• Alaina Beekman

Inexpensive gifts for the holidays

The sharp lights of Target filter through the crowded aisles, shining on shelves upon shelves of gifts that call out to customers, begging to be wrapped in shiny paper with a big bow on top. You look around, slightly panicked, realizing that everyone’s finding gifts with no problem, checking names of off lists with a smile. Then, there’s you, the person who never knows what to get people. So, every year, your head spins as you stare at the aisles and aisles of stuff, forgetting everything your friends and family like.

All holiday shoppers have experienced this dilemma at some point. Whether it’s because people don’t talk about what they like during the year (making it incredibly difficult to get them anything) or because you’re shopping on a budget, finding presents for loved ones can be quite a project.

No need to fret though because The Courier has a few ideas.

First: Hot chocolate ornaments

This is an adorable and delicious gifts for anyone on the list. Simply fill up a glass ornament with hot chocolate mix and top it off with crushed candy canes. Pull a ribbon through the top of the ornament to hang it up for gifting to finish it off. Optionally, add a name tag to the ribbon for the recipient. All the ingredients are readily available at pretty much any grocery store for less than $10 to $15, so this is definitely a great idea for anyone looking to give inexpensive, handmade gifts this season.

Second: No-sew fleece blankets

Imagine watching a snow flurry from the warmth of a cozy new blanket while listening to the crackling fire. With these easy-to-make, no-sew fleece blankets, a few lucky people on your list can do just that. Purchase two pieces of fleece of matching sizes from any craft store. For two 60-by-72 inch pieces of fleece, the price is usually around $30 to make this heartfelt gift. A blanket from the store is usually around the same price, so the benefit of this gift isn’t so much the money saved as it is the appreciation of the care and time put into making it. To start, place both pieces of fleece on top of each other, then cut off extra, uneven edges to make the fleece pieces the same size. For further instructions, use this link: http://www.instructables.com/id/No-Sew-Fleece-Blanket-1/

Third: The five senses of the holidays

The holiday season never fails to make people happy. From the Christmas music to the lights strewn across houses to putting up the tree, there aren’t many negative parts of the holidays. This gift encompasses some of those aspects. In a mason jar or a gift bag, put a small, holiday-related gift for each of the five senses. Possible gifts include a candle for smell, a candy cane for taste, jingle bells for sound, a bow for touch, and maybe a Christmas card photo of the family for sight. Tie a ribbon around the top of the jar or the bag with a gift tag that says something along the lines of “Enjoy the scents, sights, and sounds of this holiday season.” Because this gift offers a great level of creative liberty to personalize it for the recipient, the price tag can vary greatly depending on what you put in it.

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