Ah, the holidays. That time of year where there’s double the cheer, triple the food, and quadruple the wallet damage. Gifts are a delightful way to show appreciation for your family and friends, but those receipts stack up quickly.
With these budget-friendly gift ideas, you can keep that Christmas bonus from becoming Christmas bills.
#1: Phone Case
Whether you’re a mom on-the-go, an outdoorsy jogger, or a burgeoning fashionista, everyone wants a phone case that fits their lifestyle. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable case options for you to give this holiday season.
Here are some of our favorite phone case makers out there:
- Wildflower – With Instagram-friendly designs, Wildflower has the perfect cases for your stylish and trendy friends. They’ve even got the influencer endorsements to prove it.
- Catalyst – Drop-proof, dust-proof, pretty-much-anything-else-you-can-think-of-proof. These cases are perfect for the active and the clumsy.
- Bellroy – Know someone who moves a mile a minute? Probably has seven side hustles you haven’t even heard about? Uses Siri to dictate their texts while they power walk during their lunch break, and is learning Mandarin on the side, “just for fun”? Then this all-in-one phone wallet case will make their holiday (if they can sit still for long enough to open it).
#2: Something Delicious
If your love language is closer to acts of service than gift-giving, then this tip is for you. Nothing says “I appreciate you” like food—why not cook a lovely meal for your friends or family?
You don’t have to get super fancy with it, either. Some baked chicken thighs are a lovely choice for a wintertime meal. Follow that up with a gourmet dessert, and your guests will be raving all year about your host-with-the-most status.
Don’t have room in your apartment for a group dinner? There are still budget-friendly ways to reach someone’s heart through their stomach. Try out a Christmas basket gift stacked with plenty of holiday goodies. You’ll be hearing intermittent “thank you”s between bites of chocolate pretzels, but at least you can be pretty sure they’re genuine.
Candles are that low-maintenance friend who makes every room a little warmer with their presence. Nothing says cozy like a softly lit candle, and that’s what makes them the perfect gift for your loved ones. Some of our favorite budget-friendly models include:
- BLK + GRN – The perfect option for the eco-conscious friends in your life. From soy to coconut wax, these candles are artisanal and green.
- Illume – This one’s for the ultimate holiday lover. Give their home that lovely evergreen scent without the dropping pine needles.
- Paddywax – Want to be a super-saver? Not only does this candle last for 40+ hours, but its jar can also be upcycled once you’ve burned through the wick.
It turns out the center place bouquets on your mom’s dining room table are valuable for more reasons than just their aesthetic quality—they also had a few health benefits as well. For all the green thumbs on your list, greenery is an excellent low-cost gift. Try picking up one of these potted plants:
- Snake plant – This is an excellent choice for the first-time gardener in your life. No extra sun or special soil needed; the snake plant is as durable as they come.
- Chinese money plant – Got a pro planter in your life? Give them a good luck charm that requires a little extra care (but only if you’re sure they can handle the plant-parent responsibilities).
- White poinsettia – This flower only comes around once a year, but for good reason. The poinsettia’s petals are uniquely beautiful, and it brings about a little extra holiday cheer.
Give the Gift of Thoughtfulness
You don’t need your very own toy factory to be a quality gift giver. With just a few dollars and some advanced planning, you can make the biggest impact with the smallest price tag.