Fun

7 Christmas gifts that don’t break the bank

Christmas is all about the joy of giving. That joy is jaded if you are on a budget and are worrying about how to afford all the gifts on your list. But presents don’t need to be expensive to be thoughtful or well received. Handmade gifts, or those put together with a bit of thought can be priceless. They sometimes require a little more thought and planning, but that makes them all the more meaningful.

1. Homemade foodie gifts

Cook up a batch of homemade truffles, homemade jams or chutneys, chocolate bark or fudge. You can wrap your foodie goods in cellophane gift bags and tie with a ribbon to make a beautiful gift.

2. Homemade hampers and gift baskets

These make lovely and very thoughtful gifts. You can buy baskets cheaply from places like Ikea or hunt for vintage ones in your local Barnardo’s charity shop. Set a theme for your baskets and buy little gifts to fill it with. You might choose a pamper theme and add an eye mask, bath bombs and a scented candle. You might choose a craft theme and add a bundle of craft goodies.

3. D.I.Y. vouchers

Give the gift of time and little treats throughout the year. Print out or handwrite a booklet of gift vouchers and on each write a promise. The bearer can hand in vouchers at any time over the year to claim their treat. Ideas could include babysitting for an evening, a date night, an afternoon trip to a coffee shop or a family trip to the cinema. Be creative and have fun thinking of little things that people will appreciate.

4. Hot chocolate spoons

These are so easy to make and make such pretty gifts. Buy wooden spoons or vintage silver and dip them in melted chocolate. Add sprinkles, such as chopped nuts or mini marshmallows. Gather a bunch of spoons together, wrap in cellophane and tie with pretty ribbon. The lucky recipient will just need to dip the spoon in hot milk to make a delicious chocolatey treat.

Image: Pinterest, Instructables

5. Gifts in a jar

Another inexpensive, but thoughtful gift idea. Find a jar and fill it with themed gifts. You could make a ‘spa in a jar’, adding lots of pampering products or layer the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies as a baking jar. You could even make a jar of all the reasons why you love the recipient, jotting down lovely things on pieces of pretty paper for them to read.

6. Photo coasters

This is such a lovely craft project to make thoughtful and personalised gifts. Buy some plain square tiles. Print out and cut photos to fit the tiles. Make up some mod podge (this is just a mixture of watered down glue, which dries with a nice shine) by mixing one part PVA glue with one part water. Cover the surface of the tile with mod podge, place your photo down and cover it with more mod podge. Wait for the glue to dry and add another two or three layers. Once completely dry, spray with acrylic sealer to make your coasters waterproof.

Image: Mod Podge tiles, Elle.com

7. Books

If you know a book lover then books are not a boring gift at all, but one that they will cherish. They don’t have to be new. You can browse your local Barnardo’s charity shop and vintage stores for second hand titles and interesting and unusual titles that any bookworm will love.