When you’ve got a long gift list but are short on cash, you’ll need to think creatively and frugally when it comes to holiday presents. Rather than succumb to the ease of a simple gift card, consider an assortment of items that your friends and family members will cherish for years to come. With a little creativity, you’ll be able to fill gift bags and stuff stockings without breaking the bank.
Your loved ones – especially parents and grandparents – will always appreciate pictures of the grandchildren to display throughout their home. In addition to printing favorite images from the year and adding them to decorative frames as presents, consider an assortment of photo gift ideas that are also inexpensive. Create a simple scrapbook with journaling completed by the kids to accompany each snapshot, a glass Christmas tree ornament imprinted with a school portrait or a coffee mug featuring a depiction of the family pets, for instance.
Help the friends or coworkers on your gift list stay warm throughout the season with an article of clothing to add to their winter wardrobe. Fill their stockings with a pair of mittens or touchscreen gloves that enable them to use their phones without freezing fingertips. Offer cozy animal socks or a knit beanie emblazoned with their favorite college or sports team’s logo. Give them a scarf in their favorite color, a pair of earmuffs or some leg warmers, for instance. If you have more time than money, you can also knit or crochet some of the items yourself as an extra special touch.
Although they can be inexpensive, Christmas tree decorations can become gifts packed with meaning and memories. Along with offering loved ones vintage ornaments that suit their tree color scheme or decorating style, consider saving money by designing your own. Have your children help you by stringing beads onto metallic pipe cleaners and bending them into shapes such as snowflakes, snowmen or stars. Add your child’s handprint to glass bulbs with paint or fill clear, glass balls with colorful tinsel, glitter or artificial snow. Package the keepsakes in individual boxes – your loved ones will think of you and cherish your effort each time they decorate.
If you have friends and family members with a sweet tooth, give them freshly-baked goodies that you’ve created in your own kitchen. They’ll appreciate everything from homemade chocolate chip, gingerbread or sugar cookies cut into Christmas-related shapes. Brownies, muffins, scones or fruitcake would also be welcomed. You can also dip an assortment of items in chocolate such as pretzels, dried fruit, candy canes, strawberries or cookies. Package the treats in sealed plastic bags or containers to keep them fresh, then place them in a rustic basket or box covered with holiday wrapping paper. If you’d like to add more to the gift, package it with a decorative mug and a tin of hot cocoa mix or tea leaves.
Individual items intended to help decorate a loved one’s house may make a large impact for a small cost. In order to find a welcomed gift, ensure you’re choosing an item that suits the recipient’s taste and fits in with her current décor rather than buying something that you personally think is cute or that you think would improve the style of her home. Consider a set of candles, a keepsake box to store memorabilia, a doormat with a welcoming message or wall sconces to hold fresh flowers, for instance. You can also opt for something more practical such as a cookbook or tablet stand if she loves to cook or a throw blanket to adorn her couch during the cold winter months.
As the items on people’s gift lists continue to rise in cost each year, find less expensive options that will still put smiles on their faces. If you choose presents that appeal to their sense of nostalgia, whimsy and necessity, your loved ones will appreciate them just as much as their more expensive counterparts.