5 Last-minute DIY Christmas Gifts That Won’t Break the Bank

We have presents that will please -- for a great price!

5-last-minute-giftsThe holidays are an incredibly busy and overwhelming time for everyone. So, it’s perfectly natural to get a little tired of Christmas shopping and fighting off the crowds at the mall. Your wallet is probably starting to look a little bare, but you still have those last few people on your list. Here are some of my best ideas for last-minute gifts which cost about $20 and will make anyone happy.

  1. For the foodie in your life — There are so many easy-to-make snacks out there that look great when packaged in a mason jar and tied with a nice ribbon. Puppy Chow and Chex Mix are my favorites during the holidays. One is salty, the other is sweet — and when given together they are the perfect combination! Puppy Chow comes in a variety of flavors, like red velvet, peanut butter/chocolate and peppermint bark. This website features 24 different ways of making this delicious treat. As for Chex Mix, there are dozens of recipes out there, all using the same basic ingredients with different spice mixtures. This recipe is a winner in my book. If you want to get a little adventurous, instead of the Worcestershire sauce this recipe calls for, try adding ranch dressing mix or taco seasoning for a different flavor!

  2. For an extra dose of Christmas spirit — Hot chocolate kits! I’ve been seeing dozens of ways to create these all over the Internet, and I can’t get enough of them. Everyone enjoys this chocolaty beverage, but some just pour in the hot water and are done with it. There’s so much more to add to your hot cocoa! My mother, who is a teacher, received one of these kits from a student that included crushed candy canes. Now, I can’t drink my hot cocoa without them. I recommend this incredibly creative way to assemble a kit with a few extra twists, and a very cute packaging trick.

  3. For the woman (or man) who loves to be pampered — Bath scrubbing salts are a great way to keep your skin exfoliated and avoid feeling dry during the harsh winter months. Not to mention, they smell amazing. What woman doesn’t want a lovely bath product to wash away the stress of the holidays? And why not make a little extra for yourself? Added bonus: Your kitchen will feature tantalizing aromas! Try these recipes for lavender-vanilla, citrus and oatmeal honey sugar salt scrubs.

  4. For the gentlemen — Sometimes gifts for guys are hard, especially if you’re shopping at the last minute. I gave it my best shot with these DIYs that will please all types of men. If he likes to grill (or eat grilled food) try this Magic BBQ Rub. Whether he’s doing the cooking or not, his mouth will be watering. If you’re tuned into his flavor pallet, try switching out ingredients: truffle salt for regular salt; curry powder for cayenne. These simple switches will personalize the spice mix! And for the man who likes to stay well groomed (they’re out there!) try a homemade shaving cream. He can use this one for special occasions and will smell extra nice for the holidays. Added bonus: The ingredients are all natural! So, if your man likes to be green, this is perfect.

  5. For your neighbors or any family on your list — Gift buckets are an easy and inexpensive way to let someone know you’re thinking of them. This especially works well if you’re giving to a group of people rather than one. Gather into a tin or bucket all the things needed for a great movie night, including the feature film and popcorn. How about a gift bucket for a relaxing day at home: a scented candle, a few face masks and some delicious tea. This website has a couple more creative ideas, including a Christmas Baking Kit and a Winter Cold Survival Kit!

Now that I’ve covered everyone on your list, finish up your shopping and enjoy the reactions you get when giving any of these gifts. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Alexandra Horne

Alexandra is a student at Fordham University and will receive her degree in English this May. She hopes to go to culinary school at some point in her life, while also continuing to write. She is a New Hampshire native, and even though big city life is great, she really believes there is no place like home.