It’s Christmas, and you’re broke. Worse, you have a bunch of people on your shopping list to buy for, and you don’t want to let them down. What to do? How can you give something thoughtful without breaking the bank? What are the best inexpensive Christmas gifts?
1. Photo Op
This works particularly well as a gift for your mother, auntie, or grandmother. Find a great photo of the two of you together, have a print made, and put it in a nice, but inexpensive, frame. Add a slip of acid-free paper in the back with the story of when the photo was taken. Guaranteed to elicit sincere thanks and maybe even a few happy tears.
2. Coupon Book
I did this one year for my daughter, and she loved it. I made a little booklet of coupons and gave them to her, for such things as “One afternoon shopping with mom” and “One night with mom’s car” and “An extra hour on your curfew.” You can make coupon books for boyfriends, parents, children, best friends, or anyone else on your list!
3. Poetry Rocks!
If you’re a guy looking for an inexpensive gift for your girlfriend, this is probably the best one. Write your sweetheart a gooshy poem or letter. Write out on heavy paper by hand. Practice on the computer or on a notepad first. If you need inspiration, there are lots of love poems, quotes, and letters online.
4. A Day Together
This kind of goes along with the coupon book idea. Make a certificate good for one day together, either at the zoo, the movies, the museum, or just out shopping. Perfect to give to your grandmother or auntie!
5. Mailing Kit
I’ve sent this gift to my sister, who lives 3,000 miles away. It’s a package filled with postcards, note paper, envelopes, stickers, address labels, and mailing stamps.
It’s fun to bake cookies, and it’s even more fun to give them as gifts! Most dollar stores carry colorful holiday tins or baggies that make gift-giving cookies easy.
7. A Special Music Mix
Download a list of holiday songs or love songs, burn them to a CD, and design your own cover art and sweet note. This makes a great inexpensive Christmas gift for a girlfriend, sister, or BFF.
8. Amazon Used and EBay
If there’s something you absolutely must give as a gift, but you can’t find it, or afford to buy it new, try looking for the item on eBay or on the amazon.com marketplace.
9. Stocking with Candy
Little kids love candy for Christmas. Buy a small stocking (Old Navy has a bunch for $1 each) and fill it with a variety of Christmas candies.
10. Charity Donation
Another great idea is to make a small, thoughtful donation to a friend’s favorite charity. Not sure where to donate? Try the Red Cross, ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, or another local group.
11. Think Theme
Did your recipient recently move into a new house? Get a new iPod? Join the gym? Get them a small, thoughtful gift to go along with their new hobby, passion, or goodie.
12. A Plant
I know what you’re thinking: a plant as a gift? Most variety and home goods stores carry amaryllis bulb sets, which you give at Christmas and which bloom well before spring. If you have a gardener or snow-bird on your list, this is a great idea!
See? It is possible to give a great gift without spending a lot of money. In fact, some of these inexpensive gifts might mean more, and be better than, the pricier ones! It’s the thought that counts, right? What are your favorite inexpensive Christmas gift ideas? What inexpensive gift have you received that you just loved?
Photo Credit: flickr.com