It’s almost time to put up the Christmas tree, string the lights and bake batches of holiday cookies and fudge. As the holidays draw near, the countdown for checking off the gift lists also begins. Not sure what to get for friends and family this year? Personalized presents and gifts for the home are perfect!
If you’re in need of ideas and the budget is crunched, we’ve got you covered! Check out our 2019 Christmas Gift Guide on a Budget.
Gifts for Close Friends
When giving presents to close friends, it really is the thought that counts. Most of us are just happy when our friends bake us cookies for a holiday gift. If your best friends have gone above and beyond for you, though, wrap up something extra special.
A Personalized Photo Gift
Apple lets you take your photos and turn them into an amazing customized photo album, and sites like Shutterfly and Snapfish offer photo album services, too. You also can have your favorite photo put on a mug, ornament, blanket or shirt! Or create a friendship calendar where your photos illustrate each month of the year! Photo gifts vary in price, so you can find something perfect to fit your budget.
A Holiday Get Together + a Festive Party Favor
This gift is all about spending time with your favorite people. Host a festive friendship celebration at your home…and don’t forget the party favors! Send all friends home with a monogrammed holiday scented candle. No need to pay for monogramming; wrap the base of the candle jar with burlap or a festive fabric. You can embroider monograms or use adhesive monogram letters for an easy option.
A Gift Basket
Create a gift basket that includes your friend’s favorite things. Maybe it’s wine and cheese or coffee and cookies. Or include popcorn, candy and movie tickets. Choose a theme that speaks to your friendship and your friend’s interest.
Gifts for Family Members
Sometimes buying for family members is a no-brainer. Other times, you’re left with zero ideas. When you need the perfect budget-friendly gift for parents, siblings, grandparents and other family members, consider these options:
During the bitter cold, give family members the perfect blanket or afghan. Handy with a knitting needle? You can create your own personalized blankets that feature unique designs and favorite hues. Or head to the store for the perfect oversized cozy cocoon. Blankets can be found in a variety of colors that coordinate with room décor.
Christmas is the season for crazy holiday sweaters and pajamas. If you and your family members have a fun sense of humor, gift everyone matching holiday pajamas. Then snap a photo! This also can turn into a fun holiday tradition.
Sweets & Treats
Sometimes the best gift is something sweet…or salty. Give family members a variety of favorite treats and snacks. Have a little extra to spend? You may even give them an ‘of the month’ club subscription. You can find monthly subscription clubs for wine, cheese, fruit and more!
Gifts for Kids
One of the most fun parts of holiday shopping is buying gifts for kids. Have fun checking these items off your gift list:
Most kids love Nerf guns and toys. Owning something from Nerf is practically a rite of childhood passage. Nerf toys come in a range of price points. Just be cognizant when buying toy guns, as some parents don’t like to encourage this type of play.
When in doubt, choose a fun board game! The classics are usually budget-friendly, too. Most kids love checkers, The Game of Life, and Monopoly. Younger kids will have fun playing Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, and Sorry!
Action Figures & Dolls
Fashion dolls like Barbie and action figures also are fairly inexpensive, and they make popular presents for younger kids. Mattel also offers its Creatable World, which allows kids to customize their own perfect doll!
Sometimes you just can’t go wrong with a fun cute plush toy. Bears, dogs, dragons…choose any fluffy friend! Long plush snakes also can do double duty for dress-up!
Sound impersonal? Gift cards may actually be the best gift for teens. New drivers may love gas cards to fuel their adventures or gift cards to favorite stores, restaurants or hang-outs.
We can’t forget teachers on the holiday wish list! Buying for teachers sometimes leaves parents in a pickle. How much do you spend? What’s the perfect present?
While items with apples and other teacher trinkets might seem cute, chances are high that your child’s teacher is already inundated with these types of items. For teachers, you can never go wrong with a simple gift card to a local favorite restaurant or a coffee shop.
Or get crafty! Buzzfeed asked teachers about their favorite gifts; responses included a jar of gum, a personalized tote, a gift card to a liquor store (yes, this was real), and a new chair!
Some schools also include a list of teachers’ favorite things in their school directory. This helps parents find the perfect present for every grade-level teacher.
Gifts for the Home…For Anyone on Your List!
Some gifts are just universally great! Gifts for the home are perfect for those who just bought their first home and family/friends who have spent decades in their forever home. Here are a few classic gifts for around the house that every homeowner will appreciate:
- The Home Improvement Store Gift Card: All homeowners have to do routine maintenance. A gift card to Lowes, Home Depot, Menards or any other home improvement store gives friends and family the money they need to buy what they need for their home. Whether that’s a new toilet or some cute new curtains, gift cards cover it all.
- Flameless Candles: Scented candles are such a popular gift, and the jars look so cute on an end table or mantle. But candles can be a fire hazard. Opt for non-burning gel candles. These don’t require a flame to make the home smell amazing! Love the look of a burning candle? Some candles also have a fake flame that flickers on a wick; these candles are lit by bulbs instead of fire, but they give the same warm glow.
- Throw Blankets: When it’s cold, you can never have too many blankets. Throw blankets add a pop of color to sofas and chairs. Gift a blanket that matches your friend’s decor.
- An Instant Pot: Recommended by Real Simple, the Instant Pot is a great gift for busy homeowners on the go. Instant Pots can cook roasts in under two hours!
- A Coffee Table Book: Whether it’s an illustrated book on classic artwork, a book with inspirational quotes or something historical, coffee table books all feature eye-catching covers that make great conversation starters.
The budget may be tight this year, but you can still find great presents for everyone on your wish list. For friends, host a holiday get together with cute personalized party favors. Or create a photo album as a memento. Family members may love handmade blankets, gifts of favorite treats or start a new family tradition and buy everyone matching holiday pajamas!
Kids are usually the most fun to check off the list; classic games, Nerf toys and action figures/dolls are popular gifts. Teens may just want gift cards; new drivers may love a gas card! Don’t forget to buy a gift for teachers, but keep it simple. Gift cards to favorite restaurants and jars of candy also make great gifts for your child’s teacher.
No matter what gifts you purchase, always keep the recipient’s interests at the heart of the present; when gifts come from the heart, you can’t go wrong!