There’s a plant-bed full of Aloe Vera bushes behind our house, and they remind me of the love that has blossomed and matured over the couple of years I have been married. It was originally just a single potted plant—the first gift my future-husband ever gave me.
The sprig of an Aloe Vera plant may seem a strange present, and I have to admit I thought so too, in the beginning. But when he explained that it was to soothe the blistering sunburn I’d gotten during our first date together at the beach, I knew it was a priceless gift of love. Many moons later, I used the same plant for the scar from the C-section birth of our son, and again to heal a burn I’d gotten while in our house. Each time I see those bushes, I am reminded that love must be tended to, watered, and nurtured, like that single plant which multiplied. I also remember that often, the sweetest gifts are not store-bought nor ordered from a catalogue.
Now, it’s that time of the year again when we are bombarded on all sides with consumerism and the pressure to buy, buy, buy, that perfect gift for that special someone. But love isn’t supposed to be costly, is it? Is it possible to cancel out the costs and spend nothing but time for something meaningful?
If they really are the person meant for you right now, then, in truth, they shouldn’t expect you to spend tons of money on an expensive Christmas gift. In fact, the time and effort you put into making them a special gift should say more than any gift certificate could. And the worth of that gift—the love it leaves in your hearts, should last for a long, long time after.
To get your creative juices flowing, here are 12 ideas for gifts that don’t cost anything but love (and a little effort):