Sunday, November 25, 2012

20 Inexpensive yet Heartwarming Ideas

Christmas is a time for giving, loving and sharing.  

If you are like me, you have so many people you want to give to but finances just don’t allow you to give at the level your heart desires.  

Instead of cutting people off of your list, adjust it a little bit with some inexpensive gifts that are easy to make and will warm the heart with fond memories.

Practical, easy….memorable…let’s get to it hmm?  

(Read all the way to the bottom to see how easy it is to make gifts dipped in chocolate, I think you’ll be surprised.)

Inexpensive, Easy yet Heartwarming Gifts:

  1.  Notes in a Jar – This gift can last an entire year long! A gorgeous jar from the dollar store and 365 notes, quotes, smiles and virtual hugs will warm hearts each day for an entire year!  You can easily doll up the jar with ribbon found in the dollar store as well.  Using notes like “Cause JOY”, “You Matter” to inspire them or use your favorite quotes.  If you know they love the Bible, mix it up with your favorite encouraging Bible Verses.
  2. Framed Photo – Give a gorgeous photo of the family that is already framed.  Take a beautiful sunset/sunrise photo and add a quote to it and frame that.  If they love the ocean or mountains, use a picture from there, add in a verse or quote and frame that.  Every time they look at it, joy will fill their heart with thoughts of you!
  3. Cup of Joy – Take a gorgeous coffee cup, tea cup and saucer and fill it full of sweet treats, coffee, coffee creamers etc for the coffee enthusiast in your world.  It will serve double duty as it holds some delicious treats as well as provides them a cup of warm thoughts throughout the year.
  4. Homemade Treats – Easier to do than you realize! Bake up a batch of brownies, chex mix or even dip some pretzels, marshmallows or Nutter Butter cookies in chocolate and drizzle with favorite sprinkles for a sweet gift.  You can get the little kids involved here and have a day of making memories as well as gifts.  The sky is the limit with these delicious gifts!
  5. Heartwarming, hand written letter – Sometimes there is just nothing better than a hand written letter of thanks, love and appreciation.  It can be read and re-read anytime!  You’d be surprised a just how heartwarming this gift truly can be.
  6. Photo Collage – We love photos and when you add 3 or 4 in one, the smiles just get bigger.  Make a photo collage of your times together, the parties or celebrations.  Do one with kids through the years, skipping a few years in between so they can see how they’ve grown.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this will surely be priceless!
  7. A box of Kisses – With the decorative boxes that are available these days, this will be super easy and bring lots of smiles each time a kiss is unwrapped.  Find a cute box, fill full of kisses and toss in a handwritten card and you are handing over a gift of love!  Mix it up by giving “hugs and kisses” together.
  8. Handmade Ornament – For the crafty types, this is quite an easy gift.  Me, not so much, but some of them, I feel like even I could do.  Take a clear round bulb, square or whatever you have, toss in some gifts you’ve cut off a garland, some shiny gift filler, or write on it with paint pens and poof, you’ve got an awesome gift that will be treasured each Christmas.
  9. Gifts in a Jar – Brownies, cookies, soups and spices can be amazing gifts when you toss all the dry ingredients in a jar, attach instructions and package in a fun, creative way.  Thousands of recipes will provide HUGE smiles as they are being prepared! If the jars are too expensive, use some Ziploc bags and then place in a Christmas Cello Bag that you get 10 in a pack from the dollar store.
  10. Personalized Cookie Plate – Using a Christmas plate from the dollar store and some markers, and a little baking in the oven, you can personalize this gift and then add some cookies you’ve prepared just for them.  The plate can also have a memory such as hand prints, feet prints etc.  When you combine a foot with 2 hands, you have an instant angel for Grandma and Grandpa.  Be sure to jot down what year and the age of the child.
  11. The Write Stuff – Give a nice journal and gel pens to someone.  On the first page tell them how thankful you are for them and that you hope they can fill this journal with warm thought s from their grateful heart.
  12. Board Games & Snacks – inspire a time of food and fun with friends with this gift. There is nothing like game night! Great laughter, lots of memories and some whining….if you are like me and lose most of the time.  PRICELESS!
  13. Note Cards and Stamps – A gift that will keep on giving! The stamps will cost the most, but you can get the cards for a buck at the dollar store.  Package it in a nice cello bag and know that your gift will encourage more than the one you gave it to.
  14. Fuzzy Socks & Lotion – What a nice treat for the often forgot about feet.  Use jergens or another non girly smelling lotion just in case someone is particular about smells, toss in some cute fuzzy socks and you’ll be warming hearts as well as feet.
  15. Cocoa – A cup, chocolate dipped spoon, chocolate dipped marshmallows, chocolate dipped peppermint stick and you’ve got a sweet treat!
  16. Strawberries and Chocolate – After you’ve dipped your strawberries, place them in some mini cupcake liners, put in a cute Christmas box and you’ve got a sweet treat that is sure to impress!
  17. Candies in a Jar – You’ve seen it in Cracker Barrel and other country stores, talk about easy to make. Purchase some fireballs, m&m’s, reese’s pieces or other old fashioned candy and toss it in a jar, add ribbon and card and instant goodness! Did I mention fireballs?
  18. Fudge a little bit – I’ve never made fudge but hear that it’s really easy.  Pour it into metal cookie cutters or muffin liners, wrap and you’ve got a perfect little gift that is sure to please.
  19. Personalized Survival Kit – By personalized I mean things that the recipient will adore, personalized. For instance, one year the kids got their dad a survival kit, it included his favorites & things he uses often: Honey bun, Starbucks cold coffee, BC Powder, cassette tapes from the thrift store, tie (also from the thrift store), note pad, pens, Sponge Bob stuff, gum, mints, and other things that I can no longer remember.  Point is – everyone has little things that they love and adore, why not package it up and make is special just for them.
  20. Video – One True Media will take your pictures and make them into an amazing video for FREE.  What a gift!  Have fun gathering up all the memories and preparing them for a video that will easily import over to youtube.
There you have it! 20 easy, peasy ideas that are sure to warm the heart.

The thing you have to keep in mind is that people will love the fact you took the time to put something together like this for them.

Enjoy Christmas and other times of gift giving without the unnecessary guilt, even times of simple laughter together is a priceless gift that will last for a lifetime.

May I add in one more?  A Bonus:

The Spreading Joy Daily book, pair it with a mug, Reese’s Cups or just a note will be a gift that keeps on giving. You will be empowering others to make a difference without breaking the bank.  It’s filled with practical ideas for each day and you’ll find that as you make a difference, your heart will be flooded with great joy!  (PS, all proceeds goes right back into making a difference for others….double the joy.)

Ohh, I almost forgot -  Giving chocolate dipped items is really as easy as melt, dip, decorate and package.

Many of these white chocolate bars or milk chocolate bars have their own microwavable dish so the cleanup is easy.  

For about 10 bucks, you can get 2 blocks of these melting candies, package of marshmallows, pretzel rods, graham crackers or my personal favorite Nutter Butter Cookies, dip, sprinkle with fun and package for gifting.

I’d love for you to post pictures of what you’ve done over at our fan page –

Also if you have a link on easy gift ideas, please do feel free to share it below in the comment section so others can be inspired and encouraged!

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Thank you for your efforts in Spreading Joy and making a difference!


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