It is serious holiday crunch time when it comes to purchasing gifts. Just yesterday, I looked at my calendar and almost had a heart attack. In the next week alone, I have five Christmas parties, one anniversary party, my last hair appointment of the year (so my one and only opportunity to gift Kelsie), the last day of school for my children (time to gift their teachers), my daughter’s last soccer practice, my other daughter’s last sewing class.
And my final infusion appointment of the year (I’m a cancer survivor and go to clinic once per week for maintenance therapy; my nursing team are my angels and I remember them every holiday season). I needed to do some serious shopping yesterday to load up on gifts, lots of gifts. But I’m also on a serious budget. Finding fun and appropriate options under $10 isn’t always easy. It took some time, but I picked up some great items, and you can follow suit.
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – $8 at Ross
I found an aged EVO in a beautiful black canister. It’s perfect for a holiday gift exchange or a hostess gift.
2. Balsamic Vinegar – $10 at Ross
The balsamic vinegar also came in the same black canister as the EVO I mentioned above. You can gift it to a hostess together with the EVO or gift it separately. As one who loves to cook, I’d absolutely love ending up with this one!
A simple 8×10 photo frame with mat is a perfect gift option for anyone on your list. You can find frames anywhere, but I prefer looking at the discounters, like TJ Max, Ross, Neiman Marcus Last Call and Off Saks because the frames are deeply discounted and generally a higher quality for the price.
I am obsessed with EOS. They are easy to find in my cluttered purse and don’t have loads of chemicals like most lip balms. Costco had a pack of five for under $10. Perfect!
Costco right now has a $5 off instant rebate, making this a very affordable gift. Plus, with organic ingredients, it’s even better! (And they smell delicious and feel fabulous on dry wintery skin.)
A good bottle of wine, one that is selected thoughtfully, is a fabulous hostess gift, just make sure they drink wine first. I purchased a few bottles of Il Molino di Grace II Volano 2010. A little plug here: my former college roomie and close friend’s husband owns this winery. They live in San Francisco but the winery is located in Tuscany, Italy. This really is a fabulous wine. Wine Spectator says: “Showing depth to the cherry, raspberry, licorice, and spice flavors, this red is balanced and well-structured, with a lingering finish of fruit and spice. Drink now thru 2018.” Il Molino di Grace is a Chianti Classico from Penzano, Italy between Florence and Siena and organically farmed. Retail price of the five different wines is between $13 and $65. Available and most wine stores or www.wine.com. Wow your hostess with your knowledge of an amazing niche winery!
7. Hanging Toiletry Bag – under $10 Ross
This is an absolute travel essential, even if you’re just going for an overnighter to your boyfriend’s house. These bags are always available at stores like Ross and TJ Max, as well as Walmart and Target. It’s a perfect gift for your hair dresser, nail artist, school teacher, piano teacher, or gift exchange party.
8. Oil & Vinegar Decanters – under $6 at Ross
This is the perfect gift exchange option. Inexpensive, creative, and looks far more expensive than it is. I was at a party last year and the ladies fought over this one (me included).
9. Purse Table Hanger – under $6 at Ross
I love purse table hangers. It makes keeping my purse off of the floor a breeze, whether I’m at a restaurant, getting a pedi, or at the dentist’s office. They come in a variety of styles and make a perfect gift for your child’s teacher, coach, or a friend.
Throw blankets are perfect for either gender and make great gifts for soccer coaches, gift exchanges and even a hostess gift.
11. Roll of Toilet Paper – $5-$20 anywhere
I once attended a holiday gift exchange party and someone brought a big package of toilet paper. After the laughs subsided, it became one of the most sought-after gifts. Who doesn’t need toilet paper, after all? I certainly wouldn’t give it to a friend or a host, but I would take it to a gift exchange party, especially if it was a White Elephant theme!
In a pinch, chocolates will always work. I am purchasing a few boxes for my nursing team. They get eaten up before I even leave clinic.