Present Possibilities

by Marlene Alexander


You can't have too many gift ideas at this time of year. With that in mind, we present presents suitable for the folks on your list you'd like to remember with "a little something." And don't worry that each and every one of these items is from a dollar store. Just remember that when you buy those fancy looking gift baskets at the department store, you have paid someone to pick out and package gifts pleasingly, someone to bring it to the department store and a markup to the store so it can make a profit. When you make up a gift yourself, you have the satisfaction of knowing that it is more personal, with items that you believe best suit the intended recipient, whether it's a needy child, a teacher or your hairdresser. And because you are shopping at the dollar store, you will be able to put in as much as your budget or the basket, box or bag can stand. It's entirely up to you. If you do your best to make your gift attractive, no one will ever guess that it didn't come from a department store.

Two bell shaped wine glasses are the centerpiece of this gift basket that also includes a metal bottle stopper, a package of imported cookies, a tin of fruit candies, two chocolate bars, a pillar candle and a candle plate.

Including the basket, this gift cost just over $10 and would make a nice hostess or "couple" gift.

  • wine glasses, $1 each
  • bottle stopper, $1
  • cookies, $1
  • tin of hard candies, $1
  • two chocolate bars, $.65 each
  • scented pillar candle, $2
  • candle plate, $1
  • gift basket, $1

This selection of goodies was put together for a 7-year-old girl in Africa and was limited to a dollar amount of $7. If part of your family tradition is to give to a toy drive, the dollar store has many ideas, from toy trucks to teddies and from coloring books to card games and craft kits. Instead of one bigger item, why not a box or bag with a bunch of smaller things and include some articles that are useful along with some that are fun?


  • 9" teddy bear, $1
  • sticker book and stickers in carrying case, $1
  • package of 12 printed pencils, $1
  • six fancy hair ties, $1
  • toothbrush, $1
  • toy horse play set, $1
  • brush, comb and mirror set, $1

Many of us gals love candles. If you know someone like that, try this gift idea and let the individual's color preference dictate the color of the candles.

  • two - 8" taper candles, $1
  • two pack candle holders, $1
  • six tea lights, $1
  • two star-shaped candles, $1
  • two candle rings, $1
  • one candle snuffer, dressed with a red bow for the occasion, $1
  • reusable 9" x 5 1/2" storage box, $1

Attractive gift giving possibilities are endless. You can use these ideas to spark some more of your own and stretch your holiday budget even further.


Marlene Alexander is a writer living in Ontario, Canada. For more on dollar store shopping, visit her website at www.dollarstorestyle.com.

Take the Next Step

  • Find your local dollar store and get shopping!
  • Discover other ways to Celebrate Simply!
  • Make your list - check it twice. Who's on your list to get a "little something" for? What do they enjoy?

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