I am looking for help with a frugal gift for my brother.
I am normally very good at picking out gifts for people around me but I am having a really tough time figuring out what to get my brother. We are not close and don't talk, though we are not at odds or anything. I normally don't get him a gift (he hasn't gotten me one since the 90's! haha) but my father passed away this year and he will be with my mother for the holidays (I can't make it because of work).
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Is there a Princess Auto there or some other 'man type' shop such as Canadian Tire? A gift certificate for a man's 'candy store could solve the problem. I now have a tradition of getting DH a Princess Auto gift card for Christmas now. He says the tool department is always crowded after the holiday. It could say "Wish I Knew You Better."
Most men do like candles, especially if you get a "manly" scent - try the Yankee Candle - there's a black one that my son likes, some companies even make leather-scented candles.
You might also try out-of-season fruit. It's usually more expensive so people don't always buy them for themselves. I'm thinking fresh blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc. You might also check with your mother, surely she can give suggestions.
Thanks for the ideas Solus and Noella! We do have Canadian Tire, that sounds like a good idea. The leather scented candle might be good too! I'll make a list with all suggestions and check with my mom..thanks again!
A book of pictures of his/your family growing up? That way you & your mother & brother can enjoy them together Christmas Day.
If he's into sports you could get him his favorite team's t-shirt or sweatshirt (you can never have too many!). Or a magazine subscription to Sports Illustrated or another manly magazine. You could get him a gift certificate to a restaurant.....all men love food! And any hardware store item or gift card is a sure bet. Music maybe or tickets to an event? You are doing a nice thing, so it's the thought that counts. Don't worry, he'll be touched by whatever you come up with! And I'm sorry about the loss of your dad.
-PainterLee in FL
I had a friend that made teddy bears out of her father's favorite shirts for each of her siblings the 1st Christmas after he passed. She was lucky to find a couple of pictures of her dad wearing a few of those shirts that went along with the bear that was made out of that shirt and she put each picture in a frame and had the bear holding the frame! She accessorized a couple of the bears without pictures with something else of her dad's or something to do with her dad.
I remember that one had a fishing pole made from a twig of a tree complete with a fish on the line! Her dad loved to fish and shared that with her brother! They really turned out really cute and were greatly appreciated!
Other ideas that I had for your brother include movie rental coupons. You could include them with a big bowl for popcorn with plain microwave popcorn or maybe with an air popcorn popper.
Does he like music and have a MP3 or Ipod? A gift card for music downloading would be a hit! How about a subscription to a magazine? There are many different magazines out there. One on hunting or fishing. Or computers, green living, etc.
Or a journal that you could write to him and have him write something back to you and the 2 of you could send it back and forth and "catch up". You could change the topics and write about your favorite memories as a child or of your dad.
Another family idea would be making a photo album with family pictures in it, you don't have to fill it up, just get it started. Or an enlarged picture of dad and him. Hope that these ideas help! You can do like I do sometimes, I keep a tablet with ideas that I like to use later!
How about a subscription to a mag he might like, or a mix for a healthy multi-bean soup mix he can easily cook for himself.
What about something from an army/navy surplus store like gear, backpack supplies, flint for making fire, etc. If he is a healthy eater, then maybe some baked goods from a health food store. What about survival supplies? Maybe he would like something practical like 100 hour candles, a water bottle with a filter, etc.
1) A NICE FLASHLIGHT: My son likes camping tools & survival stuff like a topnotch LED flashlight that also recharges. I bought my mom an LED headlamp several years ago for Christmas at a hardware store (because she reads at night & doesn't want to wake her husband) but I didn't send it because I needed it because our power went out for 5 days so I kept it for myself... Anyway, I've used this wonderful little head lamp time & time again because I like to crochet in the car while my companion drives me back & forth to craft fairs. You can ALWAYS use a good flashlight & I especially like having my hands free with tiny LED headlamp & it fits easily into my small glove compartment in my car.
2) TOOLS & LIGHTING: If he likes tools, have you seen that tool that Sears (Craftsman brand) sells that's made to remove stripped-out screws? Do you have a Big Lots liquidation type store in your area? Because they tend to sell some of those "sold on TV" gadgets for about one-fifth the original price & they sell these wonderful little tools & also some wonderful lighting ideas (3 under cabinet florescent lights for $15) including those stick-up led lights that don't use much in the way of battery power.
3) SOFT T.V. BLANKETS: Lastly, you can buy some very cool panels of fleece fabric that have pictures on them, maybe something with the navy, army, air force or marines logo or a flag type of fabric & you can use this soft fuzzy fleece fabric to make a blanket for him to use when he watches TV. I have a fleece TV blanket with the "Harley Davidson" logo on it, woule he like something like this?
4) FINGERLESS GLOVES: Does he work on cars or work outside when it's cold because I bought & also made my son a pair of fingerless gloves that he wears all the time & has got LOTS of use out of. Make sure the thumb is also fingerless, as some glove-mitten type of fingerless gloves have the thumb covered.
5) FISHING, CAMPING & HIKING VEST: If he fishes, how about a fishing vest that he can wear fishing, camping or hiking that he can put all his gear into the pockets. Also, if he drinks, you can buy him a bottle of the very best flavored Vodka or a nice bottle of wine.
6) A HAND WARMER: If he skis or does any activities outside in the cold, a small butane hand warmer would be a great thing to have. You can find one at any sporting goods store or buy one online. Don;t forget the bottle of butane to refill it.
7) A TINY BUTANE TORCH: I recently bought myself a wonderful but tiny butane torch for only $25 at my local Home Depot. It's called a "Benzomatic Micro Torch Kit" It can be used to soldering, wood-burning, as a hot knife & all kinds of other fun & useful things. It comes with 6 different attachments & it's just plain handy to have it around the house when you need it!
8) SLIPPERS WITH SOLES: Last Christmas I bought myself & all my grown kids these wonderful & super-comfy house slippers. The cool thing about them is that they have soft rubber soles that go up around their sides. This means you can also wear them outside in the rain to check the mail, or go on to the wet lawn to get your newspaper, let the dog out or get something from the garage without putting your street shoes on. They can also be put in the washing machine to get them clean (unlike leather or suede slippers) They are Comfy & practical slippers!
9) DOORWAY CHIN-UP BAR: Have you seen that new TV commercial for the "Iron Gym" its a chin-up & pull-up bar that locks in to any door jam with no hardware or tools, just gravity. It's also portable & If your brother likes to stay in shape, he'll just love this wonderful device! It costs only $29.99 & here's the web site:
10) CAMERA: Does he have a digital Camera? Because if he doesn't, maybe your mom & you can go halfs on one... They're much cheaper that they used to be!
11) MEMORIES: Was your father in the Army or the service? Because you could make a very cool shadow box for your brother with your fathers Army memories like his ribbons or metals & maybe part of his old uniform, etc in it with a picture of your father. Anything that would remind your brother of your father, be it fishing lures or whatnot... If you've got the time you could also take photos of your father & your family then print them on to fabric then make a small lap quilt for your brother.
If he is still serving our country I would go with a "care basket" Maybe writing materials (you can even address a few envelopes for him with your address to show how much you care ;) Maybe a disposable camera or two, some shaving supplies and foot care products. A personalized note card saying you'll send homemade cookies the next time he's deployed =) And there is even a way you can pay for boots for him while he's oversees =) My husbands served twice already.. and is waiting to hear if they'll call him back =) Good Luck.. and please thank him for me =)
Wow thanks for ALL the wonderful ideas! He is not serving anymore, he came back and is not going back but is with the Canadian Forces actually. My dad was a big shot corporate business guy so not an army type at all, my dad loved bath stuff and was very well dressed! LOL! I talked to my mom and she was stumped too and didn't know what to get him either. I will pass along some of these lovely ideas to her as well! THANK YOU everyone! :D
Send a small tree (I get some interesting ones at the dollar store or decorate a fake tree)
Wrap 12 gifts (note cards, playing cards, baby wipes, candy/cookies, soap, photo album, place mats, sntat hat, decorations, jingle bells,-anything that appeals to him or you!) Label 1-12
Have him open one each day beginning on Dec 13th and conclude on the 24th. I always include the book"Twas the night before Christmas as the last gift. Easy, fun to prepare and open. It can be as inexpensive as you want
I give my kids PJs on the morning on the 24th
I think the BEST ideas were remembrances of your father. If all else fails, how about a car wash?
Do you hzve z special memory or two of the two of you playing a game or something? Get him that game/thing and attach a note reminiscing about the time you remember playing... Also, a copy of the front page when he was born might be nice... Gas card or gift card might be appreciated too... How about a recent pic of you and your mom in a double frame?
Such great ideas but I am realizing how estranged my immediate family and I are! We were not close as children either so no memories there. (All I remember were his plastic army men! haha) I wish I had a recent pic of my mother and I to give him (that's a wonderful idea!) but the last one that was taken of the both of us was at least 10 years ago. :( My mother lives a 12 hour drive away, so i dont see her often. I just remembered that he collects coins, so perhaps I might throw in a nice coin that the post office sells too :)
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