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Holiday Gift Ideas on a Budget

by Camila Paladini

The holiday season is right around the corner and what better way to show your love and appreciation for the most special people in your life than through meaningful gifts they can treasure forever. The Torch has got you covered with some budget-friendly gift ideas for the ones you most love! 

1. The gift of a card – Sometimes the most meaningful gift a person can receive is a card written by someone that means a lot to them. Expressing your care and gratitude for someone is a great way to give a gift this holiday season. Our friends at Pucker Press have got you covered! They specialize in beautiful homemade cards that are made from reused paper AND self carved stamps! Each card has a lot of thought and care put into it – what could be a better gift this holiday season?! (BONUS POINTS because PuckerPress is a business local to Bergen County! #shopsmall)

2. A playlist – Receiving a self made playlist by a friend or someone is one of the greatest gifts anyone can receive. The knowledge that someone put hours of time into curating a playlist is worth more than the gift itself. Get creative! With many music streaming platforms accessible to us all, creating a playlist is an inexpensive gift idea that is going to be a huge hit! So go ahead and fill your playlist up with Harry Styles, The Beatles, and Adele and let’s get this holiday party started!

3. Spotify Picture Trend – If you’ve been on Tiktok within the last year, you’ve seen the Spotify picture trend circling about – and what a creative idea that is! Getting a picture of someone you care about with a song you both love is bound to be a number one hit this holiday season. Get crafty and DIY it or use a company like My Photo Lighter they offer great services that are sure to meet your holiday shopping needs. Anything from plaques to night lights to keychains – they’ve got you covered. 

4. Recreate old pictures – sometimes the best gifts are the homemade ones. They make us smile and laugh. If you happen to have some free time before the craziness of the holiday season hits – grab some old pictures and recreate them. Putting them side by side with the original picture makes for a great scrapbook gift that is sure to be a winner! 

5. Hot cocoa set – Winter is coming – and what better way to prepare your loved ones that with a hot cocoa gift basket set! Fill it with some of your favorite treats (homemade or store bought) and you’ve got yourself an amazing gift for anyone! For those who celebrate Christmas, this set of hot cocoa from World Market is sure to be a crowd pleaser. If you don’t, then you are bound to be the winner of the holiday gift exchange with this cocoa or coffee sampler from The Lakeside Collection. 

6. Custom Photo blanket – Photo blankets are a great way to make the awesome gift of a blanket into a more personable experience. Grab some of your favorite pictures and make this blanket into a unique gift for a special person in your life. While prices for homemade blankets can get expensive, Printerpix is currently having a huge sale – a perfect opportunity to snag this awesome gift. 

7. Photo Puzzle – if you have a special someone in your life, one of the greatest gifts you can give someone is something to do together. Photo puzzles are your solution! What better way to spend an afternoon with someone hot cocoa and a puzzle. Personalization Mall has got you covered with their heart shaped puzzle! Pick any picture and give a super cool gift this holiday season. If a heart shaped puzzle is not for you, they have different puzzle variations as well as a personalized rubix cube! 

8. An activity jar – Spending time with a friend or loved ones is one of the greatest gifts anyone can get. These last two years have been difficult with seeing people, but now that things are safely opening back up, an activity jar is one of the best gifts you can give someone to make up for lost time! Your local craft or dollar store should have everything you need – a mason jar, some popsicle sticks, and different colored markets! Organize each activity by color and write it on the popsicle stick. Each color can mean something different like yellow = at home activity, blue = local activity, pink = budget friendly activity in a city, etc. The choice is yours! You know your gift recipient best, and all the thought going into this gift is sure to make them very happy!

9. Build-a-Bear Friendship bear – Unleash your inner child and create a bear with some of your closest pals this holiday season. This fun filled activity is sure to bring laughter and reminisce childhood memories. It is a great way to have a special gift with a friend and a guarantee that you will think of them and the fun you had each time you look at it! Although this activity can be on the pricier side of this list, the memories are priceless! 

10. NYC Scavenger Hunt – for those who are into outdoor activities, this last gift idea is for you! Shop small with this NYC Scavenger Hunt from Etsy! Grab a friend or two and spend your day taking pictures of some iconic New York landmarks. You make the rules! This activity is a great way to spend some time in the fresh air, and make fun-filled memories! Make sure to grab a slice of pizza before the day is over. (Due to COVID restrictions and NYC regulations, make sure to have your vaccination card on you!) 

Whatever gift you chose to give out this holiday season, remember that the greatest gift of all is always time spent together.

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