Monday, November 15, 2010

$3 or Less Holiday Gift Ideas

I don't know how things are at your house, but we have an extended family get-together about three weeks before Christmas. It's all my dad's brothers and his sister and their wives, children and, in some cases, grandchildren. Well, not necessarily everyone will be there. All of Dad's siblings came the year before he died. They knew it might be their last chance to see him in any kind of decent condition, and he was already pretty weak.

Anyway, that's not the point of this post. I wanted to talk about gift-buying for uncles and aunts and cousins. I don't buy for the youngest generation; I don't have kids and no one is going to bring presents for my cats, so I leave that for Santa and the grandparents. I do like to take something inexpensive for my aunts & uncles and my cousins.

One of the most successful gifts, which I gave to my uncles, male cousins, and the couple of men at the office, was a pocket-sized LED flashlight. I bought a package of 8 or 10 at Home Depot on Black Friday and they cost about $2 each (batteries included). It's a great size to keep in the glove compartment or jacket pocket. This year, Beall's will have Emerson 9-LED Flashlights for $2.50 each. Lowe's is advertising an 8-piece LED flashlight set with different sized flashlights for $6.97; some are those 1 LED keyrings.

A couple of years ago, on the day after Christmas, I picked up some little spa gift sets for half price, and I haven't dug them out of the closet yet, but I think it could work for men or women. Who they go to will depend on what else I find this year. I have at least 33 relatives and spouses, although I haven't confirmed who all's coming. One family lives in the midwest. Some just may not come. I have three male cousins that I don't know if they're married or involved with anyone. I still have to figure out exactly how many gifts I need.

Sears has some fleece throws for $2.99. I always find those handy, but then we don't have central heat, so in the winter, we're always pulling a few extra blankets around us on the couch.

Wal-mart will have assorted DVDs for $1.96, and a movie could be wrapped with a package of microwave popcorn for a movie night gift. I couldn't really make out all the titles in the ad scan, and the assortments aren't always exactly as pictured, either.

The thing is, figuring I need to buy for probably minimum 25 people, anything more than $3 each is out of range.

What bargain gift ideas do you have? Was some inexpensive gift that you've given in the past really well received? Have you noticed any good deals being advertised on the Black Friday sites? Do tell!

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