Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Creative Christmas gifts on the cheap

Dear Shop Therapist, 
I'm low on funds this year and really want to avoid maxing out my already exhausted credit cards on buying Christmas gifts. I love my friends and family so I want to give them something nice. Do you have any ideas for great gifts on the cheap?
Fabulous & Broke 
Photo courtesy ashhd.blogspot.com

Oh, Fabulous & Broke,
I've been there more often than not. Trust me, even in a good economy your friends and family will understand if you don't buy them all iPads and trips to Bora Bora. Here are some guidelines and ideas to make your holidays (slightly) less stressful: 

1. Set a budget for each person on your list. You'd be surprised how much you can get for $20 -- And how much fun it can be bargain hunting and buying a bunch of silly little gifts. Shops like Fred Flare and local boutiques are perfect for tiny finds. Oh, and Fred Flare is having a 99 gifts under $9 sale! 

2. Don't be afraid to make your list shorter this year. Don't feel obligated to buy a gift for everyone you work with, every aunt, uncle, and cousin, or every friend on Facebook. 

3. Use your "forgotten funds." Your maxed out credit cards could be harboring a decent amount of accumulated "points." AmEx points can be used on a multitude of online shopping sites -- Including Amazon. Also, remember that gift card to JC Penny your great aunt gave you 3 years ago? Free up space in your wallet and use it to buy a few gifts. 

4. Bust out your craft bin or your inner baker! Handmade and homemade are great ways to say "Merry Christmas" on the cheap. I'm an avid Martha Stewart fan -- She has gift ideas for all levels of bakers and crafters. 

5. Try Etsy. If you don't have the time (or patience) for a DIY gift, there are thousands of crafters out there who do! Most prices are reasonable and you'll be helping out a small business in the process. 

6. Regift. I know this can be a gift faux-pas, but done correctly it can totally work. Just make sure the trail of gifting doesn't intersect (i.e. Don't regift something from your best friend to a mutual acquaintance. Things could get ugly). Also, make sure the gift isn't monogrammed, used, spoiled, or downright tacky. It's better to give a lovely card than to regift a dusty old bouquet of fake flowers. 

Remember the old saying that it's the thought that counts. And whatever your budget or crafty abilities, listen to Tim Gunn and...
Kiss Kiss and Happy Holidays! 
The Shop Therapist


  1. Thanks so much! I've been thinking of more "on the cheap" ideas as the big day nears so keep checking back for more ideas :)

    ps -- LOVE your blog! xoxo


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