Before you hit the mall consider these ideas

20 Gifts Under $25

by Kimberly Ripley

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You needn't be rich, and you needn't rack up ridiculous credit card bills during the holidays to achieve a satisfying and creative level of gift giving. There are ways to give creative, useful, and well-received gifts, and maintain a reasonable budget. Haven't you heard the adage "less is more"? These gifts fall under the "less is more" heading. They cost significantly less than one might expect to spend, and they offer their recipients a great deal more. Some ideas incorporate giving a family gift rather than individual ones. Check out these fantastic gift ideas. Each come in at under $25.

  1. For the couple that has everything, make a modest donation to a charity in their name. Many charities, for donations of around $20, offer holiday ornaments commemorating the donation.
  2. For the crafter, fill an inexpensive basket with scissors, tacky glue, pre-cut foam shapes, an assortment of felt pieces, and a hot-glue gun.
  3. For the kitchen connoisseur, line a mesh basket with a brightly colored dishtowel. Add a variety of bottled spices from the dollar store.
  4. Pamper someone special who never takes the time to pamper herself. Buy a pair of plain cotton gloves. Add rich hand cream, cuticle oil, an emery board and a couple of trendy nail polish colors, and arrange in a small basin for soaking.
  5. For the gardener in your life, buy a terra cotta plant pot. Decorate the pot with paints. Fill with a small trowel, gardening gloves, seed packets, bug spray, and plant food.
  6. Indulge a chocolate lover with the best of the best. For under $20, Godiva Chocolates offers a variety of exquisite gift boxes.
  7. Give a letter-writing grandmother a selection of pretty notecards, a pen, and a book of stamps.
  8. Fill an unfinished wooden box with paints, brushes, crayons, and a ream of paper. Budding child artists can paint and decorate the box and create an art caddy for their supplies.
  9. Buy a gift certificate for a couple of movies. Wrap with a box of microwave popcorn.
  10. Most popular CDs cost less than $25. Buy one or purchase a gift certificate for one at your local music store. This gift will be a hit for all ages.
  11. How about a restaurant gift certificate? Of course it's hard to buy a nice meal for two for under $25 unless it's at a restaurant that serves breakfast!
  12. Traditional play is all the rage. Give a family a board game, a basketball or football, or a badminton set.
  13. What about a picture-perfect present? Wrap a disposable camera, a dollar store picture frame and a small photo album for under $20.
  14. Give a family a set of sundae glasses, a bottle of sprinkles, and some hot fudge topping. If the gift will be opened immediately, throw in a pint of specialty ice cream.
  15. Give an aspiring writer a handsome journal and a classic pen.
  16. Collect a variety of clear glass bottles with stoppers. These are commonly found at garage sales throughout the year. Wrap bottles in a tissue-stuffed box and accompany with a selection of colored sand from craft stores. Tie a plastic funnel to the outside of the package. Kids will love this.
  17. For the couple that entertains, buy a bottle of wine at a grocery store (some brands that cost around $10 are very good choices!). Add some cheese and crackers, and you've given a party in a box.
  18. A pound of coffee from a gourmet coffee shop and two interesting mugs from the dollar store make a great gift for any couple to wake up to.
  19. A plant, a spray bottle, and mini-gardening tools make a creative and long-lasting gift. Add some plant food sticks and still keep within your budget.
  20. Give the gift of good luck. Fill a velvet pouch with a deck of playing cards, some dice, and a half-dozen lottery scratch tickets for a present with earning potential.

Collect items at garage sales, clearance sales, and dollar stores throughout the year and store in a special cupboard or shelf. Baskets, decorated boxes, gift bags, bottles, jars, and craft supplies are in ample supply during different times of the year. However, they are hardly ever on sale near the holidays, so plan ahead.

The possibilities are endless. Think family, couple, or group gifts and you'll broaden your opportunities to buy fun, creative, and thoughtful gifts for under $25. Use these ideas or come up with other unique variations. Gift recipients will love the thoughtful choices, and you'll love the fact that your credit card bill wasn't driven sky-high. These gifts certainly have a twofold benefit!

Kimberly Ripley is a full-time freelance writer, published author, wife, mom of five, and homeschooler in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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