Christmas on a Budget

An iVillage Top Ten

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 ways to keep your holiday shopping budget under control? 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 per person, or it could be less, 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.

Knitted scarves for older kids, and maybe booties for younger ones. My Gramma knitted bootie-like slippers for us even in our teens. If I still had 'em I'd wear 'em!

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.

Last year everyone got 12-month photo calendars, and since I bought so many I got a discount with each one.

Get large mason jars and fill them with cookie, brownie or soup mixes.

Last year I got all the parents a grandson scrapbook, and a small photo album with some of the ultrasound pictures in it.

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 home-made caramel corn and peanut brittle.

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