The biggest mistake I make EVERY Christmas is how I shop for "all the little people." You know -- you shop diligently and plan out gifts for your kids and immediate loved ones, and then at the end you have a list of great-aunts, second cousins, neighbors 4 doors down, 8 tiny reindeer and a partridge in a pear tree to buy for. And this is where it's easy to drop another hundred $ when all of those "small" gifts add up.
What to do? Try one of these ideas!
1. Buy a set of 4 wineglasses (HomeGoods is my hero) and a 4-pack of single-serve wine. Give one wine glass and one small bottle of wine, wrapped with a nice ribbon, to each person. Even better? Order personalized bottles wishing a Merry Christmas from your family. You can put your picture on it!
2. Buy inexpensive coffee mugs and fill each with a baggy of gourmet coffee beans.
4. Make pretty handmade recipe books!
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5. Find factory outlets in your area and buy directly from their store. I bought giant candles that would normally cost $24.99 for only $6.99 at our local candle factory outlet!
7. Admission for a day at a museum. Give a museum guide with an admission ticket. Add a little with a disposable camera and a bottle of water.
8. This one is not for the faint of heart: Give X hours of Babysitting. WHOA.
9. Homemade Potpourri...At first I thought this was lame and almost didn't put it on the list. And then I thought about how nice it is to have a good-smelling home. It makes me happy when I walk in the door. I hereby proclaim that potpourri is COOL!
10. Give hope! In the form of a lottery ticket. So what if the chances of winning are 18 million to 1? You're either making someone else rich and wishing you'd kept the ticket or you're giving a $1 piece of paper. It's the Hope that counts :D