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what to give who When did the holiday season go from being the most wonderful time of the year to the most expensive time of the year? It seems that if I don’t fork over my 401K to check off all the items on my loved ones shopping list, I’ll be stuck with a lump of coal in my stocking come Christmas morn. And then there are the gifts for everyone else. When did we all get talked into thinking it was a good idea to start doling out high end gifts to massage therapists, dog walkers and baristas? I’m sorry, but I shouldn’t have to forgo my kids college education to buy a present for my Pilates instructor. So, in an effort to get that holiday budget reigned in to afford presents for those near and dear to you without neglecting the army of helpers who keep your life marching forward, here are some DIY tips on how to give great gifts that look good without going under.

TIP #1

TIP #4

TIP #2

TIP #5

If the gift is tiny, make the box big. Elaborate wrapping paper goes a long way. If it takes 15 minutes to unwrap a present, they’ll just be happy it’s over.

Regift old cards. Just cut out the front and glue it on nice card stock to make it look oneof-a-kind. It’s not hand made - it’s artisanal.

TIP #3

Use your kids, dogs, live-in artist roommates if you have ‘em. No one will ever scoff at work of handmade art from your offspring (at least not to your face). Turn your kid into a Monet maker (or in this case Monet saver) and have them create custom cards, artwork and other keepsakes that the giftee will be forced to appreciate.


The Holiday Guide

If you do buy a gift, buy it on sale. But make sure you don’t include a gift receipt. Because if they ever decide to exchange it, they’ll know you skimped out. Donate to a charity. The giftee doesn’t need to know that you only spent $5. Let them think you saved a small 3rd world village in their name this Holiday season.

The Holiday Guide by Emily Henderson  

The guide of all holiday guides! 238 pages of gift giving ideas, downloadables, giveaways, and behind the scenes look at HGTV Design Star W...

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