Monday, November 29, 2010

Cheap & Homemade Christmas Gifts

Have a small spending budget for Christmas gifts this year because you lost your job, are a student or just because of the poor economy? Don't worry - here are some classy yet original gift ideas for mom, dad, whomever! Not only will you save a little cash, but your Christmas gifts will be personal and meaningful.

Gift idea 1: Burn CDs.

Give a Christmas gift that's personal and has meaning. If you know someone well enough to choose music they would like, you've got yourself a very good gift. Jazz it up by decorating the CD with Sharpie markers or printing a CD cover with the list of songs.

Gift idea 2: Make cookies or holiday bread.

This is an economic Christmas gift idea if you have lots of people to give to. Mini loaves of bread can be wrapped with ribbon, and food is a gift that everyone appreciates (unless it's fruitcake!).

*You can even turn this delicious gift into a Christmas tree decoration! Leave your decorated Gingerbread men out for a few days, cover in hairspray and hang on the Christmas tree!

Gift idea 3: Coupon books never go out of style.

Christmas coupon books should be reserved for those very close to you. You should be able to know exactly what that person would want - tangible and intangible wants. Some inexpensive gift ideas are: an hour of your devoted attention, a bubble bath, take out dinner after a stressful day of work and a free car wash.

To really brighten up your Christmas coupon book, use colored construction paper, stickers, photo cutouts of you and the gift recipient, etc.

Gift idea 4: Make a gift basket.

This is a great gift idea because not only can you tailor every item you put in the basket to the person you're giving it to, but you can also usually get individual items for less than what you'd pay for a professional gift basket.

If you have a gift basket theme in mind a few months out from Christmas, you can pick up items as you find them on sale. Good theme ideas: spa treatment, a house plant kit, cooking with vegetables and spices from your own garden, the book lover's basket and one for a pet.

If you'll be giving your gift before Christmas, consider making a Christmas-themed basket. Include Christmas cards and ornaments (that you got from the sale shelf, of course), maybe a burned CD of Christmas music. We all know that one person who absolutely LOVES Christmastime, and this gift is perfect for him or her.

Gift idea 5: Frame a poem or photo.

If you're artsy, this is a good gift for you to give. Frame one of your masterpiece photos or take a great one of you and your gift recipient together and frame it. See the link in the Resources Section for how to make a beautiful decoupage picture frame.

If you're a writer, print one of your poems in a classic font and frame it for a personalized home decoration.

Both of these gift ideas can be Christmas-themed as well, if you choose. Print a special Christmas quote on nice paper and frame it for a professional yet sentimental gift. Or, purchase miniature frames at the dollar store, decorate for Christmastime, put in some photos, glue on some ribbon and give to your gift recipient as tree ornaments.

Gift idea 6:
Give a Christmas craft for the kitchen: cookie mix.

Write out your favorite recipe for holiday cookies and attach it to a jar including all the in dry ingredients (if you pour them in one at a time with a funnel, it looks beautiful). Wrap a ribbon around and gift as a delicious Christmas gift!


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