thoughtfully thrifty Christmas

25 More Thoughtfully Thrifty Christmas Gift Ideas

A couple of weeks ago I published a list of 25 Thoughtful Ideas for Handmade Christmas Gifts. Maybe you’re all for a thoughtfully thrifty Christmas, but not so much handmaking it yourself. No worries! Here are 25 more thoughtful gift ideas that will still fit nicely in your budget with no hot glue or needles required on your part! If you’re on a really tight (or nonexistent) budget you might also want to check out these Five Helpful Tips if You Haven’t Budgeted for Christmas.

*This page contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking my links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualified purchases.*

1. Have the Kids Help You Make a Masterpiece

Get some art supplies from Dollar Tree and set the kids loose with markers or washable paints (depending on their age) to gift Grandma and Grandpa an original piece of art! Kids also love to paint items they find for special collections. This gift is thoughtful, thrifty, and handmade – just not by your hands!

2. Get the Journaler/Planner in Your Life a Great Notebook Set

If you have someone on your list who is big on making lists, journaling affirmations, or keeping life neatly organized in a great planner”>Erin Condren has the perfect gift! You can even get it customized with their name or initials! There are lots of great accessories for sticker lovers as well.

3. Scrapbook or Photo Album (Physical or Digital)

If you want to share the memories without taking up a physical hardbound album or wall space a digital photo album may be a great option for a thoughtfully thrifty Christmas gift! It may cost a bit on the front end, but imagine NEVER having to print pictures again! Just share them instantly via WiFi! It’s the gift that keeps giving.

4. Diffuser Necklace

Know anyone who could use the power of aromatherapy everywhere they go? Who doesn’t?! This beautiful tower-shaped pendant is very striking and doesn’t look like most diffuser jewelry. It has a daintier feel and can be dressed up or down.

5. Memory Jar

If it’s someone you’ve known a long time fill in a few of the 180 included tickets in this Top Shelf Good Memory Jar with your favorite memories with them. If it’s someone special you’re just getting to know better fill one or two out and explain that you look forward to adding to it together.

6. Personalized Jewelry

A beautifully engraved necklace or bracelet doesn’t have to break the bank! This nameplate bracelet can be engraved with a favorite phrase, name(s), or even the latitude and longitude of somewhere special. Sterling silver options can be found under $30 as well!

7. Coupon Book

take a stack of notecards, punch a hole, and use a metal ring to hold together a one of a kind creation from the kids. Coupon ideas can include help unloading the dishes, doing their least favorite chore without complaint, a hug… let the little ones come up with a few of their own. This gift is thoughtful, thrifty, and coupon ideas can come completely from the kids’ imaginations.

8. Buy a Good Pair of Slippers for a Thoughtfully Thrifty Christmas Gift

Some people appreciate a quality slipper but never fork over the money for a pair themselves. I am in that category as well; time and time again I have to throw out ratty slippers and tell myself I’ll buy better quality ones. Time and time again I go to the store, see the price difference, and go for the cheap two-pack. Frugal isn’t cheap and I know this, but man is it hard to spend money on this sort of thing for yourself.

If you know someone who may have cold tootsies while at home and would appreciate a good pair, there are several good options for men and women. I particularly like these soft slip-ons for women and classic Dockers for men.

9. Stainless Steel Razor Gift Set

Upgrade your loved one’s shave game with a durable and eco-friendly stainless steel razor set like this Bigfoot Shaves kit for men. There are also some traditional Harry’s gift sets with aftershave skincare products included.

10. Letterboard Photo Frame

It’s a slightly different take on the current letterboard craze; include the latest picture of the kids with a sweet note or share the big news with the letterboard in the middle. This is a thoughtfully thrifty Christmas gift that’s also on-trend!

11. Stocking Cap

Buy a Love Your Melon beanie and 50% of the proceeds go to nonprofit therapeutic experiences for families affected by cancer. There are lots of color and style options to choose from. These are also 100% cotton and made in the USA!

12. Gift Cards Can Make a Thoughtful Gift Too!

Gift cards are a lot more thoughtful than they get credit for! Have a coffee addict on your list? Get them a card to their favorite coffee shop! Know some frazzled parents who would love to have a date night? Get them a gift card for one of their favorite restaurants. Maybe throw in a coupon for free babysitting that night?

How about gifting that college student on the list a gift card for a sandwich shop near campus or grocery store. The possibilities are just about endless! Just consider the recipient and buy a gift card or certificate you know they will enjoy or find useful.

13. Handwoven Serape That Gives Back

Wrap your loved one in the warmth of this authentic Benevolence LA Mexican Serape. Benevolence LA has a mission; So far, according to the product page on Amazon proceeds from purchases have “provided 4 villages with clean water for the very first time. More than 2,500 Africans no longer suffer from the debilitating water-borne disease.” That’s not all these blankets do. Check out their purpose by clicking the link above. The packaging is also eco-friendly!

14. Heifer International

Make a donation in the name of someone who doesn’t need or want anything at the moment. Shop the Gift Catalog to provide farm animals to help lift families out of poverty. Gifts start at around $10 for a share in a larger animal. You can donate as little as $20 to donate a flock of chicks to provide eggs and a source of income.

15. Skip the Gift Exchange with a Friend and Perform an Act of Service Together

Make this year more memorable and instead of exchanging gifts spend time with a particular friend or relative volunteering somewhere together. All it will cost is your time and it can be a much more rewarding experience! You can volunteer together helping at a local animal shelter, serving a meal to the homeless, or just take the money you would’ve spent on the gift and purchasing supplies or making a cash donation to a local food bank.

16. Commemorative Ornaments

Keepsake ornaments can be a very special way to remember a special trip taken together, baby’s first Christmas, couple’s first Christmas, you name it. Just please, please, please give a Christmas themed gift to someone a little early. It’s not really fair to give someone Christmas decorations shortly before they get packed up.

17. Lava Diffuser Bracelet with Empower Charm

This adorable minty charm bracelet does a lot more good than just carry your favorite scent all day all proceeds from sales of this little beauty go to benefit the Young Living Foundation. Empower is exactly what your purchase will do the foundation makes a point to empower people in underserved communities around the world.

18. Find a Thoughtful, Handmade Treasure from Amazon

Shop from Amazon’s small business gift section under handmade gift items and find that perfect gift for someone special on your list. There are truly unique artisan-made finds in this section. From jewelry to bath bombs to beard combs you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

19. Give the Gift of an Experience Together for a Thoughtfully Thrifty Christmas Gift

This one doesn’t actually have to cost anything! You can decide to finally take your friend on that hiking trip you’ve always talked about and call that their gift! Pick an activity you both enjoy and do it together. The cost can obviously vary quite a bit on this one, but quality time with the people you love is always a plus be it hiking, wine tasting, a tea party, or a road trip!

20. Write a Poem or Short Story

If you have a flair for writing why not write your sweetie a love poem or the kids a one-of-a-kind story? There are lots of ways to present it; have the book printed at a photo kiosk or online, or the poem or shared phrase printed out on canvas in a color scheme fitting with the decor.

21. Give the Gift of Softer Lips with a Lip Balm Set

Chances are you know someone with dry lips (or a little girl who just loves lip balm). Why not gift them with an all-natural gift set of essential oil-infused lip balms? The Yule Love Your Lips lip balm set comes pre-wrapped!

22. Have Fun with the Thoughtfully Thrifty Gift of a Caroling Kit in a Box

If you live in a neighborhood or visit someone who does this can be really fun; print out some carols, drop in a few mugs, some cocoa powder, marshmallows, maybe even throw in matching scarves and spread some Christmas cheer throughout the neighborhood! As an added bonus leave a treat of peppermints or homemade cookies at each stop!

23. Professional Massage

This isn’t the thriftiest gift idea, but it is almost always appreciated! Trust me!

24. Buy a Childhood Favorite and Make it a Tradition with Your Family

Was there a movie you watched every year? Did you get matching pajamas on Christmas Eve? Why not keep the tradition alive? It can be a special game, movie, matching slippers or mugs…

25. Adopt an Angel

The deadline for turning gifts should be coming up fast. If you have any money left in your budget I highly encourage you to adopt an angel from the angel tree or see if your school district has a program. Include the kids if they’re old enough too! I believe generosity should be taught from an early age. It’s so much easier to appreciate what you have when you help someone in need.

That’s 25 Thoughtfully Thrifty Christmas Gift Ideas

I’ve given you 50 gift ideas total now! What are you waiting for? Make that list, check it twice, and be sure to stay in budget! I’ll be back later in the week with stocking stuffer ideas for the whole family! Until then, as always, stay frugal my friends!

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  1. meredithdent says:

    So many great ideas here! I’ve done the ornament gift in the past so I can say it definitely makes a very special gift. Feeling pretty inspired by the memory jar one — may just have to try it out for myself this year!

    • alifeonadime says:

      I was actually just going through old ornaments with my sister this morning! The memory jar sounded sooo sweet when I saw it! I had heard of wish jars for the happy couple at a wedding but not for an individual gift!

  2. goatdogsimple says:

    How do you come up with so many great ideas? Love this list especially the artwork for the grandparents. It’s those handmade projects that make such a lasting impression.

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