As Christmas quickly approaches, we all have a similar thought. We want to get wonderful gifts for our family and friends, but, like, who has money for that?
Knowing this can make the holidays feel particularly dreadful, especially if you get sucked into Secret Santa gift swaps at the office... and then with your family... and then with one friend group... and then another.
But the question remains: How can you get something amazing for the people in your life without spending everything you've earned?
Take a look at these 11 easy Christmas gift ideas for a tight budget, and you just might figure out what to get:
1. One free voucher for a trip of their choice
A lot of people are difficult to shop for because we can't think of something tangible they'd want. Why waste your valuable time and money on a questionable gift when you could go on a trip you'll both enjoy?
My dad and I have done this for kayaking, backpacking and similar trips, and they're some of our best memories.
2. Merlot-infused coffee
Kill two birds with one stone with this gift. Seriously, it has pretty good reviews, and it just sounds like one of those things you have to try (at least once).
And hey, maybe the person you give it to will even share some with you.
3. A mixtape
Bring back the mixtape!
If you're close enough to exchange gifts, you're probably close enough to share a few memorable tunes (or to know their taste in music).
Personalized mixtapes are super thoughtful gifts, and they're usually really enjoyable. Plus, you can have fun with it and decorate the CD or the cover to make it even more personalized.
4. Pearl jewelry
What gift list would be complete without jewelry?
Pearls are relatively inexpensive, less common beauties. Plus, each one is different. So give someone special in your life a piece of jewelry that's as unique as their identity.
5. Frame something sweet
Take a poem, a quote, a picture, something you drew when you were 6 or all of the above, and put it in a frame with a sweet note.
People who care about you really do love that stuff. And in most cases, it's truly a one-of-a-kind gift.
6. Lightning-burned wood
I believe the technical term is "lichtenberg figure," but basically, somebody takes a lot of electricity and shoots it into a piece of wood, like a coffee table or, well, anything made out of wood.
That electricity then burns a unique pattern into the wood, and it usually creates some rather interesting art. It's a totally original idea, and no piece is ever like the other.
7. Anything handmade
You've got a lot of options here. There's knitting, crocheting or sewing. There's woodworking, glassblowing or basket-weaving. There's arts, crafts, photography, pottery or sculpting.
And for most of these, there's probably a place in your town where you can go to make it without having to spend a lot.
8. A portrait puzzle
Take any picture you have of someone (opt for one they really like, obviously), and turn it into a jigsaw puzzle.
It's more fun and more memorable than just giving them something. They get to put it together, too! It's basically the Ikea of sentiment.
9. A journal with personalized notes
A lot of people journal, whether or not they admit it. And people generally love heartfelt notes as well, so why not combine the two? You can even hand-make the journal if you want it to be more personal.
Either way, scribble a few personalized messages throughout the pages, so the recipient will find a gem randomly throughout the year. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
10. A chocolate fountain
Year after year, I keep asking for this, and year after year, I'm let down. It's simple, it's unique and it's chocolatey. Seriously, who doesn't want a flowing fountain of chocolate?!
11. Pass the torch
Take something that's been special to you for a long time and give it as a gift to someone who means a lot to you. Make sure the person knows why it's so important to you and why you want them to have it now.
And honestly, what's more special than giving a piece of your soul away?
Christmas should be a joyful time filled with your loved ones. It doesn't have to completely stress you out or break the bank.
There's always a meaningful, inexpensive Christmas gift out there waiting you to give it to your loved ones — you just have to look.