Cheap Christmas Gift Ideas

Even without challenging economic times, maybe people still feel stretched when it comes to buying Christmas gifts. The list of who to buy for gets longer, the “wow” factor is greater, but tight budgets don’t always leave a lot of room for impressive gifts. But a little creativity can go a long way when it comes to affordable Christmas gifts that are still meaningful.

Resale and Second-hand Shops

One way to stretch a budget is buying items second-hand. Take the time to really look through the resale stores to find some hidden gems. Among the glassware could be a beer mug with a significant logo or design, or a matching stemware. Also check dishes for any pieces that could be given together as a set. Check for cracks and chips in any glasses or dishes before purchasing.

Book shelves or record bins could hold something noteworthy depending on the recipient. Stop in house wares to check out home décor, like candles, picture frames, art, trinkets or wall hangings. Among the clothing racks could be a nice sweater – check for holes, tears, unraveled yarn or any stretching. Also check out the jewelry case for a nice necklace, bracelet, ring or pair of earrings in good condition.

Framed Photos or Art

Another idea for a very inexpensive gift is a nice print in a lovely frame. Select a print that the recipient will appreciate – whether it is a photo of a shared memory or something attractive to the eye like a sunset or landscape, or find an art print that matches the tastes of your recipient. Many craft stores sell photo or poster prints in a variety of styles.

If choosing a photo, have it professionally printed at 11” x 14” or larger so it makes an impact, but make sure the photo can print well at that size. Many websites, such as or, or many photo developing departments within local drugstores or discount department stores, offer very cheap photo prints.

Finally, select a frame that will compliment the print. Check craft stores or department stores for affordable frames.

Homemade Food

A recipient who is challenged in the kitchen might especially appreciate a homemade yummy treat. Seasonal ideas include Christmas cookies, bars, candy, pies and breads, or even a Ginger Bread House. For year-round homemade food, consider baking bread or making homemade granola. If the gift freezes well, or needs to be reheated, indicate as such in the packaging. Be cautious about any possible food allergies when choosing what to make.

Get Crafty

Scrapbooks can make very meaningful gifts – a blank scrapbook, with paper and embellishments that match recent life events for a recipient, can be a very touching gift. For the frequent letter-writer, personalized stationary – blank paper decorated with the same design from a stamp – can be very handy. Plain glass candleholders can be decorated with beads and ribbons to match a recipient’s favorite colors. Be sure to include a candle that matches one of the recipient’s favorite scents.

Christmas gifts don’t have to be expensive, sometimes being forced to stick to a budget can result in creative gifts that are much more personal and meaningful to the recipient. Just because the wrapped package includes a cheap Christmas gift, doesn’t mean the present has to be worthless to the recipient. Creative ideas can lead to the most treasured gifts.

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