Days of Christmas”. Each day of December, I sent something to my husband’s grandmother, who lives across the country from us. Some of the items that I sent included: art created by my young daughter, photo cards, letters written by each member of our family, photos of our family with a description of what event/occasion the photos were taken at, and Christmas cards. I tried mixing up the types of items I would send each day.

To tie the gift together and help her know that the piece of mail was part of her 25 Days of Christmas gift, I created special labels to place on the outside of each envelope I sent her. I used blank address labels printed with the words “25 Days of Christmas” at the top and then the Day number below that. The labels helped decorate the backs of the envelopes and helped me stay organized on which item to mail each day.

My grandmother-in-law loved receiving a piece of fun mail every day of the month. It gave her something to look forward to. I had fun deciding what items to send to her, and enjoyed getting input from my husband and daughter. It was such a hit that I decided to do the same thing again this year, for all three of our grandmother’s!

To prepare for the 25 mailings for each grandmother, I have created photo cards using the deals offered by Shutterfly. I have jumped at the chance each time Hip2save has posted the deal for 10 free photo cards and I now have multiple cards ready to go for each grandmother!

Throughout the year I have used Viggle (iTunes or Android Devices (Google Play))and Swagbucks to earn Amazon gift cards, which has allowed me to buy supplies without having to spend my own money. I’ve also used the fantastic deals posted on Hip2save to get free printer paper (for some of the art) and find deals on printer ink and address labels.

NOTE FROM COLLINSorry for getting this wonderful reader holiday idea up so late (I know – it’s already December… time is sure flying by!). However, you could do a shortened version this year – maybe 10 or 15 Days of Christmas. Also, be sure to keep this idea in mind for next year. And note that you really could do this anytime of year to make someone feel special. For example, you could do it for a loved one during their birthday month!

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Comments 33

  1. Chantal

    Thank you! I absolutely love this idea. Very creative!!

  2. Judy Trac

    Perfect as I have a lot of friends

  3. Denloc

    Doing this for my mom/ mother in law!! But the TWELVE days of Christmas!! Thanks!

  4. Sarah

    Nice idea but I think I’d ship a package of them all at once with one to open each day, stamps are NOT cheap anymore so that adds up!

    • Kidsallgone

      That’s a great idea too 🙂 And for us Hanukkah gals/guys, there are 8 days of Hannukah so I think I’ll send my Mom-in-law who is 89 yrs young (and was just diagnosed with cancer again after surviving breast, kidney, & uterine cancers over the years) a package with gifts to open each day of Hannukkah! Thanks for the idea!

      • Candace

        God bless your mother in law. I will keep her in my prayers tonight.

    • Kristina

      I think I will do what Sarah is suggesting about sending the box. I know that letters may not always arrive on the right days even if you mail them out every single day. this is a great idea!

      • Erin

        Ha! In my case, I’m sure many would never arrive! Postal service stinks in my area, and the supervisor at the post office tells me they’ll look for lost mail but there’s really nothing else they can do since they have no way of knowing if our mail issues are on their end.

    • Anne

      As expensive as postage is, I would still stick with 1/day. The highlight of the day for older people is getting real mail! I can see the delight in her grandma-in-law’s eyes (and envy from her fellow seniors)!!!

  5. kristina

    love this idea….and was thinking the same thing as another reader….could do 12 days of christmas!

  6. lindsey

    This is so sweet. My husband’s grandfather just passed away last week and I’m sure his grandmother would love to get little notes, pictures and trinkets from my kiddos. Thank you so much for posting this!

  7. Ger

    What a beautiful idea, Jaclyn!

  8. Swirlypop

    Love this idea. 😄 Such a thoughtful way to brighten the holidays for those who don’t need “more stuff”!

  9. Ann Dee

    I love this idea and all forms of it! Thanks for the inspiration and thanks for posting it Collin. I am little by little trying to stop making Christmas about STUFF and instead try to make memories and GIVE rather than receive at Christmas time.

  10. Deidra

    I love this idea too but would also do the 12 days of Christmas as stamps ARE expensive 🙂 I was wondering though….Anyone know where she got those red cards with the white writing on the back? LOVE them! As always, Collin- You’re AMAZING!

    • Dee

      No way! We have the same name! I’ve never “met” anyone with my name! It’s always spelled with an E on the end. So cool!

  11. Lisa K.

    What a great idea! I love it since I struggle with what to get the great grandmas these days. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Josie

    This idea made me so happy that I got a little tear in my eye. I was thinking of my loved ones that would love to receive a thoughtful note, kid art work, pictures, and special little care packages that would make their season much more fulfilling rather than a one-time gift on Christmas that may or may not be what they’d like. I know that the cost of stamps has risen, but doing this for 8 or 12 or 22 days isn’t going to break the bank. Even though visiting in person is the very best, it isn’t always possible sometimes and this is much cheaper than several plane tickets. Thanks for sharing the awesomeness!

  13. Em

    This is somewhat unrelated; I’ve been waiting for another Shutterfly post to post these codes, but this will have to do. I have two codes anyone can use, as I will not be using them. Please leave a post saying you used them if you do, so other people aren’t trying to use them also:
    $20 off Holiday cards code: 4A5Y-3N42-P7AZ-T65ZFP expires Dec 14
    $10 off $30+ code: DHUC-EV92-JRCF-VH04T1 expires Dec 14

  14. melissajomar

    I think this is a great idea! Less than $6 for 12 stamps is a super affordable gift. I might do this for my mom from her grandkids

  15. Linette

    For your elderly friends and relatives, doing this once a month could be a lifesaver. Just a little note, card or picture to remind them that are loved and thought about all year long, not just in December.

  16. Becky W.

    Great idea! I love it!

  17. Mary McKay

    We do photo calendars. Small thoughtful and last a year. Great grandparents love them.

  18. Pamela B

    What a clever idea!

  19. Jennifer

    Jaclyn-such a sweet and creative idea!!! I love it!

  20. Dee

    I do something similar for my grandmother that I don’t see that often. I wait for the “99 pictures for $x.xx shipped” deals and pick pictures of my kids throughout the year. I include a letter and also tell her what the pictures are. She loves getting this since she can’t see my children on a regular basis.

  21. Meg F

    This is wonderful and such a blessing I’m sure for the elderly. Love it…a thoughtFUL gift!!The true meaning of Christmas demonstrated! 🙂

  22. Em


  23. Anne

    Another idea: birthdays! When my sister turned 50, I sent 50 little presents: 50 pennies, 2 quarters, anything “golden,” 50/50, etc. Many were 1/day. Occasionally, several together. The last 5 were party supplies (crown, confetti, stickers, etc) … Mailed to her place of work, with big writing on the outside of the box: “Happy 50th Birthday!” Yep, the mailroom guys saw it…. And they made her open it in front of everyone… And wear the crown! 🙂

  24. Darcie

    I do this, but instead of for 25 days of Christmas, I do 1 gift each month of the coming year (so 12 gifts). It is so nice for the gift to last all year!

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