Don't let the holidays be financially stressful- remember it's the thought that counts!

The holiday season is the most financially stressful time of the year. When you have to get a gift for your spouse, your mother, your children, your boss, and your favorite coworkers, you can almost feel the weight of an empty wallet and a thick credit card bill already.

But Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive- retailers saturating magazines, TV, and your e-mail inbox with advertisements of sales; Christmas music beginning to play on the radio at the beginning of November, and all the assorted holiday hype can make people forget what Christmas is really about- spending time with your loved ones and letting them know you appreciate them and are thinking of them. Why this translates into feeling as if you’re obligated to buy the biggest flatscreen TV, purchase a state of the art smartphone, or drape everyone on your gift list in designer duds, we’ll never know. You can give a gift with a bigger impact than the most expensive purchase- your thoughtfulness is what counts. Below are Moran Law’s ideas for DIY, inexpensive Christmas gifts that are sure to warm the hearts of your friends and family.

1. Thrift store finds

Crawl local thrift stores to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for super cheap. Many thrift stores carry a variety of books, home goods, accessories, even electronics and children’s toys. You could find a new set of speakers for you teenage son for a fraction of the cost of a new pair, pick up an inexpensive, unique frame to put a treasured photo in, or give your daughter who just moved into her first apartment a toaster oven or coffee maker. Thrift stores are great because they have a wide variety of items at prices far lower than retail value.

2. Handmade gifts

Handmade gifts come from the heart. They don’t have to be extravagant! These thoughtful gifts are often more appreciated than a gift you could pick up at any big-box retailer. Make a scrapbook with treasured family photos for Mom, write and illustrate your nephew an original children’s book- the greatest gifts are the most thoughtful ones that come from the heart. They don’t have to cost a thing but your time and effort.

3. Give an experience

Gifts don’t always have to be tangible. Research says you are likely to be happier if you spend money on an experience rather than physical goods. You’ll have the memory of the experience forever, and perhaps you’ll find a new hobby or interest. Go rock climbing with your friend or family member, try yoga together, or go out to eat at an unusual restaurant. Goupon.com is an excellent way to get a discount on new experiences- you can get Groupons for many different services and activities in your area. Search Groupon.com with your zip code to find coupons and deals near you- you just might develop a new hobby or interest!