Holiday Gifts You Can Afford

by Debra Amery

The process of finding gifts for friends and co-workers that are personal, unique and affordable can make shopping during the Christmas season feel difficult. Hours spent shopping for the perfect present at a price within budget can lead to frustration. Everything starts to seem generic and overpriced. 
Not to worry; you have other options. Some of my favorite gifts have been created by friends who made small, inexpensive, and unique items after taking the time to notice what kinds of things I would really want.
One of the favorites among gifts I've received is a bowl made by a friend when she took a pottery class. She knew I was constantly misplacing my keys, and she shaped a charming little bowl that she glazed to match the decor in my hallway. Thanks to this little and inexpensive Christmas present, I rarely lose my keys anymore, and I have a beautiful decorative reminder of our friendship.

You can do the same things for your friends. Maybe you're not in a pottery class, but there are many pottery stores that allow you to paint your own piece for a small price. There are also stores that allow you to create your own jewelry as well. Other ideas include buying ornaments and decorating them for your friends' trees, or you can decoupage a small box with photographs and it can hold letters or trinkets. You can also hit the day after Thanksgiving sales to find great little gifts for rock- bottom prices.
Baking some treats can be a simple and thoughtful gift, an idea that is often overlooked. Everyone enjoys having food that they didn't need to buy or prepare themselves. If you enjoy baking, make batches of a few of your favorite cookies and combine them in an attractive assortment on a holiday paper plate. Hand deliver them to your colleagues and friends. If you enjoy entertaining, throw a low-key party or cook a relaxing dinner for a few special guests. Because the holidays can be stressful, people enjoy having a place to retreat with friends and relax.

You can also re-gift. I realize that many people find this to be tacky or rude. However, America has one of the most wasteful cultures of the world. A person gets tired of something, and rather than re-gifting it or sharing it with someone else, we tend to just throw it away. It really is okay to re-gift something to someone if you know they would really love it; don't hand off junk, but if you don't need something anymore or it doesn't match your decor, pass it on to someone who will enjoy it.
Here's wishing you the best of luck with your holiday shopping. Use a few of these suggestion to help you save money and time shopping for your holiday gift list. Have a happy holiday season!

About the Author: Debra Amery's articles on topics related to gifts are published in The Gifts News, the leading resource on-line for information about gifts. Visit the complete archive of articles here: