Sentimental, Budget Friendly Gift Ideas

By Janina Camp

As the holidays are right around the corner, I’m sure most of you are brainstorming gifts to get for your friends and family. Not only that– but with the various discounts and sales that pop up, from Black Friday, to Cyber Monday, to general holiday deals, you’re likely shopping for yourself as well. And even if you’re not, then it’s safe to say you’re still constantly exposed to holiday advertising and promotions. I, for instance, just recently purchased a few candles from Bath & Body Works for the sole reason that they were on sale. 

With all of this in mind, it is important to think before you buy. In the midst of all the frenzy to buy a ton of things you (and potentially your friends and family) likely don’t need, I’m encouraging you to slow down and consider other ways to make this holiday special. Here are a few gift ideas that are budget-friendly, thoughtful, and don’t encourage overconsumption: 

  1. Craft something! Do you have any artistic skill or creativity? I’m sure some of you are saying: absolutely not. But even if you don’t, this is still a viable option. You may even discover that you have more talent than you think! Let’s say you know how to crochet – why not make a hat or coaster? Or, maybe you have some old paints laying around. I’m sure your friend or family member would appreciate a painting equally as much (if not more) than a bought gift. 
  2. Write down wonderful moments. One year, when I was particularly short on cash, I decided to fill a jar with fun memories from the year that I had spent with my friend. I wrote them down on small pieces of paper, folded them up, and watched the jar fill with colorful bits of memories! Not only is this special and sentimental, it is a cute decoration for your friend or family member’s room. 
  3. Make a playlist or mixtape. This one is pretty simple — put together some of your friend’s favorite songs, or songs you think they’d like, and share the playlist with them! Or, better yet, make it a mixtape. Not as many people listen to CD’s anymore, but physical copies always showcase that little bit of extra effort. 
  4. Scrapbook or photo album. You may have to spend a bit of money on this, for instance, on printing out photos and a book to put them in. But, it’s still relatively budget-friendly, very sentimental, and something that your loved one will appreciate for years and years to come. 
  5. Homemade food. Lastly, if you love to cook, or have been dying to try out a new recipe, then this is the perfect option for you! Almost everyone loves food, so offering to cook dinner one night or even making a batch of cookies is a great way to showcase your love. 

I’m sure there’s infinite ways to craft the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Keep in mind that whatever you choose, it’s always the thought that counts. I hope everyone has a wonderful winter break! 🙂


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