A mom on one of the iVillage boards sent out an SOS recently: "I'm looking for tips on how to swing Christmas gifts for as little money as possible!" As usual, her fellow iVillagers were there to answer the call, with creative ideas for thoughtful, personal gifts on the cheap. Looking for unique gifts to give that won't cost a bundle? Read on.
For grandparents, a baby handprint in plaster of Paris packaged with some cute ribbon is about all you need!
In my family, we don't buy gifts for aunts, uncles, cousins and so on. Instead, we put in $20 (maximum) per person, and we donate it to a charity. Last year we donated it to the Humane Society, and a few years ago we took all the money and bought non-perishable food for a local food pantry.
I make candles, some to keep, some to share. It keeps my house smelling great (think cinnamon, cookies, pine) without any calories!
I'm the family genealogist, and I update family members with scanned photos and family tree information every year. This year, after my mom passed, I discovered a stack of old scrapbooks and photo albums in the back of a closet; I'm scanning those and burning CDs for my cousins.
Look for photo coasters or a pretty picture frame, and slide in a nice shot of yourself or your kids with your parents or grandparents. They'll love it.
I love giving themed gift baskets. I spruce up garage sale baskets with fabric, then fill with homemade goodies and sample-size products. And there's no limit to what you can put in a gift basket: Bath and body stuff; tea and cookies; chocolate; a movie lovers' basket with popcorn, candy and a DVD; a pasta night basket with spaghetti, sauce, baguettes and a cookbook; and on and on. The simplest gift basket is my favorite: All the dry ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe, a couple of cookie cutters, and the recipe itself. Makes a great gift and it won't cost you an arm and a leg.
Nothing says holiday like bread, brownie or candy mixes in a large mason jar; soups, cookies, chili and even spice mixes are welcome gifts too.
I give gift certificates. Most of our family is out of town, so people can buy what they want and need, and I save on postage for parcels.
I like to bake, and I usually buy some cute little containers at the dollar store and fill them up with goodies. Last year we bought a bunch of Christmas tins from the dollar store and filled them with homemade caramel corn and peanut brittle.
A good gift for little ones: You can get them their own ornaments — either personalized with their names or with their favorite cartoon character. They'll hang them on the tree every year.
Join the conversation!
Share your ideas for thoughtful and inexpensive holiday gifts, and get inspired by other iVillagers' suggestions!