Sunday, November 23, 2008

"... Even if you were broke, my love don't cost a thing..."

This year, Oprah's people have announced that her "Favorite Things" episode is going to be "recession friendly" - no whacky HDTV refrigerators, or crazy-expensive gourmet cupcakes. According to press releases, Oprah's favorite favorite thing this year doesn't cost anything. What the heck could it be? A hug? A make out session with George Clooney?

I started thinking about things I love that are cheap or free. Here's my short list of favorite low-cost but fun things to give for gifts during the holidays.

1. Cookies in a little gift sack. Sure, cookie ingredients are expensive, but if you use a recipe that makes a billion cookies (Like the classic "Mrs. Fields' Chocolate Chip Cookies" which yields like 12 dozen) you've got yourself a pretty cheap pile of gifts to pass around. No, it won't work on your Mom or your boyfriend, but cookies are great to give to someone you work with or randomly know who expects a little something from you around the holidays.

2. A handmade wreath. What the hell are you going to give your grandma? Or your significant other's mom? Hellloooo handmade wreath. Hit the craft stores NOW to get cheap stuff to put on a grapevine wreath or hold of until the week after Christmas to make a nice winter wreath with all of the discounted gold and silver do-dads. You can give the homeowners whose house you go to for that New Years' Eve party a pretty wreath for their front door. I saw this wreath at a local craft store pre-made by the floral department. It cost $100 to buy ready-made. I found the grapevine wreath, similar do-dads to put on it and ribbon to make my own bow. Total cost for me (minus all of the swearing and labor when I make the bow) : $19.57.

3. A nice mix CD. Don't deny it... everyone still enjoys a good mix CD. Hit up one of the big box electronics stores the day after Thanksgiving for super cheap spindles of blank CDs. Last year when I was at Best Buy with my dad on Black Friday, I got a spindle of CDs for $3.99. Can't beat that!

Be creative. Think of things you like to get. You can't go to all of those holiday parties at peoples' houses empty handed, but you don't have to break the bank either!