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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Help me get creative!

My husband's mother struggles financially and we wanted to surprise her with some money at Christmas. Last year I put the money inside a card and put it inside a box, inside a bigger box, etc. There ended up being 10 boxes in total (all were wrapped). And when she got to the card, it had a $5 bill in front of the cash and she was like "How nice", then she spread the money out and gasped in shock. It was awesome!

This year, she'll be expecting something like that. I need to get more creative. Got any ideas??


Shannon said...

What about a Christmas "treasure" hunt where she opens a box reads a clue that leads to another box somewhere etc until the last clue leads her to the gift.

Heather said...

I like Shannon's idea...a fun way to make it a little more entertaining is with each clue, you could leave money. Depending on how much you want to give ... Clue one could have one penny, clue two could be two nickels, clue three could be three dimes, clue four could be four quarters, clue five could be five dollars ($5), clue six could be six $5 bills ($30), clue seven could be seven $10 bills ($70) ... That would be just around $100. You could change the number per item, but something where it keeps building could be fun! Good luck! :)

Anonymous said...

What about using the bills to make ornaments.... think "butterfly" shape and hang them all over the tree and wait til she notices the new ornaments...

Anonymous said...

my brother gave his girlfriend a box that had a hidden bottom. On the top he but a paper IOU for a pair of new slippers, attached to the note was a string. When she lifted the note to read it the bottom came with it. He actually had a beautiful bracelet on the real bottom of the box. HTH and have fun no matter what you do for her I am sure she will enjoy the time you spent to make it special.

debbie said...

What about doing a scavenger hunt? I am not sure how old she is but maybe to open one box at a time or start with clues from the time she wakes up....oh, just saw someone else was thinking the same thing.....maybe do little gifts at the tree and either at breakfast or something...have her find bits throughout the meal....Merry Christmas!!

Anonymous said...

u could place it in an ornament and place it in the tree, and when it's time for presents u can tell her it's in the tree, its cool watching them search for it. or u could leave a clue trail--now that could be lots of fun.

Lisa said...

It is humbling to receive money from your children no matter what the circumstances. I'm sure she does things for you and your family throughout the year that are "valuable" to you. Remind her of those things by incorporating it in her scavenger hunt. A note detailing something she does and what it means at each stop. She will feel rich in many ways...

momothree said...

What about including some small items and doing the pop bottle craft idea?
I used this idea for teacher gifts and a couple other people that I gave gift cards.

Sara said...

Two ideas...get her a cute inexpensive purse and wallet or just a wallet...put the money in the new wallet.


Get a jewelry box from a jewelry store or one you have on hand from receiving jewelry...put the money in it...a braclet box or pearl box would fit more : )

Christy said...

What about a bouquet of flowers where the flowers are money. I am sure there is some sort of orgami instructions out there to make different flowers with pip cleaners or construction papers for stems in a pretty vase. You could even get a clear vase from a thrift store or something and have the kids decorate it.

Suzie - Mommy to 3 said...

For my dads GF he wanted to give her money to go buy clothes. He always jokes on her cooking, so we got her a crock-pot (on sale for like $9.. I opened it oh so easily, put the money INSIDE the crock pot and wrapped it back like it had never been opened!

When she opened it my dad was like "oh thats nice, open it up and lets see how big it is".. She had NO CLUE! When she opened it the look on her face was priceless.. You could tell for a split second she thought it was a mistake (by the company)

JLPierce Ohana said...

When I was graduating from college, my fiance's parents gave me a tupperware set. I guess I wasn't expecting that for graduating. Then they said "open it" and there were all kinds of bills mixed in of all denominations and in and under all the containers and lids. It was the most fun "money gift" I've been given!

Anonymous said...

Get your cash all in ones and scrunch them up and put them all in one box. It makes an impression!

Anonymous said...

Tape the bills end to end and roll them up!

Kristin from Couponing to Disney said...

These ideas were all so great! We ended up making a scavenger hunt. There are 15 hiding spots and each envelope contains a bill. I wish I had seen the suggestion about putting a small note in each one about how much she means to us before I wrote them out and hid them in the house. HAHA!

I gave her a sheet of rules too. My nephew (whom she raises) can only help her on 5 of the hunts. She got 8 sheets of paper that she can give to us for additional clues if she can't figure out the hint.

And once she gets to the correct location, only my kids can help her find the envelope (they are 5 and 2).

If at any point she gets frustrated or gives up, she forfeits the rest of the prizes (which u know I'd still give them to her.). She also doesn't know how many envelopes there are.

We are going to do this tomorrow night. I'm making Chili for dinner. YUM!

My father in law passed away in 2008 after a 2 year battle with lung cancer and unfortunately he left her with nothing. She is raising my 14 year old nephew who has Cerebral Palsy. She's a remarkable woman.

Thanks everyone!

Good Deal Mama said...

I think it is great that you do this for her! I hope you have a great Christmas Kristin!

Anonymous said...

This is great what Kristin is doing, but not everyone has money. So, to those of you who cannot really spend much money this Christmas I want to encourage you to even do boxes where you put all kinds of toiletry items and household items you have gotten for FREE or almost FREE. I used to feel ackward (all my own doing) when I 1st started taking toothpaste, deodorant, pads, you name it to church to bless others. I felt like they were thinking I was stupid which they were not. I take stuff all the time. That tube of toothpaste may seem like nothing, but it can mean alot to someone who is struggling. Not only does it help them financially, but it lets them know you really care about them. This year we have made up boxes of stuff for each sibling's family as well as my husband's parents on his side of the family & wrapped the boxes. They have just about everything from bodywash and razors to toothpaste/brushes and detergent. It may have seemed like a silly gift 3 years ago, but in today's world it is a burden lifted off of someone. So, I encourage you to be creative and use the resources God has blessed us with. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

If she likes plants make a money tree, clothespin money all over it put coins around the bottom of it you could also decorate it with lights. Hope you figure it out and have a very merry christmas

Anonymous said...

make snowball soap and after a few days of using it she'll have her money! or if you did glycerin soap she could see that there was money in the middle and be more enticed to use it quicker...

Melissa said...

I know this is too late now (maybe for next year), you could bake them into something. You could either do fortune cookies, which would be easy, but not super tasty, or you could wrap the money in tin foil and bake it in a cake, or many cupcakes. Then have her eat one (or just a piece) so she gets the idea. What a yummy way to find money :). She does sound like a wonderfully strong woman! On another note, I found your site only a couple of weeks ago and "smart shopping" is going to be my New Year's resolution. Thank you so much for inspiring me to help save money for my family. Have a Merry Christmas!

Larry said...

What a great idea. I don't know if you have heard of these ideas:
Fold bills in half and roll tightly into miniature roses. Secure the roses with a craft wire or florist tape adding a silk stem and leaves as you wrap. Put the dollar roses in a fancy tissue lined box or beautiful vase with real baby's breath and floral filler for a very romantic way to give money!
Not only do piñata's make a fun party game try stuffing it with coins and money as a fun gift idea! Mexican Indians originally made piñata's as a way to depict their idols and worship their gods. But today you will find piñata’s being used around the world and they come in many different shapes. For another unique way to give money, buy a piñata shaped as a pig. You could also easily make your own giant piggy bank piñata.
To make a Piñata you will need:

1 - 9" - 25" sturdy,empty helium balloon

Optional smaller balloons

12" wide strips of newspaper

Decoupage glue

Sharp scissors

Lots of Coins

Step 1 - Start by inflating the balloon and tying a knot in the end. You can tape several balloons together to create the shape you want your piñata to be but a oval is the easiest shape to work with.

Step 2- Carefully dip the strips on newspaper into the decoupage and gently lay it across the balloon working vertically until it is covered. Continue covering the balloon in the opposite direction horizontally. You can continue adding newspaper strips until the balloon feels solid and firm. When it is dry, use a pin to pop the balloon.

Step 3- Next paint the balloon whatever color you wish and embellish it as desired.

Step 4-Find a place where the a hole will not be easily noticed and cut three sides of a square to create a door that can be opened. Fill your piñata with lots of coins
I know there is a great book out there that is only about creative ideas to give money, good luck.

Anonymous said...

On our wedding we got a box of kleenex. you pulled out the first kleenex and there were a long sting of bills all taped end to end in it! That was 18 years ago and its one of the most memorable gifts! always brings a smile everytime :)

Anonymous said...

My nephew is a college student and this year he asked for groceries!!! money, and gas cards. The Grocery part was perfect for me! I was able to get him so much stuff for free to next to free! I wrapped him a HUGE box of everything from toothpaste, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and Food. He really loved it! I also gave stockings to all my family filled with FREE stuff! I also give items I can't use but are free to others. So I think what we are all doing is wonderful. I Want to THANK Couponing to Disney for ALl you Hard Work and Sharing this with your following! Kyla from Mobile

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