Last Minute and Small Gifts that Can Make a Big Impact this Holiday Season

The holiday season is arguably one of the best times of the year. However, who wants to spend the first half of the new year paying off gift purchases from the previous year? Big ticket items are often at the top of most people’s lists, but bigger doesn’t always mean better. You can give meaningful gifts without breaking the bank.

Here are some smaller gifts that will still make a big impact this year, or some ideas for those of you who are known to be last minute shoppers!

1. Gift Certificates

Gift cards may seem boring or even cliché, but they make a great gift – as long as you buy them with the recipient in mind. Don’t just grab any gift card just to get a gift card. Choose one your recipient will love, but would probably never buy for themselves. The dollar amount doesn’t need to be huge either, it just needs to be from somewhere your recipient will love or a place you know they go to frequently.

2. An Item that Represents a Happy Memory

Maybe it’s a memento from your first date or an early encounter with your significant other, which could be a photo of the two of you in a nice frame, or even a coupon for a home cooked meal of a favorite shared dish. The idea here is to recreate an already happy memory the two of you shared together and to be as thoughtful as possible.

3. Ornaments

One of the best things about ornaments is that they get hung on the family tree, year after year. Ornaments are a gift that will keep giving, and reintroducing your present into memory with every passing holiday season. A gifted ornament can be store bought and sentimental or, even better – homemade. Do you have a niece or nephew who plays a certain sport? If so, an ornament for the sport they play is a great gift idea. Some shops will even personalize them for you with the recipient’s name, the current year, and a jersey number. Ornaments are generally inexpensive, and always thoughtful.

4. Books

There are few store bought presents that are as personal as a well-selected book. You most likely won’t be buying the same books for everyone on your list. To be really meaningful, each book must be tailored to the specific reader. Stop into your local book store or log into Amazon and go through your gift list. You could probably choose a great book for everyone on your list and spend an average of $10. If your recipient has a Kindle, you can even download an eBook instantly and send it to their Kindle electronically. eBooks are even less money than a paperback or hardcover book would be, and the possibilities are endless!

5. Games

If you have children on your gift list – sons, daughters, nieces, or nephews, then you can’t go wrong with a great game. Choose a classic board game that will help the child develop life skills while also using their imagination. Board games can be a fun and inexpensive gift, which also create happy memories of playing them among family and friends.

6. Movies

A good movie is something that can be enjoyed over and over. Like books, you’ll need to tailor your film selection to the individuals on your gift list. Movies too can be purchased at low prices, from family favorites to the new releases, and even giving electronically or via gift card (think Netflix) to your recipient.

The idea is to keep the holiday season a fun and festive time, and rather than blowing your budget and going into debt – give a small but meaningful gift that also creates a happy memory.

Article Source: Tracy for

Broke? 5 Basically Free Holiday Gift Ideas

Is your credit card maxed out and your savings account dried up? Don’t let a light (or empty) wallet have you saying bah-humbug. If anything, a shoestring budget opens up unique gift giving possibilities. Instead of searching online or fighting crowds to find just the right gift over the next few days, create your own.

A jar of gratitude: Think of this as an anytime mood boost. The container really doesn’t matter as much as what’s inside – all the reasons you love and appreciate gift recipient. So, the next time your friend or family member feels down, they can reach in and be reminded of all the ways they are awesome. It’s the gift that keeps giving all year long!

Regifting: How many items do you have in the closet that still have tags on them or may even still be wrapped? How about those gift cards to the movies or restaurants you’ll never visit? To avoid any awkward moments, be sure you know who gave you the gift, and if going the pay-it-forward gift card route, verify the expiration date and that it has never been used.

Be a game master: Laugh and reminisce while learning more about your family and friends by creating games about moments shared together. Create your own version of Pictionary to play based on family stories of grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles. Or create a family version of Would You Rather, where players guess which family member would be more likely to do something. Try playing favorite songs and guessing which friend or family member is most likely to have it on their playlist. The possibilities are endless!

Create your own coupon book: Studies show that experiences deliver more lasting happiness than material items. So, fill a homemade coupon book with meaningful experiences. For some, that might mean breakfast in bed or sleeping in, for others it could mean a day of watching sports without any complaints. Give your kids coupon books to get out of chores, extra video game time and a day of yes (with the fine print disclaimer that sets a price limit for “asks”).

Recipe book: This one is perfect for the foodies in your life. Print out or make a PDF of your favorite recipes or new recipes that your recipient will enjoy!  Include notes, photos, or specific recipes tailored to the recipient’s taste to add a personalized touch too.

Never underestimate the effectiveness of a thoughtful gesture!

Article Source: Myriam DiGiovanni for