Come mid-December, millions of high-school and college students – and young working folk as well – will fret about how to stretch their holiday gift budget over the growing list of good friends. The worst thing about that hard-to-ignore tendency, besides the fact that it’s often counterproductive and energy-sapping, is that it assumes money is always the factor. It doesn’t have to be. For those who are willing to wax creative and think about “giveable” personal resources, low- and even no-cost gift ideas abound. Following are a few ideas to get started: AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsMemory-inspired gifts. Some of the best gifts are those that remind the recipient of a happy time or special moment, and how better to do that than with a photo or photo album – actual or virtual. Have a cherished image reproduced in 5-by-7 inch format, on high-quality paper and then frame it. Alternatively, create a small album of images from a fun road trip, or an artfully designed online photo slide show, with clever captions. On another note, how about a “personal-mix” CD of a half-dozen songs the friend has said, “Hey, I like that tune” to in recent months. Make & bake options. Devote an afternoon to making homemade gifts of food or simple crafts. Homemade sauces or chutneys, for example, or the time-honored plate of house-made brownies or cookies, or homemade bread, topped with a pretty hand-made card, make wonderful gifts. Jars of homemade jam or chutney, for example, make very festive gifts when creatively packaged – and can be enjoyed, memorably, months later when the holiday spirit has long passed, especially if the label contains a bit of detail about the item and the giver. Give freebies or coupons. Many of us have items hanging around that are perfect for giving and possibly going unused. Frequent flier miles are an obvious one, but gift cards or credits at stores or coffee shops, for example, also can be humorously “re-gifted” (just make that point about the gift being “recycled with affection” – it’ll be well received for sure. Get it used, give it renewed. The thrift store culture that emerged in the 1970s is back with a bang, and it’s giving rise to a clever way to give gifts that are not only recycled in the literal sense, but also inexpensive – and possibly humorously memorable. Check out the jewelry and accessories counters in the local Goodwill, for example, for an odd vintage costume-jewelry item (a $4 faux-diamond cat pin or gaudy cocktail ring, or a ghastly circa-1975 tie, to be worn just for fun) are easily found at thrift stores or garage sales, for example. The same venues might also yield useful gifts, such as the $8 bookshelf, computer desk or coffee table, for a similarly strapped friend with “under-furnished” digs. Give time. A generous gift of time or service is always well received and remembered fondly, especially when it’s creatively crafted. For example, consider being chauffeur for the night to a friend or couple (arrange baby-sitting in advance, if necessary), and show up festively attired with the vehicle decked out in holiday finery. Alternatively, create a festive errand list with the friend’s name on top, and a half-dozen three line slots for the entries. Then show up for duty in a humorous “uniform.” If too young to drive or “carless,” a young donor could offer “sitting time.” This could be for a child, a bedridden relative or friend, which would give the regular caretaker some free time away. Bring along something fun for individuals being cared for – a video, a simple holiday craft to do, or even already baked cookies to decorate. To stretch the gift of time over several months, offer to bring over a festive home-cooked meal on a fixed schedule – say, every third Sunday between January and April. It’s also a good way to ensure a social hour with a friend. Volunteer in the friend’s name. This stretches the gift over potentially dozens of people, when the volunteer signs up not with a specific organization but as a representative of the friend. Stephanie Enright owns Enright Premier Wealth Advisors of Torrance. Write to her at the Daily Breeze, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-4077. If you need financial advice, include a stamped, self-addressed envelope so you can receive a confidential questionnaire. Questionnaires also are available at the Daily Breeze. Only letters chosen for publication will be answered; your real name will not be used.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!