I love giving gifts during Christmas time. There’s definitely some sort of dopamine high I get when someone unwraps my gift and absolutely loves it. Because of this addictive high, it’s easy to go overboard. Do you feel the same way? Spending tons of money to make people happy during the holiday season? This is why we need to have a frugal Christmas plan in place. This way we don’t in debt (or more debt) just from gift giving. Debt is our enemy. This post will help guide you through the expensive holiday season so you can still give great gifts without hurting yourself in the long term.
Although my family celebrates Christmas, these frugal Christmas tips and gifts can be used for any big gift giving occasion (Hanukkah and Valentines day..I’m looking at you). So let’s dive into the strategies, affordable store bought gifts, and DIY gift ideas.
I love giving gifts, and I tend to go a little overboard unless I have a limit. Who doesn’t love to make people happy? Over the years I’ve learned that setting a budget not only makes me able to stick to my overall gift budget but it takes the stress off of others. They know what to expect.
Think about it. If you decided to spend $75 on your significant other but they think you are going all out and spend $350 it won’t be much of an even Christmas. By setting a budget it also helps me get more creative. If you have a specific limit, you have to be very thoughtful about what you are giving. You can’t just start buying everything because you think they might like it. (Something I’ve done in the past.)
Opt-Out of Gifts or Change It Up
Do really you need to give each of your friends and family members Christmas gift? Suggest up front to skip the gifts this year and suggest a way to see each other instead. Cheesy christmas movie marathon anyone? Your friends would probably much rather have a movie marathon or a potluck over a Sephora gift card. This way you all can spend time with each other instead of money on stuff you don’t need.
If you insist on buying gifts for all of your friends at least switch to a secret santa style of gift giving. The same goes for a large family. I have about 15 cousins on my Dad’s side of the family. We do secret santa every year because 15 gifts for just one side of the family is insane. It works out because we all get something but aren’t completely broke afterwards. I hope to have enough money to buy everyone I care about a gift but I won’t get to that place by spending all of my money now.
Affordable Gifts You Can Buy
If you’re looking for some gifts ideas for your friends or family, I got you. Here’s some of my favorite reasonably priced gifts this year:
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Such a classic gift that is always appreciated. I’m all about comfort and every year I get so excited for fuzzy socks. The softness eventually fades away so there is always a need fo fuzzy socks. Give the gift of comfort with the links below.
Move over fuzzy socks, you have some competition. (I love being comfy if you couldn’t tell.) You can’t even tell on the outside that these leggings are so comfy on the inside (fleece lined!). They were a birthday present given to me and are perfect for the long winter months ahead.
For your super organized friend or your sister who maybe needs more organization in her life, I have the perfect planner/journal combo, the Bullet Journal. I love the Bullet Journal because you can make it your own. You just need a plan notebook with lines, no It can be party planner part journal and there are tons of ideas online on how to use it. The freedom of this journal makes having a planner fun! Here’s a video with some examples and the official website here. Links for a notebook you can give (more affordable than the original Bullet Journal notebook) and the perfect colored pens to bring it to life are below.
Books – The Gift of Knowledge
I love giving and receiving books, especially self help books. Self Help books are a great way to improve my life or give me a healthier perspective. Sharing a book with a loved one that has helped you is one of the sincerest gifts in my opinion. If you already own a book and are willing to part with it, this can even be a free gift. If you’re looking for some book gift ideas, some of my favorites to give to people that have helped me in the past are:
For The Heavy Drinker
I’m talking about coffee and tea! Get your mind out of the gutter! Know someone who is a big coffee or a tea drinker? Get them a quality coffee or tea and pair it with a cute mug. It has been a big hit in the past so I can vouch that people love their coffee or tea. Links below are for great coffee, tea, and some cute mugs.
- Strong, Premium, and Organic Coffee
- Assorted Organic Quality Tea
- Supa Cool Mugs for Either:
Scented Soy Candles
My boyfriend and I love scented candles but after hearing how many bad chemicals are in most of them, we were totally devastated. But fear not! These soy candles are safe to use at home so they make for a perfect gift. This ones a gift pack of 4 small candles so you don’t have to worry about picking a scent.
I’m not super crafty so I don’t have a bunch of original DIY gift ideas hanging out in my brain. But, I have a bunch of easy and affordable DIY gift ideas from other bloggers (who are much more talented than I am) that I want to share with you. All of these are very unique. Also, there’s just something special about receiving a gift that is handmade. You feel truly loved because someone took the time to make something just for you. Below are some really cute and unique DIY Christmas gifts.
Stress Relief Lotion
Know anyone who is stressed and has trouble sleeping? This DIY magnesium lotion is the perfect gift for your super stressed friend who needs to relax and get some good rest. Honestly we all need some of this.
Find it Here: How to Make Your Own Magnesium Lotion
The Gift That Puts Framed Pictures to Shame
This is a gift for someone who loves personalization and a rustic feel. Domestic Deadline shows you how to transfer photos to wood. Photos on wood are pretty pricey when you buy them online. But, this tutorial will help you save money and make an impression on Christmas morning. Do I see tears of joy in your future? This sure beats that framed picture I gave last year. What’s also great is that the paint transfer used for this project doesn’t go bad. You can use this for a bunch of gifts for years and each one will be totally personalized.
Find it Here: Photo Wood Transfer – A Great DIY Gift
Super Easy Holiday Scrub
I’m such a last minute gift giver. I don’t mean to be but I always end up rushing at least one person’s gift. If you’re a procrastinator like me, I have the homemade gift for you. A super simple sugar scrub that will not only will smell glorious but is super festive!
Find it Here: Sugar Scrub-A Christmas Gift Your Kids Can Make
Ornaments You Swear Were Store Bought
I knew I was becoming an adult once I started getting excited to receive Christmas ornaments. The ones that are the most meaningful to me are the ones that are from a place I’ve traveled to or were hand made by someone I care about. Lucky for you, I have 2 options of cute ornaments.
The Trendy Rustic Snowman
This snowman ornament is not only cute but it has a very classic, rustic look. It looks like one of those pricey ornaments on Etsy. But it’s way better because you can make a bunch for a much lower cost.
Find it Here: Simple Snowman Wooden Block Ornaments
The Dazzling Glitter Ornament
I’ve seen really cute glitter filled ornaments at the local Christmas store. When I found out that there was a way to make them myself, you better believe that I jumped on it. Too Much Love gives you the clear steps on how to make this cute and sparkly glitter ornament. Impress with ease.
Find it Here: How to Easily Make Those Glitter Ornaments
30 Days of Cozy
Do you know how to crochet or are you interested in giving it a shot for some cozy and cute gifts? Well Crochetpreneur is in the middle of a 30 day, 30 idea crochet gift list. The designs were hand picked from over 100 applicants so you know they’ll be good. You have everything from crocheted toys to a beautiful reversible scarf to a trendy blanket wrap. This is the motherload of crochet gift ideas.
Find it Here: 30 Days of Cozy Guest Designer Program
The Santa Pillow Kids Will Love
Kids love santa. But who doesn’t?. A jolly many spreading Christmas joy is something to love. I don’t have kids but some of my friends and relatives do. Since I’m out of the loop with what is the latest toy, who not give a gift that is timeless? This is where the crochet santa pillow comes in.
Find it Here: Crochet Pattern: Sleepy Santa Pillow
The fastest way to most people’s hearts is through their stomach. If you look at a website like Edible Arrangements, you’ll quickly see that sending edible bouquets are obscenely expensive. Since when did chocolate covered fruit become so expensive? Has it always been this way? Well I say no more!
This is the DIY gift that anyone can do. Homebasics 101 uses candy you can find at any grocery store but you can make this bouquet your own. You can choose to do candy, mini bottles of alcohol, or mini all natural products like lip balms, mini lotions, and soaps. If you can use tape, you can make this bouquet.
Find it Here: DIY Edible Bouquet
How to Make A Money Gift Festive
If you are looking for a creative way to give money or a small gift, this is the perfect way to make it special. Because sometimes, money is the best gift option. This tutorial shows you the easy steps to wrap your gift in a snowball! How pumped would you be to unwrap a snowball gift? It sure beats that boring store bought money card.
Find it Here: Christmas Snowball – A Creative Way to Give Money!
This is how I am keeping my Christmas budget friendly. I’m using a combination of these strategies to keep my Christmas gifts on a budget. My boyfriend and I have already set our gift budget, my cousin secret Santa is already in play and you better believe I’m getting my craft on with a few of the ideas I posted above.
I’m all about crowd-sourcing ideas so if you have any other money saving Christmas strategies or gift ideas comment below. And may we all have a very merry and frugal Christmas!
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