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"Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts."

- Janice Maeditere.

Thanksgiving is over, and now comes the dreaded Christmas shopping. I have friends who have bought all of their Christmas presents by July. I am not one of those people.

I agonize over what to get people. I first think about the person and what they like. After I have ideas, I look online and walk through stores. Once I decide on what I am going to do, I have fun. I do some of my shopping online and part in brick-and-mortar stores.

Before you can start shopping, you must come up with a budget. Then what do you do? You figure out how much you are going to allot each person. Then, the fun begins.

I love to shop!!!! However, I don't like shopping in crowds. I tend to get to stores when they first open, and fewer people are there. When I am very organized, I have a list (and yes, I have checked if the person is naughty or nice), and I "take care of business!"

Below are some suggestions to help you get started.

Budget-Friendly Gifts (Under $20):

• Customized photo mug or keychain.

• Scented candles.

• Handmade soap or bath bombs.

• A cozy blanket or throw.

• A pocket-sized notebook or journal.

• Baked goods or homemade treats.

• A potted plant or succulent.

• Puzzle or board game.

Moderate Budget Gifts ($20 - $50):

• A good book by their favorite author.

• Personalized calendar or photo book.

• Wireless phone charger.

• High-quality coffee or tea set.

• Stylish reusable shopping bags.

• Subscription to a streaming service or magazine.

• Bluetooth headphones or speakers.

• Craft beer or wine gift basket.

Generous Budget Gifts ($50 - $100):

• A fitness tracker or smartwatch.

• A gourmet cooking or baking kit.

• Spa or massage gift certificate.

• High-quality leather wallet or handbag.

• Designer perfume or cologne.

• Art supplies or a painting class.

• Personalized jewelry.

• Tickets to a concert or sporting event.

Splurge-Worthy Gifts ($100+):

• Luxury watch or jewelry.

• High-end electronics (e.g., tablet, smartphone).

• Weekend getaway or vacation package.

• Designer clothing or accessories.

• Kitchen gadgets like an espresso machine or stand mixer.

• Annual membership to a fitness club or spa.

• High-end camera or photography gear.

• Customized furniture or home decor.

DIY Gifts (Budget varies):

• Handmade knitted scarf or blanket.

• Customized photo album or scrapbook.

• Homemade gourmet food items (e.g., jams, sauces).

• Personalized artwork or crafts.

• A playlist of their favorite songs.

• Handwritten letters or a heartfelt poem.

• A jar filled with inspirational quotes.

• A homemade coupon book with favors or experiences.

Remember, the thought and effort you put into selecting and personalizing a gift can mean more than its price tag. Tailor your gift to the recipient's interests and preferences, and you'll make their Christmas special, regardless of your budget.

Have fun shopping!!

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