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Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

In: Do-It-Yourself-Moms, Money Savers


So, over on my favorite blog ever, Money Saving Mom, a poor distressed lady wrote in asking about how to get through Christmas without crying over her gifts “not being good enough”, or stressing over the perfect gift for each person.  I know it’s just October 3rd, but this isn’t the first I’ve heard comments like this already this fall!  For some people, Christmas is so stressful – not because of what they do, but because of what they feel they “have” to do for others in order to make them happy.

I’m pleased to say that there were several comments listed in reply to Ms. Distressed’s questions with some AMAZING ideas of how to give extremely thoughtful gifts without spending a lot of money.  Some people even gave up giving and getting gifts altogether!  Go here to see all the comments listed, but for a short selection of some of my favorites (not including the ones I’m going to do, so I’m not saying them here!). . .  And if you have any ideas, please feel free to share them as well!

  • It’s impossible to please everyone. Simple homemade gifts show you put time and love into your presents. Try giving a family gift (instead of individual ones) of homemade cookies, bread, or canned goods, add a homemade oranment and you’ve given a wonderful gift that you can feel good about. – Beth


  • My mom has a stepsister who has everything and things on her list are either too expensive for us to give or she turns her nose up at them. She doesn’t even says thank you. Many years ago my mom started to donate her time to a charity. The charity made up a certificate saying 40 hours of service were dedicated in Stepsister’s name by my mom’s name. Now they are in a different place and my mom makes a donation but the certificate recieved never says the amount. She picks a charity for a cause that impacts her stepsister. This year is American Cancer Society because her father was recently diagnosed.  – Angela


  • My teenage niece is getting a “Death by Chocolate” gift basket – with homemade Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookie dough and a cookie scoop so she can make cookies whenever she wants, along with a jar of homemade hot cocoa mix.
    My sister-in-law and her fiance are getting a Home Cooking basket – with the ingredients and a recipe card for my favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup, along with 2 soup mugs & spoons from the dollar store.
    Another family member is getting a gift basket with the recipe & ingredients for homemade caramel popcorn.
    (Once I thought of a theme to fit their personalities, I ran with it!) – Leisa


The biggest key is to think of each person personally – when you shop off the clearance rack for people, albeit you can find great deals, sometimes you have to try to make the person fit the gift – I think this is what causes all the stress of wondering if they’ll like it or not while you’re watching them open it.  Believe me, ahem, I know this from experience!  That’s why this year, everyone is getting a home-made gift.  And, thankfully, I know everyone in my family will like them – because they’ll each be a perfect gift for each of them, that they’ll know I put a lot of thought and time into. 🙂

** oh yeah, and for an added special touch, wrap your presents up really pretty – it doesn’t have to be expensive, but a little ribbon with a favorite candy bar or homemade ornament makes everyone smile.  BTW, you can buy ribbon really inexpensively at craft stores – skip the Christmas stuff which can run you $5 a roll, and go for the pretty solid colors that will complement your paper, and there you have it! 🙂


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  • Kim

    October 3, 2008 at 11:16 am

    One of my most-loved Christmas gifts last year was given to my teenaged sister, Bethany. I gave her a “popcorn night with her friend basket” – including the most amazingly awesome microwave popcorn (you know, the kind with the pour-on butter that people like us NEVER buy!), lots of candy bars (CVS freebies) and 2 free Blockbuster movie coupons (my coke rewards extras!). She LOVED it! Her and her best friend had a movie night, and made some great memories, and the gift cost me a total of $5!!


  • Lija Watson Gift Ideas

    October 5, 2008 at 8:25 am

    I think when choosing a gift it is more important to focus on making people feel special in your eyes than getting them something useful or cheap. Think of what you actually want to express through your gift and if the person will feel appreciated. Some of the best gifts are those that touch people emotionally and evoke sentiments.

    For example, your grandmother will most likely appreciate a collection of music from her youth, reminding her of special moments in life much more than a pair of woollen socks that will keep her warm in winter. She will see that you value what is dear to her and will feel important.


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