Here we are at the end of December and it’s hard to believe that we’re only days away from Christmas! For many years growing up, the budget was very tight in our home. And though the movie-prop style stacks of glimmering gifts on Christmas morning were not within reach, we would draw upon our ingenuity and creativity to come up with gifts that would make our loved ones feel special nonetheless!
So whether you’re looking to add a few last-minute gifts, or to stretch a dollar, see below for my go-to budget-friendly Christmas gift ideas for kids!
Also, for some ideas for activities to do over the break, check out our post here!
Make an activity kit with re-used items: toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes and egg containers are favourites in our home as a base for fun creations, or check out this post for some DIY inspiration!
Make a unique or personalized item: if you’re crafty, consider making something like a scarf, mittens, doll clothes, or even a personalized pillowcase for your child! My kids love things with their initials and favourite colours on them, so I’m making them scarves with yarn I had left from various projects.
Re-gift a special item from your childhood: My kids really enjoy having items that my husband and I played with in our childhood. One of my son’s favourite toys is a tractor from my husband, and I recently discovered a series of books and corresponding dolls from my childhood that my daughter has been loving!
Personalized Christmas ornament: We have a few ornaments that were purchased for our kids, and each year they enjoy re-discovering their ornaments and telling the story of where we found it or who gave it to them! So why not find a little decoration and paint their name or initials and the year on it.
Secondhand items: There are so many places to look for fantastic books and toys in great condition such as library book clearance, Marketplace/Craigslist, community groups, thrift stores, or even asking around to family and friends if there are toys their kids might be done playing with. I purchased second-hand bikes for my kids for Christmas this year – they’re in almost new condition, and I saved hundreds of dollars doing so!
Coupons: Print out or draw your own coupons to do activities together like baking cookies, movie nights with popcorn, building a fort and have a camp-out in it, the possibilities are endless!
Make a personalized colouring book: find free printables of your child’s favourite subject matter and make a binder of pictures for them to colour their way through.
Personalized decor items: Consider giving framed photos of family and friends for their room. Frames can be found in thrift stores or dollar stores for reasonable prices, and easily personalized, and photo prints are accessible and only a few cents per print!
Cookie decorating kit: Bake cookies, mix icing, source some sprinkles and make a DIY cookie decorating kit, then watch your budding pastry chef make their beautiful creations.
Fun essentials: This is still a stocking go-to in our house – a good way to combine purchasing essentials and gifting is to find some special character socks or underwear that your child will love to wear!
Favourite sweet treats: Also another stocking regular growing up – we would get full bulk aisle bags of our favourite treats from the grocery store, yum!
Encourage siblings to make special gifts for each other: my son has been saving a special pine cone found on a walk for his sister that we will wrap and put in her stocking!
What are your favourite ways to stretch your Christmas budget dollars?
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