Don't get your tinsel in a tangle: Get gifting without breaking the bank

It’s officially 13 days until Christmas. I can’t believe this year is almost over, and silly season is about to begin.

Christmas is the best. Good food and drink (can I get a “Yes please?”), spending time with friends and family, as well as getting in some much needed rest (I hope) before the new year comes and you need to jump straight back to the grind.

Although Christmas is great, it can also come with an impending sense of dread due to the financial cost of the whole exercise, especially when you have an enormous family. For Christmas this year, we are going away with my in-laws, and so taking along a truck-load of gifts wasn’t really a feasible idea.

Free Tip: When there are going to be a lot of people, suggest a “secret-Santa” vibe. This will allow each person to receive a nice gift, without everybody having to go into debt.

Let’s be serious, even spending R100 per person when you have a lot of people that need gifts is stressful. For the Kaiser Christmas this year, we put everyone’s name in a hat, and we each drew out a name. You don’t know who has bought for you until you receive the gift, which is part of the fun. We set a R500 limit for the gift, and each person will then get one really nice gift, and won’t need to worry about lugging 8 gifts home with them after our festive little getaway.

For those big family get-togethers, this is a really cool way of doing things.

But obviously, there are also those gifts you need to get for the other people in your life who might not be there on christmas day.

You honestly can get some really cute and thoughtful gifts that don’t need to break the bank. In my experience, people will really appreciate a gift that you’ve put a lot of thought into. Here are some tips when thinking of gifts:

  • Will the person get a lot of use out of it?

  • Is it something that they would buy for themselves?

  • Try to avoid gifts that will just clutter a person’s space or end up gathering dust.

Below, I’ve found some really cute gifts that are reasonably priced and won’t give you heart palpitations when you think about your credit card payment being due in January.

For the foodie

Robertson’s spices in Oriental Nori, Fiery Mexican and Rustic Karoo

Robertson’s spices in Oriental Nori, Fiery Mexican and Rustic Karoo

Next time you visit your foodie friend, have a sneaky squizz in their pantry cupboard and see what their favourite spices, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar are. Using this info, you can create a mini “foodie hamper”, which you know they will use and will contain some of their favourites. NB: to keep the cost down, you can always buy the smaller bottles of balsamic and olive oil - they will be super grateful when they run out of their big bottle and there is a small emergency bottle in their pantry because of your thoughtful gift :)

We really like the new spice mixes from Robertson’s, if you don’t have the opportunity to check a friends cupboard. The Oriental Nori Rub is awesome on Fish.

For the fitNess freak

Thrust Barbell Pad and Heavy Resistance band with Rubber Grips - Fit Farm Girl

Thrust Barbell Pad and Heavy Resistance band with Rubber Grips - Fit Farm Girl

For those of your friends who are health conscious and spend some time working out, I cannot recommend the resistance bands and barbell pad from Fit Farm Girl enough. The resistance bands ramp up any glute workout by about 1 000% (we all want to have a peachy peach), and any gym goer will tell you that there is nothing worse than getting to the squat rack and being faced with a bruised upper back because there is no barbell pad in sight, or the velcro on the pad that is there is so useless, that you give up and go without it. The bands are R220 each, and come in medium, heavy and super heavy resistance (you also get a free e-book with exercises) and the barbell pad is a little more expensive at R340. There are also some other cool weight lifting accessories, but these are the ones I’ve tried and I have to say they are awesome. Maybe you could club together with a mutual friend and do a joint gift for this one.

For the “I’m so stressed out”

We all need a massage every now and then. The issue is, they don’t come that cheap AND it also means taking an hour or so out of your day to get there and do it. For those stressed out ladies in your life, getting a gift voucher from your local beauty salon could be the push they need to actually book themselves in for a little pamper time. It doesn’t need to cover the full cost of a massage, and a gift voucher is always great because it allows the person to choose exactly what they actually want.

For the eco-warrior

Transit Hot Drinker from Cotton On SA

Transit Hot Drinker from Cotton On SA

On most Saturday mornings, my husband and I go down to beach with our hound, and grab a cup of the best coffee ever (If you are ever in Salt Rock, you have to try it - it’s called Bench and is in a container in the parking lot near Granny’s Pool - close to Siggi’s). For the longest time, we have been saying that we really need to invest in some reusable travel cups, because #climatechange. You get so many different ones, but these from Cotton On are 300ml and made from stainless steel - and at R199 a pop, are an inexpensive and cool gift. Another option is to buy them a reusable straw - I’ve seen stainless steel ones at our local Spar, but you can also get bamboo one’s from Sugar Free Sundays’ shop.

For the glam girl

Revoultion Beauty Affirmation Eyeshadow Pallette

Revoultion Beauty Affirmation Eyeshadow Pallette

Clicks has recently begun stocking a brand called Revolution Beauty, that is really nice considering how inexpensive it is. I am no by no means a beauty fundi, but my sister, who is wild about makeup and will be studying at Isa Carstens next year, really likes their products. Also, Youtuber’s love their stuff. The catch here is that you need to have a good idea of the colour pallettes the person would like. Alternatively, a gift card is always good - that way, they can choose what they like.

For the wine lover

Beautiful stemware for special occasions is always a great addition to any home. I personally LOVE the Nataniël wine glasses which you get from Checkers - and they are only R169.99 for 4. They are gorgeous - with a long stem and super thin glass - ultra sophisticated. There are also champagne flutes (my fave) and some stemless glasses which are awesome to use for serving water at the table. The stemless ones also double as cool whiskey glasses #multifunctional

Sometimes, the person who we are buying for actually seems to have everything they could need/want. In this case, baking a batch of biscuits or something else delicious will never go to waste. Make a coffee date with the person when you plan to give them their gift, and also give them the present of your presence :) it might just make their day.

I hope that these ideas were helpful, and I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

All my love,

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