Tuesday, November 13, 2012

25 Small Christmas Gifts for Kids, Co-Workers or Friends

There are a lot of people who you might want to give holiday gifts but can't afford to spend a lot on.  We have such a large family that I have to be careful about budgeting for Christmas and all the birthday that happen around Christmas time.  I also need gifts for co-workers, Secret Santa's, and stockings and I find that I really enjoy the hunt for great $1 gifts that are useful or unique.  

The trick is to think outside the box here and keep your eyes open everywhere you go.  I once found a little birds nest and tiny eggs and fun little birds that were beautifully crafted but ran less than $5 for a full set that was beautiful to display on a tree or mantle.  I found it at a little out-of-the-way gift I broke up the set into tiny gift bags and gave my friend one each day so that at the end of the week, her set was complete.

So here are 25 ideas for small gifts that are very low cost for children, co-workers, neighbors, friends or family - start looking now and squirrel them away in a rubbermaid tub to dish out all month!
  1. baked goods (jumbo brownies and no-bake cookies)
  2. lip gloss/chapstick
  3. sample size perfumes (check end caps and travel supplies)
  4. stationary sets (yes, you can find these at dollar stores or craft stores for very cheap)
  5. coffee mugs (check clearance aisles and dollar stores)
  6. handmade wreaths
  7. candy canes/hard candy sticks (use felt and craft scrapes to dress them up like holiday characters)
  8. homemade snack mixes
  9. fresh fruit (who doesn't love to combat all the holiday junk with a nice fresh fruit snack!)
  10. fun holiday socks and slipper socks (a favorite of my kids every year)
  11. thrift shop jewelry for the little girls to play dress up
  12. sheets of fun stickers (good for kids and adults - check the scrapbook aisle for some unique ones)
  13. antique Christmas ornaments (check thrift shops, auctions, eBay and antique stores - buy a whole set and break them up)
  14. antique cookie cutters (these pop up all over the place and you can find some really fun ones - package them in a ziplock bag or canning jar with a favorite cookie recipe and all the dry ingredients)
  15. handmade ornaments (tons of ideas online for how to make these on the cheap)
  16. homemade potpourri (collect dried natural items like pine cones, seed pods, flower heads, thistle, and nuts - spray paint some in holiday colors or with spray glitter - place in a large ziplock bag and add a few drops of essential oils, candle scent drops or candy flavoring and shake well - lay out on paper towels to dry overnight and then package in cellophane bags)
  17. heat therapy bags (scrap fabric sewn into a rectangle like a pillow - fill 2/3 full with rice - you can buy rice in bulk bags pretty much anywhere and make a ton of these out of a couple yards of fabric - add a few drops of essential oil or whole spices to the rice and sew the bag shut - the bags can be heated or frozen and placed on the body for therapy or used for headaches)
  18. surprise them with their favorite cold or hot beverage
  19. personal written story (children and grandparents especially love this one)
  20. handmade cards (say thank you, express how proud you are of achievements or just happy holidays)
  21. handmade doll/stuffed animal clothes for kids (Great-Grandma started this with us and just because my brother was a boy didn't mean he was left out - you can make some really fun clothes, hats, purses, doll blankets, stuffed animals, etc. out of fabric and ribbon scraps)
  22. gloves (who doesn't need more gloves! embroider the person's name or a fun little design on cheap little stretchy gloves for an upgrade)
  23. an on-the-go emergencies kit (put a couple of spot remover wipes, mini static spray, mints, band-aids, and mini hand sanitizer into a small makeup bag or ziplock bag)
  24. hand warmers (for that hunter, kid who has to wait for the bus outside, or person who is chronically cold - great stocking stuff)
  25. card games (lots of fun little travel or card games you can find in all kinds of stores)