Spring is full of gift-giving occasions. Between graduations, bridal showers, weddings, and Father’s Day, gift-giving can become expensive! How can we give generously and thoughtfully without our gift budget spiraling out of control?
First, consider the real reason for giving a gift. A gift is much more than an opportunity to show the recipient how much money you’re willing to spend on him or her. It’s an opportunity to show how much you care. Fortunately, that sentiment can be expressed without spending a lot of money. The most thoughtful gifts demonstrate to the recipient that you know them, care about them and want to give them something representative of the relationship you share.
Creativity can go a long way to helping you come up with gifts that are personal, meaningful and ‘just right’ for the occasion. Thankfully for your budget’s sake, creativity is free. Even if you don’t consider yourself creative, the following suggestions will help spark gift ideas that will mean much more than they cost.
Gift Baskets are a Good Option
Fill a basket with individual items that together, comprise a gift on a particular theme. Actually, the basket doesn’t even need to be a basket. Any type of container that is pertinent to the gift can serve as the receptacle while also being a component of the gift itself.
Some examples of creative gift baskets and their possible contents:
- Colander - Add a can opener, kitchen shears, measuring spoons and cups, kitchen towel and other small kitchen essentials for a housewarming gift for a first-timer.
- Flower pot - Fill with live flowers or herbs for almost any occasion. Alternatively, make it a ‘gardener’s kit’ by including seed packets, potting soil, gardening gloves and implements for a new gardener or housewarming.
- Bucket – Include car wash solution, sponges, chamois, gloves and wax for a teen or new car owner.
- Decorative tin - Fill with homemade cookies, popcorn, candy or other treats for anyone.
- Mixing bowl - Add pancake mix, wire whisk, dried blueberries, hot pads and a spatula for a housewarming gift.
- Pet bowl - Fill with dog/cat treats, pet brush, claw clippers and a collar for pet owners.
- Plastic sand bucket - Include bubbles, a kite, sidewalk chalk and a jump rope for a “fun in the sun” bucket.
- Pot or pan - Fill with spaghetti, a jar of sauce, pasta spoon, Parmesan cheese and a loaf of Italian bread for a “meal in a pot” gift for newlyweds, new parents or college survival.
- Inverted hat – Add barrettes, comb, brush, mirror, various hair gels, glitters and temporary hair colors for fun gift for a young girl.
- Small suitcase - Fill with toiletries, toiletry bag and travel supplies for a first-time traveler.
- Ice bucket - Include a bottle of wine or champagne, bottle opener, glasses, fancy crackers, caviar or cheeses for a celebration to go.
Memory Boxes Share Special Times
Memory boxes are containers designed to display memorabilia from an event or of significance to a person. Its contents represent a time, place or person. Empty memory boxes, which usually resemble deep photo frames, are available inexpensively at craft stores.
Memory boxes can display such items as:
- Ticket stubs/boarding passes
- Newspaper clippings
- Invitations/place cards
- Record albums
- Locks of hair
- Small items of clothing, handkerchiefs, or scarves
- Greeting cards
- Pressed flowers
- Small, significant items
Whether you’re giving a gift to celebrate today or remember yesterday, gift giving need not be costly. Personalized, one-of-a-kind gifts are greatly appreciated by recipients. By combining items that individually are inexpensive (or you already have), gifts become about the recipient, presentation and your attention to detail rather than the price tag.