Don't Have Much Money? 3 Free Gifts that Keep on Giving

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Don't Have Much Money? 3 Free Gifts that Keep on Giving

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Too often, society attaches greater importance to things with larger price tags. However, things bought with money aren't the only worthwhile gifts.

In fact, other gifts can be even more valuable.

There are some gifts that cost no money, but they continue to give.

If you don't have much money, but you want to give this holiday season, here are 3 gifts that keep on giving:

1. Volunteer Work

Not everyone can give money to charity during the holiday season, but that doesn't mean that they don't want to help. Your volunteer work can be a great gift to those less fortunate. One of the realities of life is that there are probably those who are in need even more than you. You can give the gift of your time through volunteer work.

Offer to help at the local food bank, collecting and sorting food, and giving it out. If your area has a Sub for Santa program (or a similar program) offer to help coordinate efforts. Take a look around at local charity organizations. Chances are that someone needs your help. The work you do at a charity has a huge impact, and what you do can keep on giving, providing a better life for others.

2. Donate Parts of Yourself

You don't have to consider the holiday season as a time for gift giving just to your friends and family. Consider donating blood or plasma. You can also donate bone marrow (if you have a little more time), or your hair.

There are few gifts more precious than those associated with life. Your blood donation can save others' lives. Your hair donation can improve the quality of life experienced by someone with cancer. Think about what you can give of yourself this holiday season.

You'll be surprised to discover how good you feel about yourself when you give to those who need your help.

3. Spend Time with Loved Ones

How busy are you? Don't just consider sharing your time and efforts with strangers. Give the gift of your time this holiday season. Spend time with loved ones. You don't even have to do something big. When a loved one of mine was in a nursing home, I sat with her as she deteriorated. Toward the end, I don't think she truly recognized me, but she wasn't alone, and I think she felt my love for her.

But don't wait until a loved one is at death's door. You can spend time with those who are most important to you regularly. That is a gift that keeps on giving, since you will build memories together -- memories that can provide comfort and happiness on dark days. Commemorate the event with images, and you will provide an even bigger boost.

There's no reason to get caught up in the financial aspects of the holiday season.

In fact, you are more likely to have a more meaningful holiday if you focus on things like love, friendship, and charity. Give your time and your effort. These are more valuable gifts anyway.

What do you think? Will you give of yourself this holiday season?

Miranda Marquit, Guest personal finance expert for leading provider of debt relief CareOne Services, inc. Miranda Marquit

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger, specializing in topics related to personal finance and business. Her work has appeared in, and been linked to from, a variety of publications, online and offline. Miranda blogs for a number of web sites, and has her own personal finance blog, Planting Money Seeds

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  • One of the things that I do for my family that isn't exactly free, but that uses fresh fruits and vegetables from my garden, is that I make a lot of specialty canned goods. Every Christmas they return the jars and they get a big box of jams, jellies, sauces, relishes, dried herbs, dried veggie and fruit snacks, etc. They love it. Food from my garden doesn't go to waste. I have fun in the kitchen and get an amazing feeling making things for my family.

    I also give jams, jellies and relishes as teacher gifts and a couple of the local charities I work with put together baskets for silent auctions and they always ask for home canned goods, so I give my time and donate items (I make jewelry too) for auction. This always makes me feel like I'm giving more when times are tight financially.

    Great ideas Miranda. I don't want to crash the economy, but we've got to stop spending so much cash on our families and start spending more time with them.

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