Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tips for Gifts That Won't Break the Bank

Written by Dr. Bria Jones, PMP, Author, Speaker and Educator

The holidays can be a difficult time for many families. Instead of focusing on the quality family time, we often focus on the “gift-giving” rituals. This can lead to poor financial decision-making or depression when we don’t have the funds to buy a gift for all our love ones. However, it doesn’t have to be that way!  With simple things around the house you can make very special home-made gifts that will bring joy.  I would like to share a few ideas for gifts that won’t break the bank.

Unique Candles

Directions: You can find wicks and a block of wax at your local craft store for a reasonable price. Or, recycle old or partially used candles to fill the container. Place a wick in an old tea cup, glass or jar and fill with wax. Add a ribbon, beads or bow and you have a special gift for all the women in your life. Add the wax to a shot glass or beer mug and it’s perfect for the men.

A Jarful of Goodies

Do you have a special recipe? Add the dry Ingredients for Cookies/Soups/Beans to jar and add a hand-made label, ribbon or sticker. Then, write the mixing and cooking instructions onto a small card/tag and attach with ribbon.  I like to add a cookie cutter to my sugar cookie recipe. Everyone, young or old, will enjoy this gift!


This is the simplest idea of them all. Recycle your favorite fabric, wrapping paper, newspaper, or old book pages for this project. Wrap a small box.  Then, attach a hand written message such as the ones below or write your own.

Message 1: 
Message 2:
“This is a very special gift
That you can never see
The reason that it's special
It's just for you from me
Whenever you are lonely
Or when you're feeling blue
You only have to hold this
gift and know I think of you
You never can unwrap it
Please leave the ribbon tied
Just hold this box close to your heart
It's filled with love inside"
"I'm giving you a present,
It's my love inside a box.
It's not too much to look at,
But it's the best I've got.”

As a life-long crafter, I could list many more. Instead, I will share a few of my favorite websites for inexpensive gift ideas:

About Dr. Bria Jones:  As an author, she blends personal wisdom with her professional insight to motivate positive changes and produce dramatic results. Dr. Jones is also a passionate, compelling speaker and workshop presenter. She is sought after by corporations, professional associations and non-profit groups both nationally and internationally. Dr. Bria is the author of several books and games: The Official Parent’s Handbook: Spare the rules, spoil the child; and Like Shopping For Shoes. Dr. Jones is a blogger for Like Shopping for Shoes, and Learn more about Dr. Jones at or email her at

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