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Budget-Friendly Last Minute Gift Ideas

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

Christmas brings festive energy to this season at the end of the year however, I would be remiss to acknowledge that pandemic or not, buying gifts during the holiday season can be financially challenging. This year has been especially financially challenging for some and the pressure to buy or give gifts during this season may only compound that challenge.

As a Christian, I have a concrete understanding that the "holiday" others may celebrate as Christmas has nothing to do with receiving gifts from others but rather celebrating a gift given to us. However, I appreciate that Christmas is associated with a season of giving and making others smile through gift giving. Gift giving does not have to be expensive and the old adage holds true when it comes to gifts - it's the thought that counts! Whether you are thinking of some creative budget-friendly options or have waited until the last minute to shop for gifts, here are some of my favorite budget-friendly gifts.

Printed Photographs

There once was a time where you could only view a photograph in printed form and now we have access to them right in the palm of our hands. Printed photographs inside of a frame or photo book are great way to capture and share a memory especially for this year. Print a photo from the time taken during home quarantine or a past travel memory. You can print photos at a local store or print them yourself with photo paper. Prints can be as low as 25 cents! Stores like Home Goods, Michaels, and dollar stores have a variety of inexpensive frame options that make a great personalized gift that lasts for a lifetime!

Painted Ornaments

Adding a personal touch to your own holiday decorations or to someone else's is a charming gift for the holidays! Remember when you used to make ornaments at school that your family may still have and place on the tree?! You can purchase cheap plain or clear holiday ornaments that you can personalize with a message with permanent markers and paint or fill with small trinkets that mean something to the receiver. It's a great way to show your creative side and personalize a holiday staple.

Written Words

I am a huge fan of writing notes and they are always well received! It's really thoughtful to know someone took the time to write a personal note. Putting some words to paper in your handwriting to your significant other or special friend or family member is thoughtful and doesn't break the bank. You can always get creative and fun by writing a poem or simply some lines about your favorite things about the recipient. You can even put the note/letter in a frame for their home desk or bedside table.

Stocking Stuffers

Buying an inexpensive stocking from a local store like Target or Dollar General and filling with small items that show you care makes the perfect stocking stuffer gift! It could be themed like self-care basics such as travel sized body lotion, scented bath oil, etc. or gym essentials with a hand towel, disposable mask, etc. Who doesn't love things they can actually use with a stocking that can use for holidays to come. It's a double gift!

However, you choose to celebrate this season you shouldn't be regretting the financial cost in the New Year. These are great ways to show you care by being mindful of your personal budget! They also make great last minute gifts if you are still contemplating what to get your loved ones this week. Stay safe and happy holidays!

How do you think outside of the box when budgeting for gifts during the holidays?

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