Ring Those Bargains!

Hey, Sweet Things!

You know what I think would be such a blast? Let’s share ideas for gift giving! Reasonably priced. (Or the deal of the century???) Creative maybe. Or QUICK, definitely! Perhaps you could share your best “everybody/anybody” gift. In other words, have you stumbled on something this year (a CD, a book, a keepsake, etc.) that you’re giving lots of people on your list? Then, share the wealth! We could use some ideas around here. The thing I keep hearing from women is that they have a long list of loved ones and no earthly idea what to get them. I’m in that same boat with about a third of my list. Let’s get those creative juices flowing in Siestaville and help each other out over the next few weeks.

Let me give a little disclaimer as we get started. I’m not as up on all the Free Trade discussions and debates circling right now so I’ll need your mercy there and other Siestas might need it, too. Let’s trust each other’s hearts around here and assume that, if we suggest an item or a product that has a link to an unethical practice, we didn’t realize it. My thought this time around was just to give you an opportunity to share…


Girl, I do LOVE me some bargains. If I had more time, I’d honestly wear the stores out for the ultimate sale but, as it is, I just have to happen on it when I can. When I score a great buy, I leave the store as giddy as a bandit.

I’ll get us started with a bargain and I could almost get too tickled to type because I got it for my own self. Sometimes when I’m Christmas shopping, I am at a total loss what to get that person I’m browsing for. I’ll happen on something and think to myself, “I wonder if _______________ would like that?” And I’ll ponder it and ponder it and turn it this way and turn it that way. Then, I’ll answer my own self with, “I have no idea whether she’d like it or not but I know who would! Me!” I know. It’s terrible. Superficial. Almost unforgivable. I only do it about every five or six gifts though.

My most recent bout was about ten days ago at Burlington Coat Factory (where I did actually find a few real, live gifts that I’m giving to someone beside me). I snagged a pair of these:


Price tag? (Drum roll please)



And I’ve already worn them, let’s see, about 6 times and I’m not exaggerating. Before they tear up, they’ll be out of style so I call that a DEAL, Girlfriend. I call that a deal!

Okay, Siestas, tell us what you’re finding out there. And for decent prices! Remember, we have every age group represented here so maybe it’s the ultimate children’s gift or something great for in-laws. Maybe it’s food like a snack of some kind you can put in a cute Christmas tin. If someone’s told you, “Hey, that’s a great idea!” then we want to know about it! Help some Siestas out!

You’re so much fun to do community with, you guys. I can’t wait to look at your ideas! This will be a really fun one I think.

I love you like a mad woman.







480 Responses to “Ring Those Bargains!”

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  1. 1
    Jill Wondel says:

    Just thought I’d mention this great site that offers a list of tons of places to get gifts that give back – like buying crocheted hats that were made by women in Uganda to help support their families. Several fair trade shops made the list too! =) http://lopeztasha.blogspot.com/2011/10/gifts-for-good-cause-2011.html

  2. 2
    Jaclyn Rose says:

    I am a BARGAIN SHOPPER! I LOVE LOVE LOVE to find good deals.. almost as much as I love to give meaningful gifts. πŸ™‚ But I also live 90 miles from the closest mall so most of my shopping must be done online. I follow blogs like http://www.commonsensewithmoney.com and get a lot of the deals listed. It’s great because there are all kinds of coupons and bargain ideas in once central location. Today I got a Crayola Doodle Penguin and a Little Tykes Travel Activity Center for 15.97.. That’s two niece presents in one! πŸ™‚ I also use a lot of Groupons and get vouchers to buy gifts. Also, I shop a lot with Amazon.. I signed up for Amazon mom so I get free 2 day Amazon Prime Shipping. Lastly, my 2 year old man is a HUGE Thomas the Train fan and I found a website, http://www.trainsgalore.com that has great deals on Thomas, along with Dinosaur Train and Melissa and Doug trains and well, any type of train toy you could want. Check it out if you have a little train lover. Merry Christmas!

  3. 3
    Casi says:

    Now that my daughter is in intermediate school, she has 8-10 teachers per year so last year I found the perfect inexpensive – but darn cute – gift. They’re notepads that are in the shape of an apple. A 3D apple so you’re tearing off a wedge each time. They also have pears and each is only $5.


    • 3.1
      Beth says:

      Yes! Teacher gifts! I so remember that and now Amanda’s in that season. Great idea!

      • Terri-Ann Gawthroupe says:

        In the area of teacher gifts, my mother (an elementary school teacher) was at a school where the children could give money to the school library, which would then buy books in the student’s name for their teacher. A little sticker went in the front of the book to note who the gift was to/from. Then, in the New Year, during library time, the teacher would show the class the books for their teacher. While my mother appreciated the lovely gifts her students would give, she loved it much more when the money went toward the library. (This can be organized by the teachers or the PTA)

  4. 4
    amybhill says:

    i love YOU like a mad woman. giving gifts is so personal to me – i’m having a hard time with the anybody/everybody gift. but if it is a gift for a woman- i think every woman would love a gift from Women at Risk: http://www.warinternational.com/store/ the quality/bargain of the items is amazing. i got a freshwater pearl necklace (valued at $1,000) for $65. i’m dead serious. and the mission of women at risk is to unite and educate women and children in areas of human trafficking and sexual slavery. seriously check it out. our church just hosted a christmas brunch for them and raised over $5,000 – so exciting!!!

    ps- starting james study jan 4 (CANNOT wait)!!!

    • 4.1
      Christine Rhodes says:

      Thank you for recommending this website! Everything is absolutely adorable! And I love the cause behind this website! So inspiring. I’m pretty sure I just did most of my Christmas shopping here.

  5. 5
    Marina says:

    I’ve been buying copies of _For Women Only_ by Shuanti Feldhahn for just about every woman I know that hasn’t yet read (and re-read and re-read!) that book. I’ve learned SO much practical information about being a wife & a woman, I can’t help but want to share with EVERYONE! But bargain option, I’ve found, is through Amazon… lots of brand-new copies out there in their marketplace for cheap! It’s a great book! In my top 5 of life changers! πŸ™‚

    • 5.1

      That book IS amazing. I love that it’s not just opinion (which, of course, can be great too) but concrete surveying. The facts are the facts. I get that book for just about every young bride I know! πŸ˜‰

  6. 6
    To Know Him says:

    I am giving several of my friends the movie/DVD “The Nativity Story”. Yes it is a movie that came out awhile ago, but I think it is one that you can watch every Christmas… The best deal I have found is at Family Christian stores for $5.00 πŸ™‚

    • 6.1
      Moongirl says:

      I LOVE this movie and have given it to lots at Christmas too! A GREAT gift. And a great family tradition now!!

    • 6.2
      Christina says:

      My family loves this movie!!! First thing on Christmas morning, before the kids even go out to look at the tree and presents, they crawl into bed with us and we snuggle up to watch it. We then pray together as a family and then go out to open presents. They are 13, 11 & 7 and they say this is their favorite part of Christmas.

  7. 7
    Dana says:

    I am thrilled at seeing this post! I, too, have been struggling with what to get my family this year. However, a friend of mine has a young daughter who is very creative and loves to draw and such. I saw a commercial last night for a ‘worldofudraw’ and no I didn’t make a mistake typing that! πŸ™‚ So, I checked it out on line and it connects to a gaming system like PS3 or Wii and you can draw pictures and send them to your computer and print them or you can get pictures like Disney princesses and colors those AND get games like Pictionary and play them with this thing! I am so excited. I’ve mentioned it to several co-workers and we’re all thrilled! And to top it off, it is 50 bucks! I thought it would be more expensive.

    I can’t wait to hear what y’all come up with because I need some ideas as well.

    Thanks, Beth, for another wonderful idea.

    Merry Christmas!

  8. 8
    Cathy says:

    Yaktrax are going to be a favorite of mine this year. Also, I have 4 nieces and 1 nephew – my brother’s children. I have no children of my own. My mother passed away almost 12 years ago and this year I am giving each of the kids 1 or 2 things that belonged to my mother (their grandmother)as a keepsake.

  9. 9
    Anna says:

    Mudlove.com has great bracelets and necklaces for teenagers and college students. The bands have words like “faith” and “believe” along with many others. They are $5 each, and every five dollars goes gives an African child clean water for a year through their website. They also have cute t-shirts. I bought them for all my girlfriends!

    • 9.1
      sheila says:

      I’m going to check this out for my daughters, I love this idea!

    • 9.2
      Karen says:

      This a great website. I went there right after I read your comment and ordered 3 bracelets! Such an awesome ministry! Thanks for sharing this!

    • 9.3
      Patty says:

      I just went over to the Mudlove site. I am buying “Blessed” necklaces for all the women in my Bible study. Thanks for the idea!

  10. 10
    Pat says:

    Hey Siestas…..If you have any book lovers on your list, I recommend “The Waiting Place” by Eileen Button. It is a book on the thoughts of the author as she is in certain phases of her life. These are thought provoking as well as funny. I bought 3 of them and of course one was for me! I found mine on Amazon for about $10.

  11. 11
    Colleen says:

    The nice lady in charge of the kitchen at church gave me a whole lot of frozen squash. I’m going to use it in a pumpkin yeast bread recipe, adding raisins and cinnamon. Yum.
    It’s been a year of house repair emergencies, so this will be a budget-y Christmas. Sooo, it’s home-made bread for my bffs!

  12. 12
    Christi says:

    oooooo…what fun!

    On the economical side, I’ve gotten pretty creative with gifts or pieces of gifts I can get at Michaels, Joanns, Hobby Lobby, etc. who always have 40-60% off coupons in the paper or in emails.

    On the meaningful side, I love Eternal Threads and Ten Thousand Villages. Meaningful gifts people love to receive that help women around the world provide for their families.

  13. 13
    Elizabeth says:

    I can’t believe I’m admitting this.

    One of my friends made her own laundry detergent. So, I made some, too. Then, I thought…this would be a great gift! So, I made some for my mom and sister.

    I put it in a cute tin with a bow and tied a coffee scooper to it (because the coffee scooper has a long handle and measures 1 TBSP).

    Here’s the recipe:
    1 bar Ivory soap
    1 c. borax
    1 c. washing soda (find it on the laundry aisle)

    Grate the Ivory Soap
    Mix in the borax and washing soda until it looks like regular powdered detergent.

    I used my food processor for all of the steps (grater for the Ivory soap then blade to mix it together) and it was E.A.S.Y.

    Only use 1 Tbsp. per load AND you can use it in the high efficiency washers.

    My mom and sis will either laugh or appreciate it immensely…probably both.

  14. 14
    Corrie says:

    What a great idea, and man am I in need of ideas. And quick….can you say in-laws Christmas this weekend?

  15. 15
    Tammy says:

    The gift I’m raving about this year,(bought 3 as gifts and 1 for us) is the Panini sandwich griller…..AWESOME!!!!! We have used it almost daily. Great recipes from paninihappy.com It is made by Cuisenart and at Bed Bath & Beyond….good price.

    • 15.1
      Bobbie says:

      We love our panini grilled, just used it for lunch today! Imagination is key to a yummy panini! Great gift!

  16. 16
    moongirl says:

    Ok, first. I LOVE those boots and am sad we dont’ have a burlington coat factory here in Bismarck, ND. I’m a boots girl!

    Second, FLAT IRONS on amazon!!! You can get professional ones WAY marked down… like the Chi or the HS1. Do a quick search and you’ll find them for $59 to I think it was $79!!! There is no manufacturers warranty… But I figure that if the first one broke down, and you had to buy a second, you’d still pay less for two than the one with the warranty! I’ve had mine for months now and no problems… and it’s changed my (hair) life!! πŸ˜€

    Second, I am actually an illustrator, and I have really great prices on 365 illustrations (I did one a day for a year last year!!). They are just $4.99 and include children’s art but also lots you could hang anywhere in the house! AND now I’m selling CUSTOM illustrations of your FAMILIES!! Completely custom!! For a very affordable price too!! It was an amazing journey how God lead me to do all of this….. http://www.oohmoon.com and http://www.oohmoon.com/happy-family I’m on a break for December (after a year of literally only one day off, so click on the “shop” to see all the illustrations)

    Thanks Beth for this post! Can’t wait to hear all the deals!!

    p.s. Just finished the updated David. A-Mazing!! And did Believing God last summer… completely CHANGED my life!!

    • 16.1
      Laura K in SD says:

      Last year I gave out small gifts bags of double-chocolate peppermint bark. My family loved it!! It is an easy recipe, and tastes as good as the fancy stuff that costs much more. Main ingredients include one 12-ounce bag of white choc chips, one 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet choc chips, and 1/2 cup of broken candy canes. Here’s a good recipe.


      I added a few drops of peppermint flavoring to the dark chocolate for extra flavor and 2 tsp of vegetable oil to the white chocolate to help it spread. I also found a box of broken candy canes at the local drug store for a reduced price, making it even more of a bargain! One batch made enough for 5 or 6 small gift bags.

    • 16.2

      Thanks so much for the heads-up on finding Chi flat irons on Amazon! I’ve been looking for one. Will check that out!

  17. 17
    Lauren says:

    Okay…I’m a teacher, and I’ll let you in on the secret. Two words: Gift Cards!! (Or is that supposed to be one word??) It’s what we love most. Even $5 to Starbucks is FANTASTIC!!! I know it’s not crafty, but I’m telling you…..we love them. πŸ™‚

    • 17.1
      moongirl says:

      I’m SOoo glad you said this!! PERFECT!! And EASY!! THANKS!!

    • 17.2
      Donna says:

      My sister’s a teacher and she echos the gift cards. Starbucks, gas station/quick shop.

      I also became the favorite aunt a few years ago when I started doing gift cards for kids. They LOVE to shop for what they want and use it on after Christmas sales thus doubling what they can get!

    • 17.3
      kimberly mason says:

      can you believe they made a law against that this year in alabama! that’s what we all used to give – giftcards! but the law states that the teachers can actually get in some real trouble if they accept anything that is not consumable! what is a parent to give?

    • 17.4
      Ann says:

      I am a teacher, too! Yes, it’s true. Gift cards are the way to go for teachers.

      As for a great little bargain: I just found notepads at Shutterfly. I think they were $11.99. Really great for almost anybody. You can put up to 5 pictures on one pad.

      Merry Christmas!

    • 17.5
      Renee says:

      Amen on the gift cards for teachers! It’s not that we don’t appreciate all the coffee mugs and candles … we just can’t use them! And it truly is not about the cost … as Lauren said above, even a $5 is a treat!

      My daughter wanted a camera this year, but I wasn’t about to invest a huge amount of money. A friend introduced me to bhphotovideo.com. They have a whole section of used equipment (not just cameras … all kinds of things!) and I was able to find a great deal.

    • 17.6
      Laura K in SD says:

      I second that! I’m a piano teacher, and my favorite gift is a Starbuck’s gift card. My precious little piano students provide me with enough cards to have free lattes for several months a year!

    • 17.7
      Lauren says:

      Starbucks and Panera are my FAVORITE giftcards to get. Makes it easy to stop for breakfast on my way in to work early in the mornings. And I always say a little “thank you” in my head to whoever blessed me with breakfast that day! πŸ™‚ Plus, my cabinet is teeming with mugs…..Fellow teachers — I know you feel my pain! πŸ˜‰

    • 17.8
      sue says:

      very great with teachers! we don’t have a starbucks, but love sonic sweet tea and a gift card would be great!!

    • 17.9
      Jana says:

      I’m a teacher too and you are right! Gift cards are an amazing gift!!!!

    • 17.10
      Jean says:

      Glad to know this! Was thinking about that today.

  18. 18
    D Walker says:

    I haven’t done this yet, but I like the idea of making my own cookbook through a photography website like Snapfish. You could make some of the dishes and take pictures to go with the recipes. If you limit yourself to just a few of your very favorites, or most popular, I think you could get pretty, bound books that look like you bought them at the bookstore. Great gift for young brides, recent graduates, family members, etc.

  19. 19
    Karen says:

    I have taught elementary school for *gasp* 26years now. I have had so many interesting and thoughtful gifts over the years. Honestly, my favorite thing to receive is a heartfelt note from a child or parent telling something they have appreciated. A little encouragement goes a long way AND it’s free. Kids who don’t have money always look so sad that they have nothing to give. (You all would write amazing notes!)

    • 19.1
      Fran McCurry Plott says:

      Amen to the thoughtful words of affirmation and appreciation!! Priceless gift!! I was a teacher for 36 years, and still have my sweet notes.

    • 19.2
      Susan C. says:

      This is nice, Karen. Thanks for reminding me that a written message from the heart is worth more than any gift.

    • 19.3
      Jill says:

      One of my friends teaches junior high English. The kids leave notes on her chalkboard that are so precious and heartfelt. You are right; so many kids don’t have money to give a gift so a note is a way to show their love and appreciation.
      My friend stages contests and games throughout the year to make learning fun. She does sometimes cringe at the spelling. My favorite being, β€œ TIE BRAKER TAMAROW!!”

  20. 20
    Tara G. says:

    We live in Eastern Europe, so many of my gifts have come from little shops here. Years ago, however, we got this lovely Christmas memories album- it’s scrapbooking in 5 minutes, and we’ve enjoyed having it out each year (we were also given the anniversary one). I’ve used this company before and have always been satisfied. http://www.exposuresonline.com/ExposuresOnline/Shopping/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=0000143497&ICMP=Search&SourceCode=40620000000&mr:trackingCode=CD72CD4D-CDB9-DE11-93DB-0019B9C043EB&mr:referralID=NA

  21. 21
    Rosie says:

    Hi, I am going to be a 1st time Grandma this coming year!!!!! can not wait, but so is a friend of mine. I gave her an inexpensive ornamnent that says something about grandmas and she was thrilled. When Iam on a budget a journal and pen are usually inexpensive but you can write something special in the cover that will mean alot to the person you are giving it to. This gift is also good for any age.
    Love the boots!!
    Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and many wonderful blessings for the coming year.
    Love you, Rosie

  22. 22
    Kristin L. says:

    I was just at Bed, Bath & Beyond today and they had the coolest selection of Tervis tumblers! If y’all haven’t used them – they’re the best for hot or cold drinks! And they are a great gift for men or women – and they have some kids designs in smaller sizes this year! I bought our whole family some personalized ones several years ago and everyone loved them! Oh and if you’re in the south and have Belk, they had some leopard print ones!!! Love, love, love animal print stuff, but I resisted (just in case Santa knew I would love one)! ;o)) Happy shopping and a blessed Christmas everyone!

  23. 23
    Kim says:

    Really cool – Toms Shoes. For every pair you buy, they give a pair to a child in need. May not be the greatest bargain, but very cool anyway.

    Also, I try to do my on-line shopping through Ebates. You get money back! And it actually does work. I have gotten more than one check and then send them like they say they will. If you aren’t familiar, check it out. You buy through you regular stores and their respective websites. No gimmicks.

    Can’t wait to read the other comments. I need a handful of good ideas before Monday morning!

    • 23.1
      Beth says:

      Yes! Toms! Great idea.

      • Laura J says:

        Lovingly want you to be aware of the controversy…check it out at focusonthefamily.com

        • Shannon says:

          More significant than the Focus controversy, to my mind, are the development experts who have criticized programs like Toms because they decimate local industry in places that need it most. Giving shoes for free means you kill local industry–the people who make shoes, sell shoes, etc. It’s a kind impulse that’s not well implemented and hurts more than it helps.

          As you consider your charitable giving this year, please look for programs that focus on sustainable giving and growth and that have local leadership rather than importing Americans into developing nations to give them what we think they need rather than what they know they need. A lot of experts, including Texas in Africa (who comments on this blog and has a blog of her own) have written about this.

    • 23.2
      Bobbie says:

      Toms were on both my 13 YO granddaughter’s list and my 25 YO niece’s list! Another great idea.

      • Andrea Bishop, Arkansas says:

        I am not sure if you know this…. but if you wear a 7 in womens… you can wear a 5 or 5 and 1/2 in youth… and they are cheaper… Just found this out a couple of weekends ago… I love my TOMS!!!

  24. 24
    theHarborMom says:

    Lands End has their open top medium totes for $12 today (12/8). That is a SCREAMIN’ deal! I’ll take one in every color, please.

  25. 25

    Now I do love a bargain. I’ve gotten some good Cyber Monday sales this year and Santa has been pretty successful in keeping a reasonable handle on the gifts for the girls. Especially since Santa decided that since Baby Jesus was given 3 gifts, he would bring my girls 3 gifts each. Sanity control at its finest.

    My all-time favorite bargain finding tool is the Coupon Sherpa app for the iPhone. It has coupons to lots of stores and the coupons can be used directly from your phone (I used a 40% off for Hobby Lobby today!) by scanning the barcode directly on your phone or by entering the code on the coupon. I have had the app for a couple of years and have never had a problem using it at any store. They will also specify if the app is good for an outlet store or not – and they’re very strict about that.

    Can’t wait to read these responses!!!


  26. 26
    sharon says:

    I ordered three copies of JESUS CALLING Devotional by Sarah Young from Christian Book Distributors. Midweek special @ $7.99 each.my biggest deal will be for my daughter who has thick, coarse hair. Our hair salon had our Christmas party and I won the Chi hair care system, shampoo, conditioner, spray in treatment, and serum for flat ironing. My hair is fine, I can’t use it and my daughter loves the product.Retail price about $100.00, gift price:FREE

  27. 27
    Jill says:

    I am making my girlfriends homemade cards! You know like with scrapbook paper and embelishing them. Who can’t use cards?! πŸ™‚ Then my most favorite places to shop for bargains are TJ Max, Marshall’s and Tuesday Mornings! πŸ™‚ Best of Luck shopping…and I hope you all have a blessed Christmas!!!

  28. 28
    Patty says:

    Amazon is where I buy most of my gifts. Today they have tons of toy deals.

    Also, BradsDeals dot com has awesome deals on anything and everything. Just use the codes he gives and you get incredible discounts. For ex: Bedding right now for 17.00 (king or queen) and 12.00 for twin after using his code.

    Vera Bradley purses are also discounted on his website. His site also provides links and deals to all the stores. Toys, digital frames,etc….

    Merry Christmas and Happy shopping Siestas!!

  29. 29
    Karen D says:

    I would suggest this website.


    They “bring hope to women who have been victims of sexual abuse and trafficking.”

    I have purchased 5 bookmarks and a necklace with my eye on a charm bracelet. The prices are perfect and the money is going to support a great ministry.

  30. 30
    Karen D says:

    P.S. I am not affiliated with Eden Ministries in anyway.

  31. 31


    On strips of paper, handwrite or type out memories about a special someone–a friend or a family member, whoever the gift is for. The memories can be funny, serious and everything in between. Purchase a glass jar, vase or other decorative container and fill it with the memories!

    One year for my mom I actually came up with 365 memories, one for each day of the new year! Of course she didn’t wait and we pulled out many of them Christmas day to read and reminisce together. Of course, you don’t have to fill the jar with that many, even 30-50 paper strips fill up a jar nicely.

    It’s a most meaningful gift and inexpensive too!!

    • 31.1
    • 31.2
      Amanda says:

      My husband did this for me one year from my kids and himself! 365 things we love about you! He included strips of paper (color coded) and each color represented something I am…wife, mother, etc. so I would know who came up with the memory/thought/etc. he put it in a glass jar and my kids painted the outside of the jar. it was priceless!!!! Best gift every and lots of time went into it!!!

    • 31.3
      Hilary says:

      I am totally doing this for my parents!!! Great idea!!!!

    • 31.4
      bp says:

      Oh I love this! I was trying to think of something like this to do for my parents. One year I gave them each a journal and a jar full of questions….I found it on a website, it was questions about their childhood, favorites, opinions, etc. I asked them to pull out a question and answer it in the journal and then give me back the journal the next year. Such a treasure now to me to have this in their own handwriting.

    • 31.5
      Karen says:

      O, I love this.

    • 31.6
      Maureen says:

      That’s the greatest.

  32. 32
    Betty M says:

    Hey! Beth and Belovd Siesta’s!
    I thought I hit on a marvelous idea one year when our finances were tight-er! The concept is as old as the hills and should’ve worked but did not! Why? My macho farmer/rancher/ lineman guys just could not grasp the concept! Grin! It is a macho guy thing!!!
    Anyway, I gave the gift of time!!! No not a Timex watch! I gave the one son a gift certificate to his fav restaurant and promised to take him along out to lunch when I was in town one day. That worked! To my rancher/lineman son I gave a piece of western tack (You know, stuff you put on a horse)! and promised to ride with him some day to help work cattle. He worked the cattle one day when I was gone! My hubby I got movie tickets and said let’s go to the movies some night! They are still here! My daughter I gave tickets to LPM in Eden Prairie last May and we had a blast! We shopped till we dropped too afterwards!!! So all in all it was not a total flop but everyone loves it when you carve out some time to spend with them so it could work!
    If I know exactly what I want, I shop E Bay alot. I get great buys there. I bought Bible Land (Like Candy Land) for my Sunday School preschoolers and Bible-opoly for the older ones this year. I ordered them on line as well. I am not too much for fighting crowds to shop. I like to go to the mall when I can sort of relax and watch the family dynamics going on around me!! There is alot of that at Christmas time!!!
    My daughter learned to knit this year and is knitting socks for the guys but is running into a time crunch with that idea. I have a feeling one sock is gona be longer than the other for at least one of the guys!!!! Hope this helps! Love and Hugs from the Heartland, Betty M

  33. 33
    Amity Chase says:

    Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Wonderful devotional, usually under $10.
    And living in Alaska, a calendar of local pictures is a cheap favorite, especially since I know several people who wish they could visit. Our newspaper puts out a great one every year.
    Teacher gifts are usually a loaf of cinnamon chip from Great Harvest Bread Company. I figure food can be taken home to a hungry family or left in the breakroom, though I doubt that happens to Great Harvest bread!
    Looking forward to getting some more ideas!

    • 33.1
      Maureen says:

      Great Harvest Bread has the absolute BEST cinnamon rolls!! And you’re right…great gift idea!!

    • 33.2
      Lilly says:

      Oh, my! You must be from the Anchorage area! We, the frozen chosen of Fairbanks have to drive a LONG ways for that Great Harvest Bread, but I AMEN that idea!

  34. 34
    Mindy, Granger, IN says:

    I have to admit that Christmas shopping stresses me out. I have 3 teenage daughters and I usually just go shopping with them and let them pick out what they want and then wrap it.

    At the age of 48 I just got my ears pierced this summer so I am loving earrings!! Of course earrings lead to bracelets and then necklaces then… Our church supports missionaries that work with an orphanage and single moms. They too (like other sites mentioned above) help the women make jewelry to earn money. Their short necklaces, with homemade beads, start at $12. My hubby surprised me and bought me 2 after the missionaries shared their story:) Their website is http://backtoafrica.myshopify.com/

    • 34.1

      I don’t know how old your teens are but “Sisterfreaks” by Rebecca St.James
      was really powerful for a teen I know, and also
      some books like “She said Yes”, “Rachel’s Tears”, and
      also that teen magazine looking bible:)

    • 34.2
      Faith Gibson says:

      Hi Mindy!

      Thanks SO much for mentioning us, and I’m so glad to hear that you like your jewelry. I happened to notice online orders from the Living Proof website today, and just had to investigate. We are SO blessed to get to do what we do, and so appreciate you helping get the word out about Back to Africa and our parent organization, Heart of the Bride Ministries (www.heartofthebride.org). I am so excited to get to go again in January, and I’ll send your greetings!
      God Bless and Merry Christmas!

    • 34.3
      Faith Gibson says:

      PS: Got to go to the Living Proof conference in Pensacola last weekend. Philemon – it was wonderful! Such an encouragement.

  35. 35
    Johanna says:

    Target has these great coupons right now on their web-site; you print them out yourself. They are good for a $10 giftcard with $50 purchase. So I’ve used a couple of these coupons to buy the things I’d be buying at Target anyhow — last time I went, I bought $50 worth of socks for my teen son (because socks are disposal for teen boys), lotion, shampoo, etc, and came away with a $10 giftcard.


    I am saving these $10 giftcards and they are the Sunday School teacher gifts for my kids to give this year. It’s kind of like getting free gifts for the teachers while buying the stuff I’d buy anyhow.


    • 35.1
      Tina Harrell says:

      Thanks Johanna! I shop at Target ALL the time and needed to make a $60 purchase there today. Yay…you’ve saved me $10. Just printed the coupon.

  36. 36
    Anonymous says:

    We give Chick-fil-A calendars to ALL our teachers, coaches, hairstylists, etc. Each month has a great offer to get something free. Through the year, we’ll hear “Thanks for the fries I got today with my calendar coupon!”

    Plenty of teachers have thanked us for not giving them another mug or “World’s Best Teacher” magnet ; )

  37. 37
    Another Beth says:

    The BEST gift we’ve given our family is scaling back on the number of gifts we give/get. With the great blessings our family and nation enjoy, we decided to give more money to missions and ministries. It took some convincing to make relatives understand that we really didn’t want/need to exchange gifts between each person…or at every holiday gathering. Our holiday season is much more peaceful now ; )

  38. 38
    Christy Youngblood says:

    Try this very easy recipe for a delicious and easy to wrap gift: Pop 2 bags of microwave popcorn and pour it in a big pot. Sprinkle a bag of dried cranberries over that. Melt 1 bag of white chocolate chips in the microwave and stir over the popcorn. Dump it on wax paper and spread it out to dry. Then put it in those little sparkly $1 chinese take-out boxes at Target or those cute little cellophane bags with a bow and pass it around. Everyone will thank you for it!

    • 38.1
      Maureen says:

      Yum! I’ve made the same recipe but added a cup of mixed nuts (I’m a nutaholic)!! Sooo good and a hit to bring to parties!!

  39. 39
    Kimberly says:

    I wish I was computer savy and was able to post a link directly to the web page… but I can’t. ( c :
    One of the sweetest gifts I have ever received and one that I have given time and time again is that of a sketch drawn by Katherine Brown which shows Jesus holding a lamb. It is very simple and yet so powerful. You can buy the card size for $3 dollars or the larger one for $6. Hobby Lobby has all their frames on sale for 50%. The end product is a gift that costs approximately 10 dollars and can be a visual reminder of Him for people in all steps of their present journey. If you google Katherine Brown and look for the Heaven Bound site… that is where you will find the cheapest price.

    Merry Christmas Fellow Siestas!


  40. 40

    I honestly am hopeless when it comes to creative gift giving, but I am good at spotting something I just know is the perfect gift for certain people I dearly love! The only problem is, at the moment and for all 14 years of my marriage I’ve not had the money to buy anything until right before Christmas and honestly to give my family a decent Christmas I’ve had to shop at thrift stores. There was a time in my life that I would have NEVER done that! Way too proud! And I was amazed at what wonderful thinngs people give to thrift stores. We have one that is a local ministry called the Hope Center and the wonderful Christians who live here sometimes actually buy brand new items just to give to the Hope Center, so people like me can get great Christmas presents for our kids without breaking the bank!!! And, we also only get gifts for our kids. Some years Josh and I have even agreed not to get each other anything, only the kids! I hear that he’s already gotten me something this year. My daughter tells me he has it hidden in his office and I’m going to love it!

    By the way, I’m told that I’m probably good at spotting good gifts because my love language is receiving gifts. We often speak the language that most speaks to us better than the other love languages! Actually, I have two love languages. The other one is words of affirmation, so add a card telling me how wonderful I am and my love tank is full!!!! I tease my husband that I’m easy and he’s HARD! He also has two love languages and his are acts of service and physical touch! I have to work ALL day to fill his love tank, cause basically that means I need to keep the house spotless, have dinner on the table, and after all that, still have enough energy left for you know what!!! All he has to do is buy me a card telling me how wonderful I am and he’s done! Five minutes!!! And then he can just take a nap or whatever! Okay, fine, he has to go to work, cause Lord knows my love language requires money!!!!

  41. 41
    Heather Joy says:

    I am making a lot of my gifts this year. I am NOT an extremely crafty person but pinterest.com has helped give me ideas. Two things that I am doing that are extremely cheap are these:
    1. buy a canvas. I got 2 for $4 at Hobby Lobby. You can get them at any craft store. Take a piece of white tissue paper. Cut it to the size of printer paper. Take the tissue paper to the printer paper and print a picture on your home printer. Let it dry. You should see the picture on your tissue paper. Remove the printer paper from the back. Brush Mod Podge on the canvas then carefully lay the tissue paper picture on the canvas. I use my fingers to press down from the center to the outside. You are done! It looks like you had the pictures professionally printed on a canvas. Best part? It only costs $2!
    2. Do the same thing with tiles to make coasters! I bought small tiles at Home Depot for 39 cents each (get white). Do a group of four with a picture of them. Wrap it up in cute ribbon and again, the gift costs about 1.20 for a group of four coasters. You can even glue felt to the back of them.
    They both make great personalized gifts!

  42. 42
    Bobbie says:

    One of my favorite gifts to give is The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook-I love to share it and her children’s book ‘Charlie The Ranch Dog’. Our daughter is a pre-school teacher and her class loved it this year! Both are available on Amazon. It also makes a great housewarming gift! Can’t wait for her new book to come out! Also, Beth I have given several of your ‘Feathers From My Nest’. Wonderful read. Thanks for asking this question, I do need some new ideas!

  43. 43
    suepowell says:

    Felix-Doolittle; LOVE THE NAME… has small purse mirrors with beautiful painted scenes on round ceramic discs.. TOO SWEET!

  44. 44
    Brooke says:

    Every link on this site is to a family or ministry who is raising funds for adoption and/or orphan care. Win for the giver / win for the recipient / win for orphans!


  45. 45
    Cindy says:

    For your family and friends who journal you need to check out http://www.papersunday.com for personalized scripture journals. They come in several different colors and designs and make unique gifts. They also have other great gift ideas!

  46. 46
    Sweet Anonymous says:

    When I’m looking for a special gift for someone I will go to Things Remembered and buy them a pretty heart box, a clock, a mug, etc. and have their name or/and a special saying/verse engraved on it. It’s always a big hit. One thing I’m thinking of doing for a friend is giving 75 dollars to Vision World in their name. 75 dollars pays for a goat in another country and gives it to a family in need and the family can use the goat for milk and also be able to make money off the goat milk they can sell.

  47. 47
    Kathy says:

    I give ornaments each year to great nieces and nephews as well as friends and God children- after decades, it is amazing what a collection they have and I love that they might think of me and my love for them over the years-

  48. 48
    Denise says:

    For a quick and easy recipe, try this Oreo Bark recipe that Ann Voskamp recently shared the link for- delicious! Thanks for this post- I’m enjoying seeing all of the great ideas!

  49. 49
    Janean says:

    I have given a number of families the Table Topics, Family edition. I love the idea of helping busy families connect at the dinner table or at bedtime. We enjoy them as a family too πŸ™‚ From Amazon product description: Questions specially designed to engage kids in the art of conversation. Perfect for mealtime or bedtime, use it every day. Fun mix of age appropriate questions range from silly to thought-provoking and encourage up-building conversation between parents and kids. Learn something new about your kids and even yourself. 4-inch acrylic cube with 135 questions. $24.99


  50. 50
    Sister Lynn says:

    Hi Beth,

    Hope its okay to put a plug in for our online gift shop -http://www.monasterycreations.com/
    all these items are hand made by our sisters. They help support our life of prayer AND they are really high quality fabulous gifts at very reasonable prices!
    My personal favorites:
    Herbal Salve – really helps heal rashes, cuts etc.
    Premium All Natural Handmade Soap – Frankincense and Myrrh fragrance – Perfect for Christmas!
    Sugar Creme Scrub – Grapefruit Lily is my fave – leave rough skin super soft!
    Enjoy!! blessings – S. Lynn


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