Tag Archives: Christmas

‘Tis the Season for Giving

Financial Aid to the Rescue! The holidays should be about surrounding yourself with friends, family, and good times. Make this year memorable not because of the expensive gifts you gave, but because of the special times you shared with your loved ones! Here are a few shopping tips and gift ideas that won’t break your bank.

Minimize your gift list: If you have a large family, suggest drawing names so you only need to buy one gift, instead of purchasing gifts for everyone.

Gift obligations: Feel obliged to give a gift to a friend? Suggest getting together for a night out instead of exchanging gifts.

Consider a seasonal job at your favorite store: Not only will you make extra money, but many shops offer employee discounts!

Shop after Christmas: Maybe you’re visiting family/friends after Christmas? The biggest sales of the year occur the day after Christmas. The crowds might be oppressive, but it’s a good time to snag gifts at great prices.

Plan ahead for next Christmas: Spread your shopping over the next year. Buy things when they are on sale and save them. Stock up on gifts when you have a summer job.

The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach: Consider inviting some friends over for a day of baking. Friends can share the expense AND the work, and everyone leaves with something.

Local Gifts

Take Photos of the Coast:You have access to the Pacific’s beautiful coastlines, the lone Cypress tree along 17 mile drive, historic buildings, and the fertile Salinas Valley! Put your photos in great frames from Ross and Marshalls, which have huge supplies of discounted frames.

Wine Under $15:Need help picking out a bottle? You can find recommendations on food and wine pairings, the best gift wines, and even a section of wine under $20!

Garlic Braids:You live 30 minutes from the Garlic Capital of the world! Consider a book of garlic recipes, and package it with a garlic braid!

The Artichoke Queen:Did you know that Marilyn Monroe was crowned the very first Castroville Artichoke Queen in 1947? The world’s largest artichoke is also in Castroville! Buy some giant artichokes and give them with a book of recipes!

Fresh Fruits and Veggies:Get creative, you live where fresh fruits and vegetables abound! The combinations are endless!

Easy and Low Stress

A mug and/or gift certificate to your recipient’s favorite coffee shop
A deck of cards
A box of theater candy with a movie theater gift certificate
Board games
Notecards and/or a book of stamps
Microwave popcorn and a gift certificate for video rentals
House Plants MGO is Marina always has a supply of plants usually priced at $5.99 or less!


Put your talents to work for you!
Give a massage
A free night of babysitting
Wash the car
Do household chores like vacuuming or cleaning windows
Cook a favorite meal
Most importantly, enjoy the season!