Gift Tips: Time to Start Thinking About The Holidays


This year it’s easy to break out and try a new gift idea. It’s never too early to start and some are even great for the last minute. But what do you get the people who have everything?

Try a book club. Give them a Card with a handmade coupon in it to let them pick any book club that strikes their fancy. Tell them to pick out the books and you will buy the remaining 2-4 books to satisfy their membership within so many months.
Try an gift certificate. They can be printed even up to the very last minute in any increment and they sell a wide range of goods including books, clothing, food items, make-up and house wares.

Give craft kits. You can buy pre-packaged kits or go to the dollar store, find a small box and fill it either with other items in the dollar store or a mix from there and the arts store. This can be as complex and expensive as you want to be or maybe as simple as one for a child. Anything can be a craft, so use your imagination. (Its the only thing that doesn’t hurt! Ha!)
Give custom baskets. If it’s a college student, grab a laundry basket and add soaps, dryer sheets, etc. If they are a cooking nut, the dollar store rocks it out! Grab a few big bowls or baskets and fill them with utensils and gadgets. How about a car fan? The dollar store can really work it there, as well! Grab a big plastic crate and fill it up with cleaning supplies, emergency supplies and cool things to “trick the ride”. Wal-Mart is another great and cheap source of items to fill your custom baskets. Also, my local dollar stores carry shrink-wrap gift bags. Tie them at the top and tape down any extra and use a hair drier to shrink it down. (Just remember to keep it moving and don’t’ shrink too tightly or hole will develop. Bows, festive stickers and ribbons cover these nicely. I end with a spray of holiday glitter glue.)
Bake. No I know, who needs to stand there cooking and THEN wrapping?? You don’t. So either bake in those neat new festive foil pans, the decorative ceramic ones from the dollar store or try something else. There are a slew of recipes on the net about baking in everything from flowerpots, to canning jars or even making mixes to be used later in canning jars! Then all you do is add a bow and give them out! You can do everything from snack mixes, spiced nuts, cookie mix, casserole toppings, cocoa mixes, etc. Or try this simple one: Use clear, plastic, disposable frosting decorator’s bags; Add in a serving of coca mix and top with mini marshmallows. Gather the top and tie with ribbon. They look like ice cream cones and they make a lovely gift for people at work or kids in a small group!
Give a promise. It can be a coupon to pay for a movie and popcorn, to a dinner or maybe just taking the kids to the park sans mom and dad! You can make whole coupon books or maybe just one special one. Think outside the box, too: Try a haircut all paid for or emergency chocolate delivered to their home!
Give a gift in their name. I did this one year and used dollar store frames with handmade certificates to show them their gift. I gave different increments in each of their names to charities I thought would reflect their views. (Heifer International is among the more interesting.) Look up a disease or condition that affects them and give in their name. This is also a good one in alternative to a card. Take the one or two dollars you’d spend on a card for them and swipe a hunger coupon at the local grocery store and then Give them a small slip that says what you did and to have a happy holidays!
The ideas are endless and I hope I got you thinking about some possibilities. Even now, as early as it may seem, it’s not too early to assemble together the things you may need for these and catch every sale you can, not to mention look for that one piece that sends it to the perfect gift! Happy merry making!
Jwritten by Jennifer Altherr,, ©

  • Carol

    Adopt an animal for them. They usually get a photo if the animal,maybe a newletter and letters from them, a pass to the park or zoo if they live there.

  • Crystal

    For baking I like to make the dough one day and scoop balls out then freeze it till I’m ready to bake. For giving I look for neat old tins year round to put cookies in.