With the holidays just around the corner and the economy in turmoil, creative flair and imagination is a great alternative to purchasing expensive, store-bought presents. However, for those who lack the imagination to get started, here are options for inexpensive Christmas presents.
Create a Board Game
It may sound cheesy, but a personalized board game done right might be the talk of the day. First, come up with a game theme, be it an original concept, or a concept already used that you wish to personalize for the gift receiver. (Of course, if this is a game the creator ever plans on trying to sell, he or she wouldn’t be able to legally if the game concept was already patented). Next, determine what materials to create the game with.
The board should be made with a sturdy material. Cardboard is of course a cheaper route, and can be fancied up a bit by attaching poster paper around it. A piece of nicer plywood could work, too. One idea might be to cut the plywood in half and connect them with a few flat hinges, so that the board can bend. From there, one could paint the board design onto the wood, or apply a material on top of the wood. If the wood is thick enough, one could even apply a decorative edge with wood glue.
Next, determine what game pieces should be used. Dice, for instance, can be purchased individually. For small timers, search the local Goodwill stores for cheap games that might already have such game components.
Game pieces can be created many ways. A simple, cheap method is to take a thick card stock paper, cut out the silhouette of a person, and glue (or PhotoShop) your friend’s face where the head of the game piece character should be. A more complicated method of creating game pieces is to purchase hardening clay and mold the game pieces out of a frame, or by hand.
The possibilities are endless. Have fun and make sure to refine the rules and theme of the game before moving on to the nuances of the game.
While this idea might be more appropriate for a child, the concept could work for an adult, too, especially if that adult has a specific skill or trade, like woodsmithing, painting or landscaping. For instance, a fun white elephant gift might be a coupon for a free afternoon of indoor or outdoor professional painting, or (insert profession here).
Create a Photo Album
This one works especially well for family members. Creating a memorable photo album is a great way to say “I love you,” while not seeming too trite or cheap.
Bake Candy or Cookies
Christmas is the perfect time to give sweets as a gift, and while making them can be time consuming, and materials can sometimes be costly, there are ways to keep the cost down.
Build a Gingerbread House
As said above, giving sweets for Christmas is never a bad idea, and creating a gingerbread house is a fun way to go about doing that. The easiest way to go about this is making it from a kit, or by using graham crackers instead of gingerbread.