1. Fun, trendy watch. You can buy watches in all shapes and colors
from around $8 to $20 at discount department stores and flea
markets. Include a note in the box that says something like,
"I always enjoy our time together". If giving this to a
teacher, you could thank them for all the "time" they've
spent teaching your child.
2. Mini recipe book of
your favorite recipes. Buy a small, inexpensive photo album that
holds one 4 x 6 photo per page (usually just a dollar or two at
craft stores). Print, type or write your recipes onto 4 x 6 recipe
cards and insert in the sleeves meant for photos. After you've
made the first set, make multiple photocopies of all the recipe
cards. That way you can easily make more personal recipe books for
other people this year or anytime.
3. Gourmet chocolate pretzels. These sell in specialty stores for
$20 for around a dozen large pretzel rods. But you can make your
own homemade version for a fraction of the cost. All you need is
the pretzels, chocolate melts (most craft stores have these for
under $2 a bag), and optional things like chopped nuts, mini chips
or sprinkles. Simply melt the chocolate, dip the pretzels rods
until about half of the pretzel is covered, then roll in the
toppings and let them set upside down in a cup.
4. Handmade framed name print. Research the meaning of the
person's name from a baby naming website. Use your computer
graphics or word processing program to type his or her name in
large letters in a nice font. Put the meaning of their name in
smaller letters under the name. Print it on pretty background
paper, such as 8 1/2 x 11 scrapbook paper from a craft store. Trim
to fit a small frame purchased from a discount department store or
5. Night at the movies. You can make this inexpensive by just
picking up a $5 gift card for a movie rental and a box of
microwave popcorn. Or you can make it a bigger gift by adding a
large bowl for the popcorn, a gift card for multiple rentals, and
perhaps some DVDs.
6. Flashlight that doesn't need batteries. This is a very
practical gift that almost anyone can use. Depending on the model,
you either shake the flashlight or wind it up. They really work
and you never have to worry about dead batteries. The price range
is between $10 and $20.
7. Photo ornament. You can find these in all kinds of stores, some
are quite inexpensive and look like little holiday photo frames.
Just insert a photo of your friend, their pet or children and
you've got a very personalized gift.
8. Custom gift card from you. If you're short on cash, but not on
sentiment, you can print a gift card that promises babysitting, a
car wash, running errands, lessons, etc. If you love to bake, but
don't have time around the holidays, give a gift card redeemable
for your specialty in January.
9. Personalized giant candy bar. This one is so easy. Buy a big
Hershey bar and replace the outer wrapper with your custom
wrapper. You can print one of the many free Christmas chocolate
bar wrappers found on the internet. Some of them even have places
for you to put a photo and your own words. Or make it yourself by
tracing the original wrapper and cutting it out from nice holiday
paper. Then just tape or glue in place.
10. Personalized magnet, button, key ring or pocket mirror. For
just a couple of dollars, this one of a kind little gift can't be
beat. There are companies on the internet that will put any funny
or inspiration quote or your own message on one of their products.
Whatever the person's hobby, interest, or job, there is a saying
or quotation out there that would be perfect for them.
A thoughtful Christmas gift doesn't have to cost a lot of money or
require hours of searching through crowded malls. All that is
needed is your big heart and imagination.
Linda Kling is the owner of Photo Party Favors located at
members.aol.com/PhotoPartyFavors which offers original
personalized photo favors, photo
Christmas cards, & personalized
magnets, buttons, keyrings, & mirrors that can be
imprinted with your message. Check out her website for 5000+
quotes, free printable candy bar wrappers, recipes & tips.