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Category:  Gifts

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       Frugal and Creative Christmas Gift Ideas

By Cyndi Roberts

Instead of going to debt this year, why not give a gift from the heart?  You don't have to make tons of cookies, or learn to knit between now and Christmas!  But you can use your imagination and create a gift tailored specially for each recipient on your list.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. If there's an avid reader on your list, purchase a gift card from the bookstore, tuck it in a gift bag along with a Christmas mug ( from the $store for under a buck) and a few envelopes of hot chocolate mix or maybe herbal tea bags.

2. Give a handmade gift certificate--if you're not into calligraphy or art, make it on the computer.  Give a certificate for several nights of babysitting. Or for a favorite niece or nephew, maybe a trip to the zoo in the spring.

3.  Do you have a new "in-law" in your family?  Give her a special calendar marked with birthdays, anniversaries and other special days.  Tuck in a few recipe cards with favorite family recipes on them.

4.  Do you have a craft you really enjoy?  Make up a kit for a child with everything needed to make a project.  Be sure to include a promise to help and teach!

5.  Are your grandchildren living too far away for you to see them very often?  Record some books on tape for them to listen to before naptime.  Include some stories about when their parents were small children.  A priceless gift!

6. I think it's always difficult to choose gifts for young men. But here's one almost all enjoy:  go to the dollar or discount

store and buy a plastic bucket-the kind you use to wash your car. Fill it with car wax, a chamois, ice scraper, key ring, tire cleaner, car shampoo, etc.

7.  Instead of buying a gift for everyone in your sister's or brother's family, think about giving one gift that everyone can enjoy. How about a jigsaw puzzle?  Package it with a big package of microwave popcorn and some hot chocolate mix and they'll be all set for a fun famiy nightL!

8.  Another great family gift is a nice Christmas-themed cookie jar filled with - you guessed it-Christmas candy! Every year when they get out the Christmas cookie jar, they will think of you.

9.  Grandparents love to receive anything that grandchildren have made. Frame some of the children's artwork in a nice frame, maybe even a magnetic frame.  Or do a collage of photos of the grandchildren.  Grandmom and Granddad will love it!

10. Think of some different places to shop such as the used bookstore.  Most used bookstores sell their books at half of the retail price.  And some of the books are brand new.  You just need to take the time to look.

11.  A place that has wonderful gift items is the craft mall. Handmade gifts of all kinds can be found there at really great prices.  And you will be helping out a crafter!

12. My daughter, Tomilyn, reminds me to shop the "unobvious" stores; hobby and craft stores have craft and art kits for $5 and less. Teen jewelry stores carry themed merchandise (like Care Bears) and sell pencils, keychains, etc. that are very cute and unusual.

It's time to make your list and get started making this your best Christmas ever!

Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" bi-weekly newsletter and founder of the website of the same name. Visit to find creative tips, articles, and a free e-cooking book.  Subscribe to the newsletter and receive the free e-course "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".


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Category:  Gifts

Related Links:  | HolidaysHalloweenChristmasGifts |

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