Videotape your parents talking about childhood memories and give the recordings to siblings or grand children.
Make a calendar with pictures of family members. Mark it with important family birthdays and anniversaries.
Assemble the recipes for your family favourites and print a recipe collection for everyone in the family.
Buy a used book and in the inside cover explain why you chose the book for that person.
Do you remember your favourite childhood books? Your parents likely remember reading them to you. Buy them a copy, and be sure to inscribe it.
Looking for a gift the kids won’t lose interest in within a day? Little kids love costumes, so create a Tickle Trunk! Buy a large, sturdy plastic container, and visit a thrift store for inexpensive and unusual costume pieces.
Create themed gift baskets. Cold weather baskets can contain hot chocolate, soup mixes, and warm socks; a movie basket can contain popcorn, soda, candy, and a previously viewed movie.
Plan a romantic dinner for two and present your honey with a menu, asking them to make a reservation soon.
If you’ve received a nice gift that simply isn’t useful to you, feel free to re-gift it to someone who might find it more useful. Just be sure not to give it back to the person that gave it to you, or someone else they know!
Take a look around the recipient’s home to see if you can find anything that needs replacing and keep your ear to the ground about what they might need. Are their slippers in rough shape? Are they always remarking about how they have to buy a hammer?
Got a foodie on your list? Buy them a small, top-quality kitchen tool, like a new spatula or whisk.
How crafty are you? If you’re so inclined, homemade gifts are a gift from the heart (and hands). You may be able to knit baby clothes, frame your beautiful photographs inexpensively, make stockings, or create one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments.
Find strangely shaped cookie cutters that will appeal to a friend’s sense of humour.
Magazine subscriptions are inexpensive, and it’s like the recipient receives a gift every month!
Instead of spending $40 on a new board game, invest $10 in an old classic, and pair it with a promise for a fun night of games and conversation.
A spa day gift is out of the question, but you can give a loved one the spa experience at home. Pick up bubble bath, a bath sponge, candle, and make a relaxing CD to top it off.
Thoughtful gifts are always appreciated, even if they’re small. Give a reader a selection of funny bookmarks or a writer a few gel pens.
With a little planning, you can give beautiful houseplants in yard sale plant pots just using cuttings from your own plants.
Create cookies in a jar. Measure out the dry ingredients for your favourite cookie recipe, and layer in a glass jar. Write out the complete recipe, along with instructions on preparing the mix on a pretty card, and decorate the jar with a festive ribbon.
Dollar stores are great places to find inexpensive wrapping paper or gift bags, but your least expensive alternative is to buy a large roll of white or brown craft paper from an art supply store and have the kids decorate it with stamps, stickers and crayons.