Let’s face it: these aren’t the best of times economically, so cheap Christmas presents are almost compulsory this Yuletide season.

I realize that those of you inculcated with the mercantile spirit might greet this statement with cries of “Blasphemy!” That’s fine; go ahead and dig yourself into debt if you like. But you don’t have to just to give someone a nice Christmas gift.

Fire Up the Old Thinking Cap!


Christmas gifts don't have to cost the Earth.

As with so many things, a healthy dose of imagination can help you in your quest to devise meaningful but inexpensive gifts for the people you care about. That, and a little sleuthing; to really make an impression, you need to know what your recipient likes. Otherwise, it’s hit and miss.

In other words, there’s no single, one-size-fits-all cheap Christmas gift that we can reveal to you here that will cover all your holiday bases. Sorry! But we’ll be happy to offer a few gift ideas as springboards for your own perfect presents.

Speaking of Which…

It’s hard to go wrong celebrating someone’s family, assuming they’re on good relations with everyone. So here’s an idea: find a top-quality photograph of one or more of their family members (or have one made), and have it enlarged. Then pair it with a nice frame and present it to them as a gift. This needn’t cost much.

Or: if you have any artistic talent yourself, consider drawing or painting an original portrait of them and their family members. All it’ll cost you is your time and some supplies.

If you’re really into the family idea, you could even construct a genealogical chart or book for their family, as far back as you can research. With the Internet, this is easier than ever, and again, it won’t cost you much more than your time…though it may take a while!

Hobby Gift Boxes

If you know your gift recipient’s favorite hobby, you can put together a simple hobby gift box. If they enjoy constructing models, for example, create a gift box containing a model kit or two, glue, paint, and other accessories. A collector of baseball cards might enjoy a few Topps packs, card holders, and a new binder.

For a baker, you can find a nice recipe for something they love or love to make — oatmeal cookies, for example — and have it printed out on top-quality paper and laminated. Then all you need to do is add the ingredients for making a batch from scratch to their box, wrap it nicely, and you’re done.

As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of money to put together sweet but cheap Christmas presents, as long as you put your heart into it!


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