|Cheap but chic holiday gifts
Another good strategy is to get a woman something
that matches her eye color, whether it's a simple scarf or a pretty
pair of mittens. "People always look good in -- and therefore
appreciate -- items that set off their eyes," Spizman says.
Also, pay attention to what your
recipient values. A family that travels a lot might appreciate a
few new car games. A writer might enjoy a beautiful pen or pack
of stationery. A humanitarian might appreciate a donation to a nonprofit
organization such as the Make-A-Wish
Foundation in his or her name. "Again, the idea is to show
the person that you paid attention to them," says Spizman.
"That's what is going to make them feel really treasured --
no matter how inexpensive that gift might be."
If you need a little help thinking of meaningful gifts,
try Find Gift,
or personalized gifts at Lillian
You probably already know you can find great deals by comparison
shopping for everything from books to sporting goods on the Internet.
A few good sites include My
Many online retailers offer discounted or free shipping around the
holidays, which makes them even better bargain sites than many local
Before you hit the "checkout" button at
your favorite online store, open a separate Internet browser window
and doublecheck sites like ShoppersResource,
Those sites publish special coupon codes for free gifts, free shipping
and other discounts at hundreds of online retailers.
You can make even the most inexpensive gifts stand out
from the crowd with a little clever packaging. For a teacher, Spizman suggests
filling a small box with stickers (teachers use tons of them and often pay for
them out of pocket) and including a note like, "Thanks for sticking with
my daughter this year!"
For a friend, a $10 gift card
to his favorite morning coffee shop can seem very intentional (and less cheap)
when you add a note like: "When it comes to being a friend, you're a perfect
If you're not a word person, a little visual oomph
can make smaller gifts seem special. Consider a selection of green
tea and a mug wrapped in a Chinese-language newspaper with a red
ribbon. Or use an inexpensive map and bungee cord to wrap a hiking
book. "When you put a little effort into the presentation,
your gift automatically looks more expensive," says Spizman.
Try a few of these cheap-but-chic tricks and you'll
end up with your own holiday gift, too: no post-holiday debt hanging
over you as you ring in the New Year.
Cettina is a freelance writer in Oregon.