>$3 or Less Holiday Gift Ideas

>I don’t know how things are at your house, but we have an extended family get-together about three weeks before Christmas. It’s all my dad’s brothers and his sister and their wives, children and, in some cases, grandchildren. Well, not necessarily everyone will be there. All of Dad’s siblings came the year before he died. They knew it might be their last chance to see him in any kind of decent condition, and he was already pretty weak.

Anyway, that’s not the point of this post. I wanted to talk about gift-buying for uncles and aunts and cousins. I don’t buy for the youngest generation; I don’t have kids and no one is going to bring presents for my cats, so I leave that for Santa and the grandparents. I do like to take something inexpensive for my aunts & uncles and my cousins.

One of the most successful gifts, which I gave to my uncles, male cousins, and the couple of men at the office, was a pocket-sized LED flashlight. I bought a package of 8 or 10 at Home Depot on Black Friday and they cost about $2 each (batteries included). It’s a great size to keep in the glove compartment or jacket pocket. This year, Beall’s will have Emerson 9-LED Flashlights for $2.50 each. Lowe’s is advertising an 8-piece LED flashlight set with different sized flashlights for $6.97; some are those 1 LED keyrings.

A couple of years ago, on the day after Christmas, I picked up some little spa gift sets for half price, and I haven’t dug them out of the closet yet, but I think it could work for men or women. Who they go to will depend on what else I find this year. I have at least 33 relatives and spouses, although I haven’t confirmed who all’s coming. One family lives in the midwest. Some just may not come. I have three male cousins that I don’t know if they’re married or involved with anyone. I still have to figure out exactly how many gifts I need.

Sears has some fleece throws for $2.99. I always find those handy, but then we don’t have central heat, so in the winter, we’re always pulling a few extra blankets around us on the couch.

Wal-mart will have assorted DVDs for $1.96, and a movie could be wrapped with a package of microwave popcorn for a movie night gift. I couldn’t really make out all the titles in the ad scan, and the assortments aren’t always exactly as pictured, either.

The thing is, figuring I need to buy for probably minimum 25 people, anything more than $3 each is out of range.

What bargain gift ideas do you have? Was some inexpensive gift that you’ve given in the past really well received? Have you noticed any good deals being advertised on the Black Friday sites? Do tell!

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About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have three cats and a husband.
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2 Responses to >$3 or Less Holiday Gift Ideas

  1. Dee says:

    >Thanks for the ideas! I've got 14 co-workers to buy for, and the $3-$4 range is all I can spend. Some things I've done in the past is:flower pens in a mug, yard-saled/thrifted find vase (planned this for a long time since I gave everyone 6 pens. Got them at the BTS sales for 10cents a pack of 10, got the flowers on 50% HobLob sale, and floral tape was cheap). Last year Kohls had a great deal on those reed difusers. Normally $12, they were $2.99 each.And I've done a bag of microwave popcorn with chocolates. And "Cake in a mug" (to make in the microwave oven) as well as a mug with homeade hot chocolate mix.I am at a loss what to do this year though. I was thinking of those stainless steel water bottles, and cricut their initals in vinyl but I don't know where to get them that cheaply yet.Dee

  2. Taminar says:

    >The pens are a brilliant idea! I never thought of shopping for Christmas at the back to school sales. Who can't use more pens. My mom does a lot of the crafty things for gifts, such as making holiday wrap-a-rounds for popcorn and candy bars.One idea my mom used, and you need one of those euro-style can openers for this:Open pop-top cans using the can-opener. Wash the top and can carefully and keep them together. She used vegetable cans, cat food, potted meat, etc. For Christmas, for the children, she put a $5 bill in the can and sealed it with some sort of silicon-type glue, then passed out the cans for the kids to pop open.Where hers went a little bit wrong was:Sometimes the glue she used didn't hold well, and the whole top pulled off instead of the pop-and-peel lid opening normally. Epoxy would have been a better choice, but she doesn't like having to mix it and work fast. She had given the kids a sob story about money being tight since my dad retired and having very little money to spend for gifts, and even though the cans were lightweight, the children weren't entirely sure if they should open them or not. If wrap-around holiday labels were made, then it would be more obvious what was going on, and it would be magical (as long as the whole lid doesn't come off). It would take time to design templates for different size cans and save up the cans.Thanks for sharing your ideas here!

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