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Last-Minute Creative Gifts on a Tight Budget

Madalena Mourao

Christmas is definitely the most magical time of the year! You can feel that Christmassy feeling in the air, everything seems right, you spend long afternoons by the fireplace watching your favourite series and drinking hot chocolate, and… all your groups of friends have decided to do Secret Santa. On top of that, you also have to come up with something for your family, so now you have a problem to solve: what to buy for all of them with your tight budget. Here are a few suggestions from us!

1. Personalised notebook/agenda

There’s nothing better than offering a personalised gift; it shows you made an extra effort to offer something unique. In this case, the present is also useful, which makes it even better. Our advice: buy a simple notebook or agenda, underlay it with colourful paper, and glue a photo on the cover. You can also write inspirational quotes inside, as well as some more photos.

2. Frame with inspirational quote

 

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For that friend who is all about Instagram, #inspire #details #goals, nothing better than offering a simple and cute piece of decoration, like a frame with an inspirational quote. You can buy a frame from 0,99€ at IKEA, for instance, and print a nice quote for it.

3. Frame with photo

This one never fails. Whether you want to offer it to your mother, friend, or loved one, it’s always a nice gesture to give a photo of a good moment you have shared. Try giving it framed already — you can buy a very simple one and personalise it by painting it and writing the place and the year when the photo was taken.

4. Funny type of gift

 

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If you really don’t know what to offer, go for the cheap-but-funny-type, like the worst socks you can possibly find or a funny-shaped phone case. What about an alarm clock for a friend who is always late? You can find a bunch of cheap and funny ideas in stores such as Flying Tiger or ALE-HOP.

5. Homemade cookies

Not just creative, but also a very tasty type of gift! It’s a great option if you are struggling with your budget because you can bake a lot of cookies with just a few ingredients. You can also give them in cute, little bags for an extra touch. Gingerbread cookies are a perfect option this time of year, but chocolate always wins!

6. Coupons

The one who think this is the type of cheesy gift to offer a loved one is mistaken; you can give it to your mother, cousin or friend, as long as you are creative. However, make sure you’re actually willing to do whatever is on the coupon.

Yes, this means that if you offer “brunch at your favourite place at a date to be determined” to your best friend, you should actually offer it. Here are some other ideas:

  • To a friend: TV show marathon session; coffee and gossip
  • Boyfriend/girlfriend: The best hug ever; be ready to leave in 5 minutes or less
  • Mother/Father: Movie night at home; home-cooked meal

7. Gifts with a note

The importance here is not the gift itself, but the intention behind it. This means that you can simply give a gym towel to your friend with a note: “the first step is the hardest one: accepting you have to go to the gym”. You can also offer a piggy bank with a note: “for the trip of your dreams”.

8. Mug

A mug is a nice and cheap type of gift. You can fill it with candies and add a hot chocolate recipe. You can buy very cute and cheap ones at Flying Tiger, for instance. You can also gift a very simple one and decorate it yourself with a porcelain marker!

9. Gift cards

 

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Our creative-but-not-creative suggestion: Amazon, Netflix or Spotify gift cards. It’s something simple, but this way your friend gets to choose what they want and actually need! Netflix and Spotify cards can be purchased at local retailers, so you can still gift wrap it.


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Do you have other ideas for creative gifts on a tight budget? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the perfect student home on Uniplaces.

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