Inspiration for Affordable and Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Christmas

Do you ever dread writing up your Christmas shopping list? Is the list of people you need to buy for getting longer each year while the gifts are getting smaller and more expensive?

Here are some thoughtful gift ideas that could make your family Christmas extra special while keeping costs under control. What’s the catch? It involves a bit of creativity on your part and will need a little bit of time and organisation – some ideas can be left to the last minute while others need a bit of extra time and planning. I have done many of these myself and had great fun in the process but the best reward is the look on their face when they open the gift, its priceless!

Photo Books and Photo Calendars

I have used this idea successfully year after year and it makes a great gift for a loved one. There are lots of websites that make this super easy, all you need to get going is a bunch of digital photos and some time. Just create a free account, upload your photos and follow the instructions. There are template layouts and automatic resizing tools that do all the hard work for you. You can add captions to the pictures if you want to add extra personalisation. Finally, and only when you are happy with the previewed product, make the payment and the gift will be sent to you to wrap up.

Photobooks make great gifts for grandparents as you can simply create a book about the things you and your family have been up to in the last year. This might include a special occasion, a shared holiday or just the story of every day life. Alternatively, you could collect up old family photos, scan them in and create a digital journey back in time.

Whatever kind of photobook or calendar you create the results look amazing and it gives the impression that you have put in heaps of effort. Not only is it an incredibly thoughtful gift but its also fun to do. The extra benefits of a photobook are that you can get several copies printed and give them to lots of relatives to enjoy and treasure. If this goes down well you can do the same thing next year!

Other Creative Ideas with Photos

Photos capture precious memories so what better way to show someone you love them than to remind them of a precious moment in a fun way. Many of the sites that allow you to create photobooks also allow you to print on other everyday objects such as mugs, teatowels, t-shirts, posters, mouse mats and coasters.

You could get a set of mugs with a photo of the whole family and then coasters with individual photos on each, or the other way round. Canvas prints of photos are a way to make the final print look expensive and professional. Several of my family have these hanging on their walls and I always think they have been done by a professional photographer.

Make Something Nice to Eat

Christmas is about treats and being spoiled so why not gift something that is indulgent and out of the ordinary. Here are some ideas to give you inspiration:

  • Home made Chutney or Jam – if you have not done this before it may be an idea to ask for help. Chutney and Jam are great ideas if you have the fruit available in your garden. If not asks friends and neighbours if they have unwanted fruit you could pick. You can decorate the jars with home made labels, decorative Christmas ribbons and stickers from craft shops.
  • Cookies and Gingerbread Men – big fat chocolate chip cookies are easy to make at home, they are inexpensive and don’t take much time to prepare. Gingerbread men could be dressed up as Santa. Decorate a gift box to make the presentation extra special.
  • Bake a cake – as a child I used to help my mum bake Christmas cakes for my grand parents. You could bake a traditional Christmas cake, individual cup cakes or even cake pops and decorate them with festive icing and personalised messages.
  • Infused Olive Oil – another simple gift idea is to infuse olive oil with dried ingredients to give it extra flavour and look attractive. Use coloured or unusual shaped bottles for added effect.
  • Hamper of home made treats – if you want an extra special gift then make up a hamper of several home made treats.

Knit A Scarf

There are so many beautiful yarns available that a couple of balls and a pair of large sized needles is all you need to create a thoughtful gift for a loved one. Because the yarns are so decorative you can do simple plain knitting without the need to learn any complex stitches.

Family Tree – Trace Your Ancestry

If you have lots of time on your hands you could research your family history and trace your ancestors to create a family tree. You could gift this as a framed picture or in one of the presentation packs that you can buy from sites that help you do the research.

Its the thought that counts when it comes to Christmas gifts and if your gift has just a little bit more personalisation then it can become extra special and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

What thoughtful and affordable gift ideas could you suggest to provide inspiration?

Kate Dawson is a freelance journalist who enjoys sharing inspirational creative ideas such as decorating a decking area with outdoor christmas lights or simply stringing a extra set of fairy lights over a mirror for that year round festive feeling.

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