Three Easy, Cheap and Practical Christmas Gift Ideas

Making a list and checking it twice can be both challenging and expensive during Christmas time. In an effort to save money and be able to give a token of appreciation to extended family, friends and work colleagues I found myself planning Christmas gifts a year in advance and looking at practical Christmas gift ideas.


Second to Christmas day, my most favorite day is December 26. This is the day EVERYTHING Christmas goes on SALE! Getting up early in the morning, making myself a cup of peppermint flavored coffee and running out the door to my local supercenter is the ritual I have fallen into year after year.

The only area negatively affected by this process has been our garage space. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind, positive economic impact and additional time I have gained during the busy holiday season. Below are some ideas to consider for your pre-holiday shopping list:

The gift of not cleaning

Holiday paper goods make for an economic and practical gift. Let’s face it, cleaning is most of the time the hardest part of hosting a party. Right after the holidays, everything in the seasonal paper goods aisle is 50%-70% off. You can buy a beautiful pack of dinner and dessert plates with matching napkins for as low as $2.00 for everything. If you are feeling fancy, you can use a holiday ribbon and neatly gift wrap it. If not, and you are in a rush (like me) you can put it all in a holiday gift bag. Both bags and ribbons are on sale the day after Christmas. I have bought ribbon as low as .25 cents. Not only is this an inexpensive gift but also a useful one.

Kitchen Gifts

One of my favorite go-to gifts are holiday themed kitchen towels, potholders, and oven mitts. You can find these on sale the day after Christmas anywhere from $1.50 – $3.00 a set. Throw those bad boys in a bag and call it a day! I like to give this gift at the very beginning of the season so people can make the most of them. 

Christmas Tree Ornaments

I am a sucker for Christmas tree ornaments. After the holidays, there are fun and different ornaments that go on red-hot sale. SPOILER ALERT: Last season I found some cute holiday-themed glass storage jars with clamp lids for $1.00. Inside of them, I put some funky tree ornaments I found for .50 cents each. To keep it festive, I am buying candy canes from the dollar store to include inside the jar. 


The best gifts are the useful ones. I have found these are the gifts people are the most appreciative of. Happy 26th of December!!! 

Helen Pastrana was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She completed her undergrad degree at the University of Central Florida in Psychology and received her master’s degree in Human Resource Development from Villanova University. She has been married to her husband Chris for 9 years. They have two very energetic and handsome boys; ages 4 (Noah) and 5 (Christian). They have been living in the Tampa Bay area since 2014 and are always searching for fun places and things to do. Helen is a full-time mommy and full-time employee for a professional services firm. She believes you can have your cake and eat it too; this is why she is a big proponent of work-life balance. Helen is a Gemini and in true Gemini fashion, she has an eclectic array of interests and is open to everything and anything. GAME ON!