A Christmas gift doesn’t have to be expensive to impress. The most important rule of great gift giving is to personalize every gift to the recipient’s interests. I promise, you can buy fabulous Christmas gifts for everyone on your list for ten dollars or less.
I love shopping Etsy.com at this time of year to find handcrafted goodies. There are tons of fantastic items priced at $10 or below. My favorite find this year is the Old Oak Tree Eco friendly Coin Purse (pictured) by JenniferJoyCreative, offered at an economical price of $8. Any woman in your life would be thrilled to own this chic, functional bag. It is made of eco-friendly lightweight canvas, has a fantastic oak insignia, and is machine washable. Although supplies are limited, you’re guaranteed to find a one-of-a-kind gift from one of 100,000 sellers and support hardworking crafters at the same time. If you’re new to Etsy, you will need an account to buy (or sell) items. You need a valid email address, the entire sign up process takes less than a minute, and it is free.
For your favorite toddler, books are always a hit. Relatives and well-meaning friends usually inundate children with toys and clothes at this time of year, so parents will thank you for these budget friendly titles. “Toes, Ears, & Nose! A Lift-the-Flap Book“ by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Karen Katz ($6.99) is an adorable book that will thrill small children. The illustrations are engaging and children will enjoy “finding” the different parts of baby’s body. Remember to write and date a holiday inscription on the flyleaf before wrapping.
Soundtracks are a great gift option because they offer an affordable way to experience many different artists’ music tied to a central theme – the movie. The soundtrack to the movie Twilight (based on the books by Stephanie Meyer) is sure to be a hit with teenage girls this year. It is available for $9.99 from Amazon.com and features music by Linkin Park, Paramore, Collective Soul, and many other notable musicians.
At Wal-Mart (in-stores only), you can buy a Whistle Key Finder by totes for the absentminded professor (or spouse) in your life for only $10. I’ve seen the same product from totes for over twice that price in specialty stores. By sticking to the stocking stuffer sections at department stores, you can buy high end products at inexpensive prices. This product chirps when you whistle allowing you to quickly retrieve your keys. It also has a useful LED light built in for those times when you need a little illumination. Other great $10 finds are a desktop valet with a built in cell phone and I-pod charger or a 25-piece car emergency kit.
Pancake or waffle mixes make fantastic gifts to the in-laws, holiday hostesses or foodie friends. There are fantastic flavored mixes in 16 oz. canisters available at Stonewall Kitchen for only $8.50. Seasonal flavors such as Pumpkin and Gingerbread are currently on sale on their website for only $5.00! At that price, you can pair it with a small bottle of maple syrup or a cute spatula and still stay within budget.
Don’t leave your dog off your Christmas list this year because of a tightening wallet. You’ll love the brightly colored packaging of Buddy Biscuits “Itty Bitty” Natural Dog Treats and the price, $3.95. Fido will love the flavors: Bacon and Cheese, Chicken, and Peanut Butter. These treats are made with healthy ingredients (no additives or preservatives) and can be found at most quality dog supply stores, such as Planet Dog.
You can get an unusual gift, the Flashlight Battery, for the techie in your life at Urbanoutfitters.com ($8.00). It is a tiny LED light that attaches to a regular 9 Volt battery to create a mini flashlight. The price includes the light attachment and a 9 V battery. Although the light is useful in regular mode, the strobe light mode is quite entertaining and will delight a techie, scout, or tinker.
Monogrammed gifts are memorable gifts. Although usually expensive, there are affordable options out there. Super stylish Monogrammed Mugs ($6.00) can be found at Anthropologie Stores or online at Anthropologie.com. The Missus style with its gorgeous lettering and dainty design is perfect for any female in your life – from teen to older co-worker. And the classic block-lettered monogrammed mug is perfect for the men in your life. Pair one of these dishwasher and microwave safe mugs with a box of tea or a 1/4-pound of coffee for a perfect gift. (Suggestion: Target stores are carrying sample size flavored coffees in their $1 bins this season.)
If your spouse always complains of cold feet or you know someone that is always on the road, pick up a cozy pair of n·a·p™ Travel Slippers at your nearest Brookstone or online. These machine-washable slippers are warm and ultra soft. Best of all, their compact size makes them perfect to throw in your purse or briefcase. One size fits most. $10
Show your friends you care about them and the planet this Christmas, and give the gift of 100% Organic Cotton Shopping/Grocery Bags from This, That & Other Things. At only $5.00, you can also include some organic munchies in the bag. (Suggestion: Pair small bags of Robert’s American Gourmet Veggie Booty and BBQ Soy Crisps for a cohesive green and red Christmas color scheme. Both are available at most larger grocery stores.) If you don’t have time to order them, most grocery stores offer stylish reusable grocery bags.
Don’t overspend this holiday. Use these ideas to shop smart and enjoy the smiles of your friends and family as they open their fabulous presents without the guilt of overspending.