Do you want to give some unique Christmas gifts this year, but don’t want to spend a lot of money? You can find gifts that are both cheap and thoughtful. Here are ten easy ideas for inexpensive holiday gifts that are sure to please.
1. Fun, trendy watch. You can buy watches in all shapes and colors from around $8 to $20 at discount department stores and flea markets. Include a note in the box that says something like, “I always enjoy our time together”. If giving this to a teacher, you could thank them for all the “time” they’ve spent teaching your child.
2. Mini recipe book of your favorite recipes. Buy a small, inexpensive photo album that holds one 4 x 6 photo per page (usually just a dollar or two at craft stores). Print, type or write your recipes onto 4 x 6 recipe cards and insert in the sleeves meant for photos. After you’ve made the first set, make multiple photocopies of all the recipe cards. That way you can easily make more personal recipe books for other people this year or anytime.
3. Gourmet chocolate pretzels. These sell in specialty stores for $20 for around a dozen large pretzel rods. But you can make your own homemade version for a fraction of the cost. All you need is the pretzels, chocolate melts (most craft stores have these for under $2 a bag), and optional things like chopped nuts, mini chips or sprinkles. Simply melt the chocolate, dip the pretzels rods until about half of the pretzel is covered, then roll in the toppings and let them set upside down in a cup.
4. Handmade framed name print. Research the meaning of the person’s name from a baby naming website. Use your computer graphics or word processing program to type his or her name in large letters in a nice font. Put the meaning of their name in smaller letters under the name. Print it on pretty background paper, such as 8 1/2 x 11 scrapbook paper from a craft store. Trim to fit a small frame purchased from a discount department store or dollar store.
5. Night at the movies. You can make this inexpensive by just picking up a $5 gift card for a movie rental and a box of microwave popcorn. Or you can make it a bigger gift by adding a large bowl for the popcorn, a gift card for multiple rentals, and perhaps some DVDs.
6. Flashlight that doesn’t need batteries. This is a very practical gift that almost anyone can use. Depending on the model, you either shake the flashlight or wind it up. They really work and you never have to worry about dead batteries. The price range is between $10 and $20.
7. Personalized item with a message, name or photo. There are companies on the internet and retail stores like one-hour photo stores that will put a message, your name or even a photo on one of their products. You can find almost anything, such as mugs, mousepads, magnets, t-shirts, jewelry, buttons, posters, many of which are quite inexpensive.
8. Photo ornament. You can find these in all kinds of stores, some are quite inexpensive and look like little holiday photo frames. Just insert a photo of your friend, their pet or children and you’ve got a very personalized gift.
9. Custom gift card from you. If you’re short on cash, but not on sentiment, you can print a gift card that promises babysitting, a car wash, running errands, lessons, etc. If you love to bake, but don’t have time around the holidays, give a gift card redeemable for your specialty in January.
10. Personalized giant candy bar. This one is so easy. Buy a big Hershey bar and replace the outer wrapper with your custom wrapper. You can print one of the many free Christmas chocolate bar wrappers found on the internet. Some of them even have places for you to put a photo and your own words. Or make it yourself by tracing the original wrapper and cutting it out from nice holiday paper. Then just tape or glue in place.
A thoughtful Christmas gift doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or require hours of searching through crowded malls. All that is needed is your big heart and imagination.