Here are a few ideas that will hopefully help your creative juices when it comes to gifting…especially with Christmas just around the corner!
First I will share some general ideas and then I will list specific occasions with ideas below them. Some may overlap or could be applied to different occasions. Enjoy!
1. Don’t underestimate the dollar store!
For kids- coloring books, crayons, toys, crafting, books, play-dough. Make a gift basket (which you can buy a basket for a dollar while you are there!) with a theme: coloring book with colors and stickers etc. or a color theme based on the kid’s favorite color. Pick out 5 things and including the basket you have a $6 gift!
For Women- Spa package with soaps, candles and loofah or Crafty Basket with all crafting supplies and paper, notepads, pens and more. Kitchen gift set- towels, dishes, cups, glassware, etc. Gardener Gift Basket: pots, gloves, seeds.
For Men- Handy Man basket with tape measure, rope, hardware, pliers. Car Kit: cleaning supplies, towels, air fresheners etc.
2. Shop thrift stores!
I have purchased items new with tags at thrift stores that were perfect gifts. Watch for a thrift store in town that sells overstock or unsold products from a local store.
Buy something and re-purpose it! Picture frame into a hair-clip holder, old tea cups into candles, sheets into pillow beds, t-shirts into bags…find some diy ideas on pinterest and then head to the thrift store.
3. Have your extended family try something different this year: Pick names, have a gag-gift exchange, have a thrift store- bag exchange. (each person picks a name and has to spend $10 or less on their person and everything they buy within their budget has to fit into a paper bag.)
4. Shop 3-4 months before the occasion and shop the clearance racks. Target for example has great clearance items 70-90% off. Certain times of year you can find great deals especially on toys! I often buy clothes for my kids 2 seasons ahead because they will be on major clearance. Right now at Kohl’s for example shorts in my son’s size are $2!
5. Re-gift. Don’t cringe! I bet if we all took 20 minutes and went around our houses and grabbed out anything that looked new or was new that we aren’t using we’d all have a box full or more! Try it…go through your beauty stuff, clothes, toys, closets, kitchen gadgets and cupboards, decorations and make a pile. Also, look in your wallet- is there a gift card you got that you just haven’t used or probably won’t use- give it!
6. Bake! I don’t even really care for baking. But a good friend + a fun recipe = a good time and great gifts! For example: Popsicle brownies, Oreo snowmen, lady bug pretzels, cake balls, mixes in a jar. Buy some cute plates from the thrift-store and give yummy treats on them. Or you can buy little holiday bags for cheap and you can give goodies away in them. I saw a dear friend one time give stockings full of treats!
7. Crafting….have your kids make hand-print pictures for the family or another kid-friendly memorable thing to make. (a hand-print apron, ornaments, decorated photo frame with picture in it) Even if you don’t think you are a crafty person there are things you can make that are inexpensive and easy! (photos on wood, glass magnets, personalized notebooks, candles, framed scripture, chalk mugs)
go to websites like this :http://www.the36thavenue.com/2011/11/25-handmade-gifts-under-5.html
8. The gift of time – Here are some ideas for giving the gift of your time to your friends and loved ones (just print a certificate using an internet template)
-dessert of the month for 1 year (meal of the month, bread of the month…salad… you get the idea!) give them a certificate that entitles them to one delicious dessert the first week of every month. You can drop it by or have them over for it!
-day out with ________. (mom, grandma, sister, aunt….) take the person out on a day with you- pick places that you have coupons for or are free (i.e. the park)
-photo shoot- take your regular camera or borrow a nice one from a friend and take the person out for a fun-filled photo shoot full of clothes changes and beautiful or silly locations
-movie night in- buy them a movie and watch it with them that night- provide treats and popcorn and maybe even have a dress-up or pajama theme.
-offer of services (free babysitting for X amount of times, massage, painting, cleaning service) I don’t have a degree but am qualified to do house-cleaning so I could give a certificate for 2 hours of house cleaning a month for a year.
-Silly Crazy Fun Night- pay for a night out bowling in prom dresses, dessert at a restaurant dressed in 80’s clothes…etc. Be creative!
9. Gift cards with coupons– give a gift card of a lesser amount with a coupon for buy one get one free meal or $10 off a $25 purchase.
10. discount website certificates (groupon, living social, deal chicken) You can get meal, massage, adventure, hotel and more for 50%-90% off the normal price. They even have an option for printing as a gift!
I hope this has been a help or encouragement to you! Enjoy making or shopping for gifts and don’t make it a burden on you or your budget! Be a blessing to others in how and what you give.
Treasuring my home and giving!