Not to brag or anything, but I do a pretty SMASHING job of buying people awesome shyte for Christmas. I am basically the queen of gift-giving on a not-so-spectacular budget. There are 2 major resources I use to accomplish this goal. (Aka: my 2 biggest gift giving secrets.) Okay, so maybe neither are very much of a secret, but I got your attention didn’t I? Now read. And LEARN.
Secret #1: Buy Handmade
Artisan handcrafted items are unique, many can be personalized, AND you can feel good about buying them because you are supporting “poor, starving” artists (such as myself!) Between crafts fairs and online marketplaces such as Etsy.com, there is more than enough variety to find something for everyone on your list. Even if you can’t find what you are looking for, chances are there is a line of artists a mile long just waiting for you to ask them to make that certain something! Many artists and crafters take custom orders, and relish the inquiries!
Secret #2: Buy Local
Local, small businesses are fantastic places to get gifts. In my local city of Spokane, WA, there is a plethora of antique shops, novelty shops, clothing boutiques, 2nd hand shops, and art galleries. During these tough economic times, many of these small businesses are hanging by a thread, and need all of the support they can get. And besides, the unique gifts you will find within their selections will generally guarantee that you won’t be buying the same thing for your nephew as your aunt Ruth is (hooray for avoiding awkwardness!) I’ve purchased everything from vintage estate jewelry to Star Trek memorabilia from these places, all of which made much-loved presents for my family and friends. Take a look at your local business directory before hitting the big-box department stores this year. Chances are, you’ll discover gift ideas that will inspire you (and save your budget.)