The holidays snuck up on you again? Forgot to get presents for half the people on your list? Don’t worry, these ten crafty, thrifty, widely available gift ideas will ensure you won’t have to show up empty handed.
Everyone loves a bit of photographic art for their walls. Look through your archives for a great photo that your gift recipient would love. Maybe it’s one of you two together, a family photo for your parents, or that shot from your friends’ wedding that you keep forgetting to send them. Find a frame at your favorite thrift store and get the enlargement done at a photo or copy/print shop.
A Merry Bottle
A good bottle of wine/whiskey/olive oil is something that most people will enjoy. Dress it up by making a hangtag card to place around the neck of the bottle — or instant downloading one from Etsy if you’re short on time — and/or wrapping it with festive ribbon. Instructions on when to invite you over for dinner to enjoy it together optional.
If you’re always scrambling for last-minute gifts, learn to knit. Seriously. Once you get the hang of it, a scarf will take you a night to make, and will most certainly be appreciated by the person receiving it. And hey, if you run out of time — potholders! After a while, you can get fancier too, making all kinds of things — leg warmers, sweaters and beanies. Or, if knitting is just not your thing, there are always ugly Christmas sweaters to be found at the thrift store…
Homemade things always go over well with friends, especially when they’re delicious and edible. Roasted nut mix is a fun gift that goes well with any party libations. Create your own recipe, or try this one for Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts (delish!). Find a pretty glass jar (mason jars always work), tie a bow around it and you’re good to go!
Come on, who doesn’t love chocolate? There are so many kinds to be had that you will surely be able to find the perfect bar or box. We particularly love the beautifully wrapped bars from Mast Brothers and Fine & Raw, both lovingly made in Brooklyn and fairly widely available. The latter is also raw, which makes it perfect for that raw foodie friend you never know what to get.
With holiday parties come holiday party cleanups. Help your hosts make this part more fun and festive by giving them a natural cleaning kit from Mrs Meyers, available in three seasonal scents — Orange Clove, Iowa Pine or Cranberry. Because a clean home is a happy home.
Words & Sounds
Transport someone to another place and time by finding a great classic novel at your favorite used book store (or, if there’s no time for that, get them an eBook) and making a Spotify playlist for them to listen to while they read. It’s a thoughtful gift that will be appreciated by bookworms, music lovers and hopeless romantics (and aren’t we all?).
Don’t take the easy route by buying an off-the-rack gift card. Instead, think about what your gift recipient really wants or needs and personalize one just for them. Maybe it’s offering a night of babysitting services so your friends can have date night, a full-service dinner party at your parents’ house, or ten days of dog-walking services for your neighbor.
Piggy Bank for Dreams
If you know your gift recipient has a dream they’re dying to fulfill, why not offer some encouragement? Find a vintage piggy bank at the thrift store and fill it with a contribution to kickstart the save-up-for-the-dream fund. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Donation that Does Good
It’s the season of giving and, let’s face it, we are all pretty blessed. Doing something good for someone else is very satisfying, and there are many people, animals and causes that could use a hand. Brighten someone’s day by making a donation in their name to a cause close to their heart. How about buying a cute baby goat for a family in crisis, giving them a fresh start?