6 fabulous free (or almost free) Christmas gift ideas

If you are watching your spending this festive season, these gifts will show how much you care without breaking the budget.

You don’t have to break the bank to spoil your loved ones this Christmas.

These creative gift ideas cost next to nothing but are sure to go down a treat.

Landscape the garden

If a friend or loved one’s garden is looking a little overgrown, transform it into a green oasis.

Even basic maintenance – pulling out weeds, cutting the grass, cleaning up the edges and trimming shrubs – will be appreciated.

As an added bonus, people who spend time in the garden enjoy better general health and are more active, according to UK research.

Lend your expertise

Are you handy with scissors and a hairdryer? Are you a perfectionist when it comes to detailing your car? Or maybe you’re a budding photographer?

Gift your time and your skills this Christmas.

Arrange to cut and blow dry your best friend’s hair – because everyone feels better with a new hair-do – or give mum or dad’s car a thorough clean.

Or do a photo shoot with family or friends and present them with beautiful photos to keep.

Offer to babysit

Print or handmake a gift voucher to present to your friend or family member offering to babysit for them for an evening.

Let a couple with young children enjoy a date night – the National Marriage Project in the US says date nights where couples try a new activity together help those loving feelings flowing.

Pack a picnic

Surprise someone you care about with a beautiful picnic.

Arrange a time to pick them up, take them to one of their favourite parks, lay out the picnic blanket and enjoy a few hours of relaxation and fine food.

Feast on Veggie-Loaded Mexican Frittatas and make room for some Carrot and Chocolate Cake.

Write a life story

If you love playing with words and you have a knack for tracing family trees or uncovering interesting family facts, pull that knowledge together and pen a life story for someone special.

It will create a unique legacy and ensure their family stories are preserved for future generations.

Deliver dinner

Fewer than 10 per cent of Australians eat enough fruits and vegetables and fewer than 20 per cent of people have enough fibre each day.

Pledge to deliver loved ones a nutritious dinner that they can just pop in the oven and warm up.

Try healthy, delicious dishes such as Pizza with Oven-Baked Root Vegetables, Mini Shepherd’s Pies or Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry.

Written by Sarah Marinos.