I’ve put together this Practical and Inexpensive Holiday Gift Guide, because if you’re anything like me, when someone asks me what I’d like for Christmas, I always say, “I don’t know, I don’t need anything”.
Which is true, but not very helpful when loved ones are shopping. When our girls, now 22 and 16 were little, one of us would take them shopping for the other. We knew they’d want to buy us something with their “own money” too. So we were always careful to steer them to the small gifts that were in their price range. Even though we encouraged, and they both loved making us Christmas gifts, they still wanted to spend a few dollars of their allowance on gifts too. Even though they are older, we still like to keep the gift giving modest. Every year, right around this time, I keep a list of inexpensive items that I really need or would like in my stocking. I’ve also included some edible gifts which always make nice hostess or neighbor gifts like the Moravian Molasses Cookies which I got as a gift one Christmas. You can see them here, but they’re a LOT more expensive then making them yourself.
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Gifts for around $10:
There are a few items that are even under $5 which is great the 5-7 year old set.
These 18″ long Wooden Spoons are made out of birch and are priced at only $6.50 for 2. I have 2 of these spoons, which I use all the time. They are perfect for stirring soups in tall pots, or sautéing something that spatters a bit. One is always in the dishwasher, so this double set is great.
Vegetable Peeler. I just bought TWO vegetable peelers last week. I don’t know what it is about vegetable peelers, but it seems like we’re always losing them. Even if you have 1 already, keep in mind a second or third peeler is really handy during the holidays when there are several pounds of potatoes or vegetables to be peeled. That’s a job that the littlest kitchen helpers can assist with.
Ditto Whisks! I have about 6 different whisks in varying sizes. Here’s a set of 3 for under $10.
Gifts for the Baker or Cook:
The holidays are a perfect time to give or receive those items that you might like, but maybe wouldn’t buy for yourself. This is the time I like to give exotic salt and flavored oils. These Copycat Peppermint Bark Cups are similar to ones I saw in a high-end cooking catalog, but about 1/4th the price!
My daughters love putting Truffle Salt on their french fries. It’s also great on any other potato dish! Maldon Sea Salt is a great finishing salt for steaks and roasts. I love this bamboo salt cellar. I keep a similar one next to my stove filled with kosher salt for cooking.
For baking, I use Silpat mats. They are naturally non-stick, so no messy clean-up and, although they’re a little pricey, they last forever!
Another item I have multiple of are off-set spatulas. I have about 4, in various sizes. I use them all the time. This set of three is under $15 dollars.
One year my sister-in-law brought me back some vanilla beans from Tahiti. They’re a bit expensive, but this Vanilla Bean Paste is a nice alternative to keeping dried vanilla beans on hand. Or you can make your own homemade Vanilla Extract, like this one!
Speaking of baking, if you’re planning on giving edible gifts this year. You can make them look really professional with some great wrappings. I always put my cookies in cellophane bags and tie them with colorful ribbon, rope, or a personalized gift tag. For Truffles, Peppermint Bark Cups , Chocolate Pecan Turtles,
I pack candy or cookies in small gift boxes too. Keeping a supply of small boxes, ribbon and tags on hand during the holidays is great for last minute gifts. These Baby Hedgehog Cookies would make a great holiday gift, and Traditional Scottish Shortbread is one of my favorite holiday cookies. Make it extra special with thistle shortbread mold, which also makes a great gift!
Gifts for the cocktail lover:
This pretty cocktail shaker would be a nice addition to a bar, or as part of a gift basket with this Homemade Kumquat Liqueur. These wine bags are great for holiday gift giving. An extra wine opener or two is always handy. I’ve had one similar to this one for 30+ years. It’s also just $11 dollars. My husband and oldest daughter are on a Moscow Mule kick right now, so I already know she’ll be getting him a set of Moscow Mule mugs like these.
What would you add to this Inexpensive Holiday Gift Guide?