Post # 1
I know I’m a little early but I’m trying to brainstorm about Christmas presents. This year, our budget will be really tight. Like probably $50 for DH and I to spend on each other (each), and then maybe $20 per family member…
I hate even typing that out, because I LOVE giving gifts so it really saddens me when we don’t have the money to do that as well as I’d like.
All that to say…please help me brainstorm for some thoughtful gift ideas! I’m tired of just getting some lame material thing that means nothing to the recipient (a movie, a candle, a scarf…) but funds are so limited that it’s hard.
I thought about just doing gift cards this year, and making sure they are to places that each person really loves (even local places so it’d be a little more special). What are you thoughts on gift cards?
Please help! Let’s talk gifts! 🙂
Post # 2
When money is tight, I buy baskets and fill them up with small things that we know the gift receiver would like. The can be little things from the dollar store, but as long as they are thought out, you know they will love them. I like to have a theme for most people. A personal care basket for those who are into looking nice, movie and popcorn theme for the movie goers. A book and tea theme for my avid reader friends. I personally love receiving gifts like this.
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2015 - Antique Rose Emporium
My favorite kind of gifts are more like “experiences” that allow us to spend quality time together, rather than material things.
For my birthday, my FI took me to Painting With a Twist and we shared my favorite wine while painting our two dogs. One of the dogs ended up passing unexpectedly a few months later and I’m so glad I have that painting of her. It was a great time and it cost about $40.
Can you knit, sew, paint, craft etc? I love receiving handmade gifts.
Post # 4
Who doesn’t like a nice box of chocolates or some pretty scented soap?
Post # 5
enmeek: I like the basket idea! I did a similar thing for DH’s siblings last year though. His sister got a “spa” basket and SIL/BIL got a movie/snacks basket for a date-night in since they had a newborn. Do you think it would be overkill to do that two years in a row?
2YorkiesMama: I love the idea of gifting experiences, but I feel like I’m always pushing my family to actually schedule the experience! Ha! For example, one year we all pitched in and gifted my mom a nice spa package, and she waited until the very last minute before it expired (over a year later…) to even use it! It makes me feel like she didn’t care that much for the gift but I’m not sure. Unfortunately, I’m not very crafty but I’m definitely open to some easy ideas…ha!
observer: Agreed! 🙂 One problem I face when trying to give gifts like that, though, is with my sisters. I have 4 younger sisters (all single) and I don’t like giving them all the same gift or type of gift, usually. I have a very sentimental and thoughtful family, and I think it hurts their feelings when they feel like I’m using a cop-out and getting them all the same thing. Ha! Not that they wouldn’t appreciate it though 🙂
Post # 6
We live far away from family, so sometimes when we’re not sure what to get individuals we’ll put in for a larger gift card amount for the whole family to Red Robin, or Olive Garden.
Post # 7
I will second the gift basket idea. Before SO went to police academy, I made an “Academy Survival Kit.” I found an old shoebox and stocked it with things like shoe polish, extra pens, burnt CDs with audiobooks for those evenings in the dorm with nothing to do, a paperback of The Hunger Games, and some other funny random things. I also had a personalized note/checklist explaining the gift. He absolutely loved it and appreciated how much thought I put into it, and it wasn’t expensive to make. I found most of the items at Wal-Mart for dirt cheap.
My Mom makes gift baskets of baked goods for each family unit (spouses plus children) now because there’s so many little kids that it breaks the bank to buy something for each of them. We make the family recipes for apple cakes and cookies, add some yummy chocolates and hot cocoa, and finish it off with pretty plastic wrap and ribbon. All it costs is the ingredients for baking and some kind of basket or gift box.
At the end of the day, I put more stock into the thought behind the gift than how much money is spent. I’m used to buying on tight budgets after college, grad school, and my first year in business for myself, so this year will be no different. Hope this helps!
Post # 8
I don’t think it’s an overkill, as long as your not giving them the same thing every year. I have a tradition with my sister to give her movies, so she’s the only one who gets the same thing from me every year, but I make sure that the gifts that go with the movie are different each year.
Post # 9
When I was dating DH, I was broke, and I needed a cheap but cute Valentines gift idea. Someone suggested a great idea and it’s been awhile, so I don’t remember all the details but it went something like this:
Get a big mason type jar from Target or the dollar store, and fill it up with his favorite candy or cookies. I used various chocolates like Hershey’s Kisses and peanut butter cups.
Then print a cute label for the jar that says “Reasons Why I Love You” and stick it on the front of the jar. I used scrapbook supplies and stick-on letters and hearts.
Then you make cute litte fortune cookie type paper messages to slip into the jar, mixed in with all the candy.
As I recall I came up with 20 or 30 reasons… things like, “You always hold my hand when we walk places,” “You give great hugs,” “You’re so smart,” … etc. etc.
It took some time to put it all together but he loved it and I could tell he was touched by the effort I put into it.
Also… there is a website called the Dating Divas and they have tons of ideas for this sort of thing and for inexpensive but creative date nights. I am on their email list and they are always sending freebie printables that you can give to your SO or hubby, for example slip a doughnut into his lunch bag with a printable love note that says, “Donut you know how much I love you?”
I’ll post the link if I can find it.
Post # 10
I am in the same boat as you are OP! This year, I just don’t have the money for expensive gifts. I’ve been trying to put away small things throughout the year, like unique local items as I think PPs mentioned but I could use the advice too!
Not to get off track, (I hope you don’t mind OP) but to those giving advice, do you have any advice for giving these smaller gifts at a large family gift exchange without it being uncomfortable? My family exchanges gifts all at once, and while my parents are reasonable gift givers, my brother and SIL go WAY over board, do I need to make a disclaimer like, “Oh, and I’m sorry money is so tight this year.”…?
Post # 11
SisterJude: Great idea! Something for the whole family (for my family at least since they all live under one roof) would be a great idea. Then we can spend more. Nice!
SilvanArrow: Very helpful, thank you! Sounds like we give similar gifts. 🙂 We also do the baked goods and treats for extended family. SOOO many of them! Ha!
BelliniChic: Cute! When DH and I were dating, one year for Valentines Day, I gave him a little book I made out of playing cards, “52 Reasons I Love You.” He STILL loves and treasures it. I had no idea how much it’d mean to him. He still keeps it in his night stand drawer and every once in a while I catch him looking at it. Cute. 🙂
ClassicCorvette: DH’s sister and her husband have given a disclaimer in years past, but it’s FAMILY – we don’t care! 🙂 I have also given a disclaimer before because our families are big gift givers, but they completely understand. I always try not to apologize, but still say something like, “we wish we could give more!” Apologizing makes it awkward, I think.
Post # 12
TogetherThroughLife: I like your statement better, it sounds more positive than an apology! Thanks!
Post # 13
Here is the Dating Divas’ Christmas Pinterest page… lots of cute ideas here! I think I will do a few of them too! I love the “I Love You Snow Much” ice cream snowballs…
Post # 14
We did boxes od homemade stuff last year. Homemade bacon, wine and canned fruit. I didn’t price it out, we did it more as anti-consumerism than low cost. Everyone seemed to like it, I think we may do it again. We “personalized” some of them with cigars, etc.
Post # 15