Cheap last minute Christmas gifts!

Last Minute Christmas Gifts Under $10

by Shari Smith

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Quick! Do you need some last minute gifts that are sure to please? Look no further than your own cupboards and shelves. You might already have the items for these clever gift ideas.

For the person on your list who loves to bake, start with a cheerful potholder, add one or two cookie mixes, and tie with a coordinating ribbon. Choose red, green, gold, silver, or a print to match their existing design for a one-of-a kind gift. You could also use a set of cookie sheets, muffin tins, or cake pans with the same easy ideas. No need for a box or wrapping paper!

Does someone have a new pet in the family? Fill a basket with food, toys and a soft blanket. Fleece is fantastic; just cut a square and fold. You don't even have to sew the edges. For added style, use pinking shears or other novelty scissors. Top off your gift with a brand-new pooper-scooper.

Everyone loves movies! Assemble bags of popcorn and include movie coupons, video rentals, or a copy of a favorite show. You can buy already viewed movies at your local rental store, typically for less than $5. They come with a guarantee to assure quality. Or spend a few nights taping a favorite show. Collections of popular shows are all the rage, but can set you back $40-$200. Anyone who knows how to push a button or two and owns a DVD player can do it for free.

Snacks, anyone? Make a tempting snack tray with nuts, gourmet cheese, and meats like salami or smoked sausage. Add a box of party crackers, which are usually on sale this time of year. Specialty stores sell these gourmet gifts for super high price tags, but you can do it yourself at the grocery store. Remember to use coupons for extra savings. You can include an inexpensive cutting board for $1-$3 at discount stores.

Coffee lovers will dive right into a basket of several exotic flavors of coffee. You can find sample bags at the grocery store and you can mix and match flavors that your friend might never have tried. Include a unique coffee mug or two. I collect them from thrift stores, garage sales, or on clearance and always have a few extra for gift giving.

Don't overlook food. A basket of homemade jams and jellies, a medley of muffins, a cookie tray, or a jar of candies is sure to please. Consider the appeal of fruit. Small or large, fruit baskets or trays are refreshing. Mix and match or all one kind, fruit fits into everyone's diets. Traditional fare like lefse or baklava or perhaps a treasured family recipe will delight the taste buds of your grateful friends.

Last but not least, consider anything homemade. People love the time and thoughtfulness that goes into any handcrafted item. Wow them with your latest crafts or something made just for them. It doesn't have to take hours. You can heat up your glue gun and liven up a trio of picture frames with shells, beads, old pennies, or silk flowers. Another idea is using craft fabric pens to personalize clothing, pillows, or other handy items. Add lace to a set of plain plastic ornaments and add instant glam for a gift they'll appreciate year after year.

You may have some or all of these items for inexpensive gift giving. All it takes is a little ingenuity, a knack for putting items together, and a desire to give without breaking your budget. Try some of these clever gift ideas and watch the smiles light up the room.

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