The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide for Broke Creatives

The Muse Letter No. 76

When you have no money Christmas (or any other occasion where you have to gift something) can be a daunting thing. And as I have been in that situation many (many) times, I have accumulated some great ideas on how to turn it around in my favour. Of course as a creative you can always gift whatever you are producing (e.g. your book, art prints, music, clothes, products) but usually and this is often the case, you’ve either already gifted it to them, they bought it or they might not really know what to do with it.

So there you go and let me know if you have more ideas in the comments.

P.S.: In case you are not broke I have the lovely news that I have put together 5 special Christmas Bundles with the best things from my shop for a really nice discounted price this Christmas. The bundles are limited so better be quick :)

6 Gifts that cost almost nothing (but time):

for the love of your life / best friend / family

  1. 365 Reasons You’re Great

The concept is pretty simple. You take a jar/make a box out of old newspaper/magazines and then you write on 356 little scraps of paper a reason why the person you’re gifting it to is THE BEST. So for every day of the coming year they can pick one by random and feel good about themselves.

Sidenote: This can be alternated into almost everything. You could also write down little tasks that they should do that day. Like a mini-adventure jar. Or a mix of both.

  1. A Zine

Remember the day you met? Or that very special moment you shared in …? A Zine is a great way to tell a little story and illustrate it with whatever you have at hand. It’s basically a little magazine that is handmade. It can be made with any utensils you have at hand even a regular DIN A4 paper sheet can be folded into a tiny 8 pages zine. All you need for that is some paper, scissors, pens, old magazines and something sweet that you want to tell that person.

  1. A personal recorded book reading

This is great for nephews and nieces, grandmothers and grandfathers or anyone who just really enjoys being read to. You can use your smartphone to record it and if you feel fancy make a copy on whatever device they are using (MP3, CD, Tony, tape). I recorded Moominland Midwinter once for all my nieces and nephews and it was very well received.

  1. A Trivia Night with only questions about your family / chosen family

Remember that episode on Friends where they tried to figure out who knows more about another and nobody knew what Chandler’s job was? Basically just like that. Write down all the things your family/ chosen family could know about each other, moments in the past, some actual facts put it into categories and formulate questions. That Christmas Day is probably one you’ll all remember.

for people that you’re friends with but not very close

Ironically gifts for people we’re not very close with usually cost money. I did not invent this but somehow giving your neighbour a jar with reasons why they are the best just seems a bit intense. However these gifts are quite cheap to produce and also once you got the ingredients are quite easily to make in batches.

  1. Scented handmade candles

Who doesn’t love a candle for Christmas? Especially when it’ handmade.

  1. Infused Sea Salt / Bath salt

Oh the things you can do with salt. Here are some great recipes and here. Generally you can try to do masks, scrubs and everything body product related with quite little money.

  1. Rosemary Smudge Stick

Take 4-5 twigs from a rosemary bush (however you may find one, in Edinburgh there are loads in the park) or get them from a shop. Use a natural thick thread, bind them together and let it dry for 3-4 days. Voila! Smells way better than sage and apparently the scent of rosemary boosts your memory.


Trust me the candle will save your life. But seriously it’s a good gift.




Losing Agency In Romantic Relationships Or: The Subconscious Is A Mother****

“I have stopped wanting things.

For a while now I’ve been feeling a certain sense of lack. It happened before as well this occasional feeling of not wanting much just floating through time enjoying what is there but now that I am sharing a space with my partner it is constant. And it’s starting to feel like a problem. A lack of agency. The fact that I have stopped wanting things for myself. “

read it here


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