Those words have come out of my mouth so many times when a co-worker or smiling neighbor shows up with a shiny box and a big smile.
Except, I don’t.
This is why I really prefer Halloween to Christmas. You still get to decorate, there’s dressing up and candy–but NO gifts required. Unfortunately, other people in this world seem to think sharing and giving is a wonderful experience…so…you know…whatever.
I don’t really mean it. And I love nothing better than truly surprising someone with a well-chosen gift. I just wish I knew when someone was going to surprise me. So, I have the stock of gifts in my front hall closet for just this purpose. These are not “one size fits all” gifts, but you’d be amazed at what you can put together that is personal, thoughtful and still fits the bill when you say the dreaded “oh, I have a gift for you, too!” phrase.
And they’re mostly from the Dollar Store.
5 Personalized Gifts From (Really!) The Dollar Store For Under $10.00:
1. The Pampered Princess: made for the woman (who would really love to be) and the girl (who assumes it is her birthright). I grab a pretty basket, put in a colorful hand towel and some version of the following:
- fluffy scrubby pads
- wooden brush for back or nails
- beautiful soap
- bath pearls or body wash
- cheesy romantic novel
2. Mr. Organized: for the guy who has every wrench on the planet and no idea where they are. I use a wooden box or wire basket and add:
- pack of bungee cords
- electrical tape and wire clippers
- duct tape
- super glue
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3. The Craftistas: it’s called the “rainy day box” at the Collard house, but it starts with a plastic organizer box or fishing tackle box:
- colored pencils and pens
- felt and foam squares
- box of foam stickers
- craft glue
- colored paper
- beads and laces
- paint and paint brushes
4. The “2014 Is MY Year” Basket: we all long for the year when something snaps into overdrive in our frazzled brain and we turn into the organized, put-together superhero we know we can be. Start with a pretty desk organizer or letter slot filer and add:
- “Organized 2014 Year Planner” (I’ve seen cute versions at the Dollar Store or find a free downloadable version here.)
- sticky notes
- paper clips and push pens
- small cork board
- thank you cards
- motivational quotes printed and pinned to cork board (there’s a great source of free downloadables here.)
5. Family “Bad Movie Night” Basket: you start with some of the truly cheesy titles you find on DVD at the Dollar Store. Trust me–you’ll recognize some as former Big Releases.
- theatre size box candy
- 3D glasses
- sticky notes to write down the most cringe-worthy quotes from the films
- cheesy award ribbon or plaque from the store for “Best Horrible Quote Delivery”
Bonus Best Idea: here’s my favorite–I donate $10.00 to the following charities sometime during the year (as my budget allows) and save the “Thank You” cards:
- The Road Home (or, your local family homeless shelter)
- Red Cross
- World Wildlife Fund
- Step Up For Students
When I know this gift will matter more than a basket of anything, I fill the person’s name into the “thank you” slot and gift it in a pretty card with a bag of cookies. If you want to find a charitiy with an excellent rating for low running costs and high donations, Charity Navigator can help you. If I give you a present this year and you don’t have anything for me? Please donate to something nice and I will be so very happy.