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Obligatory but Awesome Christmas Gift Post

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The annual Christmas gift ideas post by Crystal, perfect for nerdy friends!

I’m one of those people who sincerely enjoy the gift giving part of Christmas.   I bask in the hunt to find gifts for my loved ones that they’d truly use and enjoy.  The sticking point is that means finding gifts for 25-30 people, generally on a budget of $400-$500.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas this year for $20 or less…

My Funny Gift Winner

Here’s a $10-$15 funny wine glass sure to make anybody laugh.

Personalized Movie Night or Book Baskets – ALL the Details

I put together these sorts of gift baskets for people who are picky or already buy what they want.  All you need to do is pay attention to what sort of movies or books they enjoy.  Then find something in that genre for sale.

For example, action movie fans may like R.E.D. and it’s on sale right now on Amazon (Dec. 12, 2016) for less than $4 for the DVD or $10 for the Blu-ray.  If they enjoy heist movies / con movies, Inside Man is one of our absolute faves and is on sale for $6 DVD or $10 Blu-Ray too.  And comedies like Mrs. Doubtfire are $4-$9.

For books, get them started on my favorite, police procedural/romantic suspense with Naked in Death for $6, the very first in the Eve Dallas series.  It takes place a few decades in the future and has some awesome character interactions as well as murder cases that need to be solved.

Or you can go with another one of my favorites, one of Stephen King’s fantasy novels, The Eyes of the Dragon for $10 (Very Good Condition used copies).  It’s an excellent good versus evil story set in times with kings, princes, an evil magician, and people intelligent enough to stick with you for decades.

Then go to a Dollar Tree (or the equivalent cheap store in your area) and pick out the following:

  • $1 – A large bowl/basket/container that will hold the movie/book and treats.
  • $2 – Two movie-sized candy boxes or little bags of their favorite treats. I usually stick with two from the following list – Raisinettes, Whoppers, Skittles, Hot Tamales, Sour Patch Kids, and/or Mini-Oreos in those to-go cups.
  • $1 – Box of two or three microwaveable popcorn bags.
  • $1 – Tissue paper or shredded, crinkly stuff from the party section to use as filler beneath all of your awesomness
  • $1 – large Christmas or birthday bag that you can wrap around the completed gift basket

For less than $20, you can put together a night of entertainment that anybody would appreciate, and it would looks like an amazing gift as well.  I’ve used this idea twice on hard-to-please guys and they LOVED it.

Fast Finds

When you don’t have time for thinking too much, here are some gifts that you can pick up quickly.

  • Medley of scratch off lottery tickets.  You can even provide a special scratch-off pen for $6!
  • Pet lovers gift bag at the Dollar Tree or Walmart with several pet toys, treats, and a pet calendar or pet playing cards.
  • Save a photo of yourself on a flash drive or send one in online to have it printed nearly instantly at a CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, etc for less than a $1 all the way up to $10 depending on the size.  Then place in an inexpensive but nice frame that you found online or at the same CVS, Walgreens, etc.  This is great for significant others, parents, or grandparents.

Last tip – you can find cool $1 bags and tissue paper to wrap whatever you buy at Dollar Tree or any other dollar store around you.

Overall, gift giving doesn’t need to be a headache.  Let me know if any of these ideas work for you!


FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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7 thoughts on “Obligatory but Awesome Christmas Gift Post

  1. @MB, we get some for my in-laws stockings every year now. Watching them scratch them off like little kids in a candy store is just fun. 🙂

    @ESI, Thank You! I was pretty proud of myself on that one…

  2. @Revanche, I loved that one too! It’s almost as awesome as my flask that says “I don’t get drunk, I get AWESOME”

    @Mustard Seed Money, I agree! Scratch-off tickets were always the most popular gift for people at my old office job too.

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