Christmas spending can get totally out of hand, with the annual push for more, bigger, better. Time off work paired with the expense of parties, travel, and shopping at the grocery store for those special holiday meals doesn’t help matters. Take back control of the gift list with budget-friendly Christmas gifting ideas.
Creative homemade gifts can be a great option for those on a budget. For best results, consider your recipient’s interests and tastes, and price out materials ahead of time. If you need the supplies for other tasks or you can reuse them for multiple gifts, you’ll save more money. Dollar stores and some secondhand shops or thrift stores can also provide crafting supplies inexpensively enough to make DIY gifting practical. This is a great option for creative, artistic people with good hand-eye coordination, lots of patience, and some proven skills. If you’re new to crafting and DIY, make sure that you give yourself lots of time to work on the gifts, and that you have extra materials on hand to make up for any false starts, and be realistic about the complexity of projects. Homemade gifts can range from cute, simple everyday items decorated to a friend or loved-one’s taste, to impressive efforts in bespoke customization.
Joke or gag gifts can provide big fun on a budget. Since many of these are inexpensively mass-produced, their value comes from the response that they can elicit. Pick up on inside jokes, established interests, and styles of humor to find the right gifts for those on your list. Consider the probable audience in the room when it’s opened – adult humor can be great fun among friends or mature relations, but you don’t want to be scrambling to make awkward explanations in front of the kids on Christmas morning. Likewise, lowbrow humor will work better with the young and young-at-heart than those on your list with a more elevated or dry sense of fun.
Like joke gifts, there are often a wide variety of mass-produced goods targeted towards fans of pop culture franchises across film, gaming, and comic media types. Look for character or branded goods that the recipient would enjoy or find useful. From wearables to purely artistic pieces, toys to character serving ware and themed peripherals, there’s something for everyone. You can blend this with a DIY gift if you’re artistically inclined.
Vintage and second-hand
Vintage and second-hand shopping is an underutilized strategy in the budget shopper’s arsenal. Good for the environment, socially responsible, and deeply creative, finding the perfect gift in the post-consumer market is a treasure hunt for an unknown prize. You can go searching for one thing and find an even more perfect gift idea drop in your lap unexpectedly. While true vintage can fetch high prices in discerning markets, you can often find incredible deals on surprising finds – and be sure to find unique gift options. Online markets such as eBay and Craigslist are another bargain-hunter’s dream if you know what you’re looking for.
Simple, fun, and budget-friendly, a good book is a smart choice for any recipient. If you’re not sure about the literary taste of those on your list, browsing their social media for ideas or asking for a recommendation based on age or interests at the bookstore are both great approaches. Bookstore employees are generally book enthusiasts who have wide-ranging knowledge about trends and top titles across many genres and love to help you find the perfect bookish gift.
Sometimes, the best budget gifts meet a need or supply a regular activity or interest. Keep things simple and elegant, or pull together a box of fun goodies with a theme. Perennial favorites for adults can be barware such as whisky glasses or whisky tumblers, a cocktail shaker, a wine decanter, or home décor such as a new decorative pillow or throw blanket in the recipient’s preferred shade, pattern, or style. For children, a selection of art and craft supplies or themed, age-appropriate small toys such as a collection of farm animals or dinosaurs can keep them busy and entertained. For teens, foundational or fun cosmetics don’t have to cost a fortune, and simple basics such as socks suited to hobbies, activities, or other tastes can go over surprisingly well. Pick up on a regular drink order with a new coffee mug, tea tumbler, or water bottle in a design that suits the recipient.
Whether you’re a DIY master artisan or a thrift-store maven, these budget-friendly ideas are sure to help you breeze through your list this year.