With everyone more aware of their budgets now and Christmas on the horizon you don’t have to be caught up in the frenzy or lose sleep at night over how to make everyone on your Christmas list happy. SOmetimes it takes a child to open your eyes. I suggested to my youngt Grand sons that they write a leter to Santa. Thats was just to keep them busy. Well the youngest, Sam , wrote his letter. It said “Dear Santa: You don’t have to get me anything for Christmas, I have everything I want. I have my Mom to love”. Wow, huh? He’s that kind of child. He has a huge heart. It would be nice if we could all just be thankful for all the good we have and for the family to love.
But, if you still need some brick and mortar ideas to fill those stockings here are some very inexpensive things and places to shop for them.
Some of these Dollar Stores are excellent , some so so. If you can find a good one the aisles are usually stocked with all kinds of great little things for everyone in the family. On my last visit I found thosse wonderful little towels that are shrunk down to nothing. You add water and they grow into normal wash cloths. You can get nice candles, air fresheners, cute earrings, fancy reading glasses or plain reading glasses that you can jazz up with a little paint pen action. In our store they even had the Christmas stockings, one dollar., At this Dollar Store they had packets of glitter pens, packets of scrapbooking items, hard cover books. A book is always a good gift for an Aunt, Mom, Dad, anyone who likes to read. There were cute stockings. One aisle had great glow in the dark leashes with matching collars if you needed a pet gift. All sorts of chew toys were available also. This store had pet bowls. For one dollar you get the bowl and you can use magic marker or a paint pen to personalize it or write “Good Dog” or cat.
Most Dollar Stores have frames. Get a very plain one and glue on buttons, roses, keys, whatever you fancy and then frame a cute picture for someone. They usually carry glue as well. For my bird portrait gift, Buster. I covered the frame in birdseed. I just used glue and patted on the seed.
Food works for relatives. A bag of pistachio nuts, a great jam. How about a pound of coffee, you can make it flavored coffee. That shouldn’t run you too much . Even if you decide to buy the Starbucks Christmas coffee at $8.99 and add a mug you’ve spent under $10.00. It’s practical and fits in a stocking. You could pick up the mug at that Dollar store to go with this. That would work for a gift for the mail person or your doctor as well. Pick up a bag of chocolate chips in the cooking aisle and a box of candy canes. Crush the candy canes, melt the chocolate. Pour the melted chocolate in a pan with a lip. Drop in the crushed candy cane and put this in the fridge to harden. Break the hardened candy into pieces. Put it in a cellophane bag (available at craft stores) tie the bag with a ribbon. Voila! A nice gift. PS. Most craft stores are offering 40% and 50% off coupons so the bags would cost you half.
All the grocery stores have the cloth bags now. Last year I got one of those for each and every person in the family. I put their gifts in the bags. We all use ours. They also have a wine bag version. This is only one dollar a bag and it’s earth friendly. For the tea dinker buy a box of good tea (Celestial Seasoning tea is bogo right now) and package a box with a cup and saucer or mug from the Dollar Store. Celestial Seasoning makes Holiday Teas so that would b really cute. They have Peppermint, Sleigh Ride,Candy Cane Lane,Nutcraker Suite, Gingerbread SPice. Adorable as a gift.
Tags: If you need Christmas gift tags cut them from the Christmas cards you receive. Use a hole punch to make the hole to tie them to the gifts with. Another inexpensive tag comes from taking some of those old photos you have around that you aren’t framing. Cut the person’s face out and put it on the matching gift. Or, just attach the whole picture. Pictures of pets work as great gift tags also.
Craft Stores: As I mentioned above most offer discount coupons in every week end paper, especially now. They want customers to come in. A.C. Moore has it’s Christmas merchandise marked down to 60% off already. You can’t use your coupon on the marked down items but you can pick up all sorts of things at that reduced per centage. You can get an ornament, something to decorate the house with, pick up a wreath and decorate it yourself for someone special. Wire dog biscuits onto the wreath and give it to a pet owner. You can pick up a plastic easel style frame and glue dog biscuits on this for a pet owner. Dog biscuits are inexpensive. Go back to that grocery store. You can pick up ornaments at 60% off and tie them on the wreath or if you have a park or a back yard with pine trees pick up pine cones to attach to the wreath. If you have pine cones available you can buy iridescent glitter and dip the cones into that to add to a wreath. Buy plain aprons at the craft store and either glue on cute odds and ends or write the recipients name on it , again paint pen. You can get the apron with a half price coupon so it would cost you under $5.00 and the same goes for the paint pen. These come in adult or childrens sizes.
Speaking of coupons. Coupons make a great gift. If you know what someone needs just collect the coupons that apply and give them a cellophane bag full of them, tied with a glam bow of course.. Maybe someone shops Bed, Bath & Beyond a lot or Jo Ann’s or Michael’s. The coupons will come in very handy. Put a coupon for a car wash into the teen with a car’s Christmas stocking. You can also go back to the grocery store and buy soap, wax and a shammy for the car owner. Or, pick these up at the car wash and combine them with a certificate.
If you have a talent use it. Perhaps you’re terrific at photography. I’ve gotten some great photographs of people’s pets. I then frame them and give them to the person as a gift. I’ve also put these in clear Christmas balls (Jo Ann’s) and given them as gifts. I wrote about how to do that in one of my other reviews. Things made personally for someone are usually very meaningful.
Garden shops are a nice place to shop for something different. A very small plant is just as nice as a large one.If you hve an mismatched teacup and saucer put the plant in that. Presentation is always a plus. You can also find odd cups and saucers at garage sales.A few packets of seed and garden gloves doesn’t cost much. Buy a spade at any Garden Shop and paint the person’s name on it with a paint pen. Great gift for a gardener.
Home Depot: A kit of nails, screws etc is very handy for a young person living alone away from home. Their own personal hammer is handy and not too much money. Again, you can personalize it.
If you have a garden you can dry Lavender, dry Rosemary, buy some vinegar, add Rosemary or Lemon to the mix and pour this into a nice bottle available at the Dollar Stores.
None of these will cost you more than $10.00 most will come to under $5.00.
Sales: Many stores have already reduced their Christmas merchandise but just a heads up. Target reduces to 90% a few weeks after Christmas so you can plan ahead for next Christmas and save a fortune.
Free: Keep you eyes open for free samples, you can aget shampoos, soaps, pet food and more. PetCo and PetSmart always have biscuits out. These are all good as stuffers.
It’s fun to present yourself with this as a challenge, it keeps people from feeling overburdened when they shop for you and it saves everyone money. It’s fun and really easy.