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For those of us who have children and need low-cost or free gift ideas:
Check out sites like: http://www.theholidayzone.com/recipes/dough.htmlThis site has tons of recipes for making play dough, modeling clay, jewelry clay, etc. Type "homemade toys" into Google for more ideas.
Check to see if your local thrift store has a "free bin" - sometimes you can find good stuff.
Public libraries often have free passes you can reserve for local children's and science museums, reserve passes for Christmas vacation. These museums often have free days, too, give your kids a coupon for a day at the museum.
Public libraries sell used books for 10-50 cents each.
Borrow movies from the library and have a fun movie marathon with your kids.
Teach kids how to make their own board games like "Nine Man Morris" (for directions go to themathlab.com).
A box of crayons is a great, inexpensive gift.
Make baby rag dolls from old socks - take a sock, stuff it, tie it closed and fold the end down to make a hat. Draw a face or sew one on.
Make a finger puppet theater out of a box, and make finger puppets. You can find directions on line.
Make a beanbag game using beanbags made from fabric scraps and fill with sand or beans.
A wonderful, inexpensive, lovely idea for Christmas gift giving. Purchase a measuring cup, preferably glass. Tie a ribbon to handle with a card stating this or something like this:
"The measure of a person should be by the content of goodness in their heart.
The amount of love they show and give.
The amount of compassion toward others.
The giving of themselves, even when they don't feel
like there is much to give.
The unselfish acts they perform.
The kindness they emit.
The joy they share.
The measure of a person should be by what is in their heart alone.
And you, my friend, Measure Up!
Thank you for being a true friend!
This Christmas, may your cup runneth over!
I wish you a Truly Blessed Christmas! 2007"
I wrote this and gave these last year to my best lady friends - it was a huge hit! They just loved them and were so very touched. I am so happy to share this with you all!
May God Bless you too!
By Bennae from Bartlesville, OK
When my 3 children were little, money was tight. So I bought a present for each child every month. Granted they were very inexpensive gifts but they still had 12 gifts to open on Christmas morning. I also crocheted each of them a hat, scarf, and mittens so they had something personal from me.
By Molly from Box Elder, South Dakota
If you're stumped on what Christmas gift to buy for someone or you're running low on cash AND have a computer and printer or know of someone who does, make up decorated address labels for gifts or stocking stuffers. Your recipient will be pleased with the idea that you thought of them enough to do this. It's a gift that we ALL can use and won't be wasted. Just make sure of all correct spellings beforehand. This gift would be welcome, also, at any time of year!
By Terri from NV
Here's my idea for inexpensive holiday gifts. It saves me some money to make many of my holiday gifts this way, and people seem to like them. I make lots of homemade cookies and give them for Christmas gifts, but I want them to look special. So I save empty, appropriate containers (that otherwise would have gone into the trash), and then decorate those with Christmas tissue paper, bows, etc. The cookies go into those. It looks fancy, but it's inexpensive.
For example: old Pringles cans are great for putting homemade cookies in (stack the cookies). Glue some Christmas or colorful paper completely over the Pringles cylinder. Then hot glue a ribbon or bow or even a small ornament to the container. Instant gift container!
I also redecorated an oatmeal cylinder, a beef jerky
cylinder, a cocoa cylinder, and a paper bag with handles from a chain bath and body store, all with Christmas tissue paper/wrapping paper that I had saved from last year, and hotglued on ribbons and bows, and little beads or ornaments. The packages look so pretty, and will make the cookies gifts so much nicer to give.
Ness from Lakeview, NY
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Here are questions related to Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas.
I'm an 18 year old college freshman, and I'm really worried about gifts this year. I know that, living in a dorm room or small apartment, getting stupid wasteful gifts isn't practical. I want to get some girls [and guys] I'm friends with small, cheap, and meaningful gifts that they can use and love. I'm looking at between 5-10 girls and 5 guys. Please remember that most of these people live in small rooms or apartments so we don't have room for random junk. What is something creative? Thanks!
By Maddie from Normal, IL
By susan winship 12/01/2010
I second the idea for mugs, heavy-duty ones. I've gotten some at Big Lots and at outlet stores, etc. I'm thinking 1$ to 1.25 per). Fill them with hard candy or Kisses. Tie a bow on top. They will be used and appreciated. Who can't use another mug? Merry Christmas and the best of New Years.
I'm on a extremely tight budget for Xmas gifts this year. I have only got $60 ($30 each child) to spend on my children. My son is 6 years old and my daughter is 4 years old. My aunt already bought them some DSs and games, train tracks, a cupcake marker, and one of those Barbie heads where you can cut their hair off.
I'm kinda unsure now what to get them. I would like to get them something that will be meaningful and will remind them of mommy and how much I love and miss them and that's good for their mental and physical development. I only get to see them once a month for 3-6 days. I'm dealing with money and personal issues, so they can't legally live with me right now, but I'm working on having them back in my home again.
Here is a list of gifts I'm thinking I might them:
For my son:
anything Spideman and Thomas the Train
a nice soft fleece blanket, the one he had as a toddler that I bought him, just something he can cuddle up too and it can be reminder of us having cuddle time.
For My Daughter:
colored rainbow nail polish, especially want to get her purple cuz its her favorite color; she can mix the colors on her nails cuz she likes doing that
light colored makeup
gold earrings (If I can borrow enough money to buy them.)
I was also thinking of making something for them as well, just in need of some creative crafts to make for kids ages 4-6 years. I also want to get and make some something they will actually use and need and like.
Any good suggestions would really be appreciated :D
I know Xmas is already over, but was thinking of buying gifts on Boxing Day to save money too and I don't get to see them until early January.
I think your ideas for your son are fine. For your daughter, no makeup, but nail polish is okay. Perhaps a build-a-bear (if not too costly) or play dress-up clothes like a boa, a hat, colorful dress, etc..
If you want to make them something, I would suggest something they could sleep with, like a stuffed toy or pillow. Good luck with your efforts to get your children back.
What to do with $50 bucks for Xmas? I am super poor right now. My other cheque hasn't come and it's almost Xmas time. I have 50 bucks to buy my kids and fiance gifts. I am looking for some gifts that I could get or make before Christmas.
By Krystal from Kenora, Ontario
By Caseye 12/23/2010
Make some unusual "promise" coupons; your kids and fiance will love 'em (making cookies together, letting the other person win at a favorite game - it's so fun to try to lose on purpose and will bring oodles of giggles!, doing chores together with feet only, making a meal with foods that begin the first letter of each of their names, etc.) Be creative, and forget store-bought stuff that may or may not last, will have to be cleaned, put away, stored, etc.; make memories instead! Blessings to you all!
I have a 5 year old step son and he is into the Hulk, Transformers, Mickey Mouse, cars, and just all this boy stuff, but he has all the toys in the world because his dad and real mom spoil him. I was just wondering what I should get him with a budget of $50 for him maybe only $25. Please help me.
By Nikkie09 from Corpus Christi TX
By Saber Alexander 04/08/2010
Since others have already said the very good things about time, I will mention bedsheets. it seems a weird thing to say, but twin bed sheets that come with a pillowcase come in some pretty fun patterns. I know I've seen a Hulk one and they're 15 to 20 bucks. I always likes the sheets that had my favorite characters on them.
Or maybe a bedspread of the same. Usually 20 to 30 dollars at places like Wal Mart. Hope this helps!
For several years now, when I do an internet search for "Homemade Gift Ideas". I come to your site, and see all the great ideas, like Jar, or basket gifts etc. But even those seem to be too expensive, and not really workable for my needs.
Here's my problem.
Christmas is just around the corner, AGAIN! And I have almost no money, I have almost 300 people to send Christmas cards (and a little "something" to go with it) to (So it has to be flat (easily mailable, and that won't make the envelope too big or heavy), not fragile, and useful, something that anyone (man, or woman, and if it can even be for any age, that'd be even better) will find useful. It can't be food or teas or whatever, because so many people on my list have allergies, or illnesses or are on a diet, or are picky, or etc. And, it also has to be quick and easy to make, because I'm almost out of time. And I've already made bookmarks, several years in a row. I need something new.
I hand make each of the greeting cards we need, each year. But I haven't started yet, for this Christmas and next year. So, ideas on card designs would be appreciated too.
Also, on my list are a few people that I can spend a tiny bit more on, and That I can hand deliver the gifts to. These people have everything, or go into phases where they get rid of everything they own (almost). And stuff. I need "useful gifts" that aren't food. And I need good gift ideas for a 4 or 5 year old boy (I know very little about age appropriate gifts). I don't see him often, so I don't know what he loves most and what he already has, and etc. (something other than food, or a "toy", would be good).
Also.... For a Christmas Party I'm going to, I need a "healthy" cookie recipe! (and it needs to be fancy!).
So, you can see, I have a lot of trouble each year, because this is what I'm faced with each year. My annual "Christmas Anxiety" has begun.
Please, please, please, help!
-- In Peace, Phoebe.
By BJ (Guest Post)12/02/2008
As a small gift I made business cards. For a cook, clip art picture of a cook stirring a big pot of soup. For a high school girl interested in acting I used clip art Comedy/tragedy. It was a lot of work, but lots of fun doing it and thinking of what they would really be interested in.
I wish someone would give detailed information about bookmarks, are they printed on both sides? Do you laminate them?
I have a huge family. I start shopping for Christmas presents early. Does anyone have any good Christmas present ideas for 10 people for $10. or less. These are extended family members.
By April 11/17/2005
This year draw names except for the parents and grandparents. Just get every one else a scratch off ticket.