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Unique and Simple Gifts That Won’t Make You Look Cheap this Holiday Season

Updated: Dec 19, 2015 11:32
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Nobody likes the idea of maxing out credit cards just to make sure your holiday purchases don’t look like they came from the bargain bin at Goodwill. You also don’t want to look like a cheapskate either. But, you don’t have to over-extend yourself this season to make sure your loved ones receive something they’ll absolutely adore.

In fact, there are lots of options out there for a gift to remember that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re skilled at DIY gifts, or overtly hopeless (Pinterest fails ring a bell?), this helpful list will give you some creative and thoughtful ideas to make sure everyone on your list leaves happy.

For the DIY Expert

1) Homemade Lifehack Kit

DIY watercolor

For those ambitious souls in your life, put together a kit with essentials to start the new year off ahead of the game. Items you can include: a desk calendar with inspirational quotes, a package of new pens tied with a bit of ribbon, colored post-its to coordinate with file folders, a journal to write down yearly goals and a planner to get it all done. You can tailor it to the individual you’re gifting it to, and even make it more personal with these DIY stationery ideas.

Money saving bonus: most of these items can be found at dollar stores, and have the ability to be personalized by the crafty hand putting the gift together.

Ideal for young professionals, business owners, students, etc.

2) Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

bath curtain

Everyone needs certain mundane, everyday items in their home. We all buy them—towels, blankets, shower curtains, pillowcases etc. They just don’t normally warrant ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. Take these unremarkable items, and turn them into something unique. You can make a boring shower curtain into something one-of-a-kind with a bit of embroidery, or look for deals on quality bath towels and then add monogrammed designs or initials to personalize them.

Money saving bonus: Most of these plain items can be bought for very little cost in-store or on-line from wholesalers. Your added personal touch makes them priceless

Ideal for new homeowners, parents, or other friends and family

For the Less Crafty

3) A Personalized Photo Collage


This one isn’t as complicated as it sounds, so don’t worry you champion of the Pinterest fails you. It’s made to seem like you have the crafty magic in those hands. Many different photo websites out there give unique gift options you can make your own with photos from a recent trip, family event, or cherished life moment. You can choose to make simple prints and add them to a collaged picture frame, or design a personalized calendar, photobook, poster etc.—all printed for you and delivered to your door. (no glue gun or glitter necessary)

Money saving bonus: Sites like Shutterfly offer free gifts for new account users like 50 free prints (which you can multiply by using more than one email address). All you have to do is pay shipping and handling. They also have sales around the holiday season, offering 40-50% off most photo memory items. It takes DIY to a level even you can handle.

Ideal for any loved one

4) A Tailored Gift Basket


No crafting required, fill any empty basket with personal favorites of to whomever it is you are gifting. Moviegoer? Microwave popcorn, movie candy, and a movie the two of you share a love for. Tea fanatic? Fill it with biscuits or cookies, jam, and several boxes of new types of artisan tea. Have a techy as your bestie? iTunes gift card, a fun and unique usb drive, and an included link with a user name and password to their own personalized Tumblr account (you’ll have a virtual scrapbook without all the fuss and craftiness needed).

Money saving bonus: You can pick up various baskets of all shapes and sizes at any craft store. Most of the other items can be found at your local grocery. The Tumblr account is free.

Ideal for loved ones and friends

Gifting Quality Time

5) Exclusive Fine Dining at Home

Fancy_Dinner at home

A culinary success in the kitchen? This very personalized gift allows you to share time and your talents with your loved ones by cooking them up a spectacular meal tailored to their tastes. Dress the dining room table up like a bistro, and even try typing a menu of the evenings offerings—including wine pairings.

Money saving bonus: All food items are found at your grocery store. Look for holiday sales on-line or weekly ads to help decide your menu.

Ideal for significant others or parents

6) Plant a tree together


Have a socially conscious partner or friend? Why not gift a tree sapling from the Arbor Day Foundation? You not only found a gift that doesn’t empty your wallet, but it’s a cause they’ll be happy to be a part of and an activity you can do together—choosing the where and when. It’ll be a gift that you can continue to see years from now.

Money saving bonus: For as little as five dollars you can get a sapling, but they have other low-cost options, so you can decide what is the best choice for you.

Ideal for best friends or significant others who love to give back


**Editors Note: All the images wrier originally sourced, but wordpress didn’t save that version for some reason and I lost the sources. Sorry!

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Kacey Bradley

Kacey Bradley

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective. Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her.

Kacey has been able to further her knowledge and interest for nature, understand the power of exploring other locations, and embrace the styles and cultures that surround her through her passion for writing and expression.