Christmas time is a season of joy and togetherness, but what is the joy in trying to give great gifts by maxing out your credit card? It can be stressful finding the perfect present and not blowing your budget. My girlfriend network let me in on some great gift giving ideas and I discovered others along the way.
1. Go to your Farmer’s market for unique pampering or gourmet products. They are made with natural, fresh ingredients and are not on every store shelf. These are more one of a kind presents that show your thoughtfulness and can be under $10.00. Our local art/ coffee house has locally made skin care from a beekeepers’ honey. The homemade jams and other goodies are well received.
2. Skip the high price department store skin lines and pick the UK’s Boots line. I have been giving these $15.00 plant based Botanics line and still get thanks months later. Target has them in stock or they can be ordered online. Kew Gardens in London certifies that they are all or mostly organic. I routinely give “Facial Serum Triple Age Renewal” with orchid extract and now my friends do not want me to give them anything else. There are other great products in the Boots product range that are cheap, such as the 100% organic facial serum.
3. Friends kept urging me to go to thrift shops and I resisted. Sorry I did, because I have picked up designer clothes with the price tags still on. If you have a baby on your shopping list, there are new toys and unused baby gifts. I bought a never worn shirt for my son that is usually over $50.00 for $3.00. I bought a lovely African glass necklace for 99 cents. They are a treasure trove.
4. Expanding on the thrift shop theme, buy some beautiful vintage china or trendy crystal. Bake your fabulous cookies and put them on these lovely dishes and platters that only cost you a few bucks. Great for your colleagues, teachers, neighbors and overworked single moms.
5. Make personalized gift baskets for people and wrap them elegantly with cellophane and a big bow. Stuff them with a person’s particular passion, such as fun cooking gadgets and gourmet goodies for a cook. When I was in London once time, I went to a supermarket and bought a bunch of English Tea and easy to pack uniquely British treats. I made up small gourmet baskets for my former husband’s co-workers at minimal cost. Got lots of hints to make a trip back to London before Christmas the following year. Baskets are fun with small presents and are reasonable to do.
6. See what you have on hand that you can live without. I gave my aunt a lovely sterling and turquoise pendant that was not my taste. She loved it. One divorce woman gave her son old coins for his collection. Another boy received her 1950’s toy airplane that her father designed when working with the Air Force. Now this son is in aeronautical engineering. The idea is to give a gift that ignites someone’s passion, and you already own it.
7. Use your particular talents for luscious homemade gifts for people. My son learned how to crochet in school and gave me an early Christmas present of a stunning hat that fits perfectly. I am getting the scarf on the holiday. He is making his brother one too. My pal is a seamstress and she makes us some fun holiday presents. Last year we got a cloth cover for tissue packets.
8. Places like World Market or Pier One have fun and cheap gifts for children. There are vintage games and retro toys. I filled my sons’ stockings with these when they were wee ones. They also have unique and affordable gifts that are from around the world. Less chance of a duplicate present.
9. Take a theme and get a few presents. A cat or dog lover could receive a few toys for the pet and some fun things for them. There are mugs, notecards, calendars, etc with their particular type of pet on them.
10. For the guys on your list, consider sports related merchandise that are reasonable. Tennis or golf balls with a small towel. Athletic socks or a t-shirt are some more ideas. Some fellows like the gift packages of beer from around the world with a nice beer mug or stein included. Remember gift cards for the hard to please.
One can give meaningful gifts that reflect others’ interests cheaply, without financial woes post-holiday.