The stress of gift-giving can sometimes lessen the joy of the holiday season if the gift you’re purchasing is not affordable. If you’re like me, part of what you enjoy most is watching those you love open their packages in wonder and gratitude. Having a budget and a tastefully affordable shopping list can ensure that you enjoy the celebration and the joy of gift-giving with family and friends.

Here are a few fun ideas that are all reasonably priced:


1. Frame a special poster or print. The internet is full of wonderful art which can be personalized to the taste of the recipient. You can even frame a map or a beautiful quote printed on paper.


2. Kitchen tools and gadgets are always in great taste. Even if the recipient doesn’t cook, there may come a time when that special little gadget comes in handy to open a can, unscrew a cork, or make the dining room table look pretty. This grilled cheese maker is fun and just at $25.


3. Recipe books, whether from your own family or from the bookstore, make great gifts. You can create your own on Shutterfly starting at $12.99.candle

4. Scented candles always warm any room in the home. Both men and women can enjoy a variety of scents and colors. These Literary Candles are just $16 and can be personalized to your recipients favorite story. That way you can avoid that whole “gift of having a gift to give away” concern.


5. Homemade food gifts are always fun and very special: cookies, bread, cakes, trail mix, and pies are just a few. Everyone appreciates something created with fresh ingredients. Here’s a list of recipes that make great food gifts.


6. Wine or sparkling cider in a pretty bag exudes class and complements a delicious meal. This one is only $10.


7. Coupons for free babysitting, house-sitting or pet-sitting never go out of style. You can even use free services like Canva to make the coupons more interesting.


8. Everyone can appreciate a good magazine subscription.There are lots of affordable choices that suit any kind of interest or hobby. Amazon is running deals on subscriptions, up to 50% off!


9. If you know someone who travels, how about a pillow for the plane or a small gift set of travel items like shampoo, soap and razors? This luggage tag is only $9.99 at Target.


10. Finally, how about the gift of time? Do you know someone who is lonely? Give them a phone call twice a week, all year long. This costs nothing, but can have the longest-lasting benefit: love.

Whatever your choice, know that the thought really is what counts. Giving is meaningful only when it is done with care and love. Cost should never be a factor in whether or not you choose to give a gift. Remember, the best gift you can give someone is you. That is what really matters this holiday season.