According to the Bank of England, locals spend over £700 per household on Christmas gifts. With households spending, on average, around £2,500 for basic needs, that’s a huge chunk that goes to gifts each year.
Not everyone will be able to spend big to cater to those on their gift list—and, of course, no recipient wants to place any undue burden onto family and friends during the holidays. Those looking to keep costs low don’t have to sacrifice quality when it comes to wrapping presents.
In fact, there are plenty of creative and low-cost ways to nail a gift while staying under budget and true-to-heart. Keep reading for five solutions to help you think of the perfect gift (for Christmas and beyond).
Those who feel stumped when it comes to thinking of a gift idea can do a bit of research, using a person’s general interests as a jump-off point. For example, poker is one of the most popular games in the world, but can be difficult to gift for; many have all the hardware to host an at-home game, while online sites have brought free play to thousands.
In this case, recommending a new variation of the game is a gift that would go the distance while requiring little from the giver. One of the latest variations, called 21+3 blackjack, incorporates blackjack and three-card stud poker. All a player needs to get started is a guide that covers the variation and an account at a site that offers the game, making it a low-cost and low-commitment gift.
During the holidays, many spend an afternoon or a few days with those they love. As such, giving the gift of time, in general, may be a bit redundant; offering your time and expertise, on the other hand, is a more touching and effective gift.
For example, a new homeowner may need help installing a light, while a business school student might need a bit of insight from a friend who owns an enterprise. In these cases, offering your time and a skillset can prove incredibly helpful for others—and you still get to offer the present of your presence while helping them out.
Though we pay top dollar for organic fruits or an arrangement of exotic flowers, nature doesn’t charge for growing them. Those with a bit of a green thumb can always rely on nature’s bounty to provide a truly unique and unforgettable gift—after all, who wouldn’t want to take home a monstera?
Those looking to gift a plant for Christmas will need to be mindful about starting the growing process in early spring. For example, those who love avocado can simply extract and clean a seed from an eaten fruit, then let it germinate in a drawer. A seed planted in late spring will be sturdy enough to gift by late December.
Inevitably, we receive gifts that don’t pique our interest or serve a purpose. While some may find it socially repugnant to regift, it’s a handy solution for future gift-giving seasons. After all, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
There are a few handy tips to keep in mind when considering a regift. First, inspect the packaging to make sure it looks and feels new. Feel free to repackage—especially for gift cards. Second, keep in mind when, where, and to whom you’ll be regifting; be sure there will be no overlap of guests who might call out the regift. Third, always have a backup plan for those who do.
Once again, time is a great fallback for cost-effective gifts that have a personal touch. In this case, creating a time capsule of the past year (or years) is one way to preserve memories for a certain someone down the line.
These gifts tend to work best for friends and family with close personal ties. For example, even a receipt from the theatre or a trip to the museum might have a loaded meaning for a close friend. When they open the time capsule down the line, they’ll be treated to a nice serving of nostalgia.