Christmas is right around the corner! While you certainly don’t have to buy (or even make) Christmas gifts for your friends, we know that many of you might want to…it’s so much fun to give during the holidays!
First, consider talking to your closest pals about exchanging gifts before you make a decision on whether or not to get anything. If your friends are low on cash and/or time, they might want to make an agreement not to exchange gifts. While surprises are fun, giving someone a gift who hadn’t planned to give you one back can sometimes leave the other person feeling guilty. So get on the same page as your buds! Maybe you make a pact to make each other gifts instead, or set a limit on what you can spend (say, $10).
In order to get your creative juices flowing, we rounded up a few of our favorite inexpensive store-bought and handmade gifts for friends. Let us know your picks in the comments below, and be sure to share any tips and insights into buying for your pals!
FIVE FUN AND INEXPENSIVE GIFTS
BOOK OR MOVIE
Whether holiday-themed or not, it’s easy to get your hands on affordable copies of books and movies that your friend loves…like the fun hit Elf with Will Ferrell. You can get the Blu-ray for $9.50 on Amazon and throw in a first-edition copy of the book version of The Polar Express for $4.50! Find out your friend’s favorite films and books, check to see which ones she doesn’t already have and then click around online for the best deals!
The most foolproof gift if you’re truly stumped? A candle! Everyone loves them, you can never have enough and there are endless places for you to find the perfect one. Hit up the clearance section of local discount shops like Marshall’s and TJMaxx or check for sales at candle stores like Yankee Candle. You can also order handmade candles on Etsy, often for as low as $5 a jar (Florida Gulf Coast Candles, $5).
Other classic, low-risk gifts: nail polish, lotion, bath salts, fuzzy socks, lip gloss and $10 Starbucks gift cards!
KITS THAT FIT THEIR PERSONALITY
Have a friend who loves candy? Make her a grab bag. Know someone who’s looking to learn how to paint? Get her a canvas and a few paintbrushes. Really listening to your friends and knowing what they love and/or want to learn more about can inspire the perfect gift idea. One of our favorite gifts is for your friend who’s dreaming of spring all through winter, excited to see the color coming back to the ground and gardens. The garden kits from Uncommon Goods can be planted in the yard, in containers or in an outdoor window box ($12).
There are tons (and we mean tons!) of affordable and gorgeous art prints out there for Christians. Many of the cheapest ones are sold as PDF files, and you can print them at home or take them to your local Kinko’s store to be printed on whatever kind of paper you like. You could frame them with cheap, basic black frames from IKEA or leave the framing to your friend (A Little Bird Tweet Me, $7).
Jewelry is always a nice gift, and you have tons of options if you decide to go this route. If you’ve got a local Claire’s, you have a treasure trove of inexpensive finds. We also love sifting through the hundreds of pages of affordable finds on Etsy.com and browsing at stores like Target and Forever 21. One recent favorite? This best friends necklace set from Urban Outfitters. It’s listed as $18 on the site, but we found it recently at a local store for $5, so be sure to check your local UO if you like it!
- Make a friendship bracelet. Back in August, we did a post on making friendship bracelets. This is a great way to save on cost and make something really special and personal for your closest friends. Check out that tutorial here.
- Know how to knit? Lucky you! Knit scarves, gloves or hats are the perfect winter gifts for your friends. They’ll love getting something unique that you made for them!
- Decorate a pair of canvas shoes to suit her personality. Check out our tutorial for inspiration.
- Love baking? Well, who doesn’t love to eat? Whipping up a batch of your BFF’s favorite cookies or cupcakes is an awesome way to thank her for her friendship at the holidays.
- Get crafty with beauty products. Got a girlfriend who loves her makeup? We’ve shared tons of DIY tutorials on making your own, which would make an awesome gift or project for the two of you to work on together! Scroll through and check those out here.
PI Girls, do you have other ideas to share? What are you making or buying for your BFF this Christmas?