It's Not Too Late! Simple Gifts to Celebrate the Holiday

It’s down to the wire now. The  holidays are almost upon us, but there is still time to put together simple gifts that seem personal yet are very affordable. I’ve collected here a few simple gift ideas for friends and loved ones that are all under $10.  Give a few as stocking stuffers, teacher thank you’s, or a holiday grab bag. Just trying to help out you procrastinators out there!

Spoiler Alert: Friends and Family, you may be getting one of these little items. Happy Holidays!

Monogrammed Coffee Mugs stuffed with a Starbuck’s Gift Card and/or a “Ready Made Cup of Cocoa”

My daughter and I created a bunch of these ready-made hot cocoas to give out to children and friends this year. Simply take a plastic gift bag, then scoop in two scoops of your favorite cocoa mix, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. Add some red and green sprinkles too for a fancy touch. Tie with a cute ribbon and you are ready to go. All the gift recipient has to do is add milk (soy, almond, rice for dairy free). For those that are gluten and dairy free, you can use Hershey’s cocoa powder, sugar, Ghirardelli semi-sweet baking chips, and Kraft peppermint mini-marshmallows for the mix.

Handmade Note Cards

Etsy is a great place to look for handmade goods. While I create my own from handpainted pieces, you can purchase note cards in bulk from a craft store, then use your own creativity to decorate the front or glue decorative images onto the front.


Not only are scarves a fashion staple this winter season, but they come in every color, fabric, and pattern imaginable. You can never have enough – thick or thin, wool or silk. Pick out a special one for your friend or family member. Pair it with a little bling by adding a decorative ring to go along in the gift bag. I found three hip scarves for under $20!

Photo Albums with a Collection of Favorite Photos

I saw these beautiful pair of albums at Michael’s for$8.99! Give these along with a collection of special photos of you and your loved one (get them printed at Walgreen’s 1-hour photo center for last-minute shoppers).

Stocking Stuffers

Most all of these items were purchased at either Michael’s, World Market, Old Navy, or Target and all come in under $10.

  • Monogrammed candle and eye patch: What mother doesn’t need a moment to relax and get a little extra sleep? Help her out with a vanilla scented candle (personalized just for her) and a silky eye patch.
  • Multi-tool: What man (or woman) couldn’t use a multi-tool to open or slice something in a pinch?
  • Crayola markers, colored pencils and other art supplies
  • Cool water bottles: Perfect for hydrating the little ones
  • Fruit: Always gluten free and helps to balance out the Christmas candy
  • Candy: Dubble Bubble offers Holiday Duos (gluten free), Wrigley has a holiday tin of gum (gluten free), and World Market has an array of novelty chocolates (no gluten ingredients but do contain milk). I always get a few lumps of coal (black licorice) for my father from World Market as well. You should see the looks on the kids’ faces when Grandpa gets coal in his stocking! For those that are gluten free and dairy free, Vosges has a killer Peppermint dark chocolate bar and Black Pearl (ginger, wasabi, and sesame seed) chocolate bar that I always look for in my stocking!
  • Electric Toothbrush: I’ve never seen my kids enjoy brushing their teeth more than with their electric “Sponge Bob”, “Spiderman”, or “Cinderella”. Not bad at $4.99 each!

Wrapping Ideas

One way to add a simple but creative touch is in the packaging. I fore go typical wrapping paper for either beige or red butcher paper. Using twine as the ribbon, you can give packages a simple and “green” touch. Rather than sticky name tags, re-use decorative holiday cards from years past to create your own name tags.

Another simple idea is to use white gift bags, stuffed with red tissue paper. Use a Black Sharpie to label each bag (To: Name, from: Name), and garnish with a candy cane (Bob’s candy canes are gluten free).




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  • solid list. Of course, then there's the white elephant gift list!

  • Oh yes, garden gnomes, Shake Weight, and Chia Head top that list!

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