Christmas Gifts on a Budget
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!“
You said that right! As the season of giving inches closer every day, most Filipinos are frantically preparing items, gifts, and surprises they can provide their loved ones this Christmas. Before you go hysterical and pre-order random, hit-or-miss gifts that are beyond your budget, read this article that is sure to save the day with a few personal gift ideas that are sure to have your favorite people in tears (happy tears, of course!) and still keep your pockets full. So, blast that Mariah Carey song and prepare your shopping carts as we embark on this worry-free, thoughtful yet uncomplicated gift list!
Personalized photo albums
Everyone loves good pictures and good memories. And luckily, Photobook PH understands that the best. I recall needing a birthday gift for my father, but for someone who provides my allowance and has most of the things he dreamed of buying, it proved more challenging to come up with a gift that I know would rock his socks off. Thus, as I scrolled through the internet one late night, I encountered Photobook PH and a few items they have. Initially, it may seem costly to have a customized album created (mainly since Photobook’s printing quarters are located abroad). Still, as I dived deeper, they had tons of vouchers, add-on-deals, and items that were highly budget-friendly. I even ended up purchasing a voucher for 1 piso! The coupon creates a 4×4 20 pages customized album printed from your design and shipped right to your door. Sounds fantastic, right? Now, If you’re worried about the quality and design, feel free to activate your creative mode as they provide the best quality and don’t tweak any of your work.
That’s right! Anything you send to Photobook, they’ll be sure to print out, and they’ll even render your photos to give them better clarity. Just be sure to attach your designed photo album to their website, input a few needed information, attach the voucher code and shipping fee, then you’re good to go! Not only do you have an affordable gift, but now, your special memories are tangibly produced for your special person to view every time they miss you.
Price: PHP 1-600 (depending on voucher and sale)
Purchase site: Lazada, Shopee and Photobook PH website
Time to prepare: 2-3 weeks
A night light can brighten up your room…literally! Jokes aside, night lights are great aesthetically pleasing gifts, easy to find, and above all, show how well you know your loved one. It ranges from your minimal night light that scatters fragments of multicolored dots to a soft glow 3d illusion lamp featuring their favorite character.
You can find it through online stores like Shopee and Lazada, and if you live abroad, this gift is an excellent option as it’s sold on Amazon, Alibaba, and other sites that you can assuredly reach. It’s budget-friendly as it mostly ranges from 300-500 pesos. Not too bad for a gift that will stay on their desks, bookshelves, and bedside tables for a long, long time.
The best part is the designs have multiple options. If your loved one is an anime fan, I can guarantee they’ll love this present. Type in the character’s name, add night light, and you’ll be sure to find it in no time. You know what they say, “lights will guide you home.” And a night light is undoubtedly going to guide you into their hearts.
Price: PHP 300-500 (depending on store and sale)
Purchase site: Lazada, Shopee, Amazon, Alibaba, etc.
Time to prepare: 1-2 weeks
Baked homemade goodies
Yum! Now, this sounds like a delicious gift. Homemade goodies are great choices to give to your friends, family, and colleagues during the Christmas season, especially since they “dessert” the “berry” best! Aside from being a present you have one hundred percent control over, you can also design the packaging in the aesthetic you know your loved ones will adore. Moreover, with the suitable recipes and right ingredients, it’s a perfect combination of “on-the-budget” yet personalized gifting.
What’s also great about this idea is that your choices can range from all kinds of sweets and desserts. Starting with the classic chocolate chip cookies, to sweet banana loaf, all the way to a Christmas funnel cake! You can even go for the beloved dulce de leche or perhaps, mango bravo if you have spare time to learn.
Food is perfect for gift-giving, particularly intimate events, family gatherings, or a friendly Christmas dinner. If your cherished person likes the fancier things in life, this present will certainly make them smile as it’s suitable for older ages and works for those with savory tastes. I mean, charcuterie boards are all the rage right now!
It’s slightly costly compared to the others mentioned above; nevertheless, its presentation and various appetizers make it worthwhile. You could either purchase them online or make one of your own. It’s a fun way of putting your present together while customizing it to the receiver’s tastes. Suppose you’re thinking about making your board. In that case, it usually consists of several cured meat, cheese, chocolates, nuts, and fruits but, you can adjust it to the availability of your ingredients and materials.
Though it was a struggle hiding the ingredients, my mother cherished it. The board, utensils, ingredients, and flavored sparkling water cost less than 1,000 to complete. You can run to your newest grocery store for ingredients or visit SÄNTIS Delicatessen for extensive food options. Paired with sparkling water, a bottle of wine, and a cute board to finalize your decoration, it truly feels like you’re having an elegant tea time gathering.
Price: PHP 900 – 5,000 (depending on ingredients, decoration, and materials)
Purchase site: Online, grocery stores, deli shops, etc.
Time to prepare: 1-3 hours (depending on design)
All I want for Christmas is…
You! Yes, you! This Christmas, we may be so busy with our personal lives, school, and work that we forget actually to spend time with those we value. Though gifts and presents are an awesome way to express your love, sometimes, what they truly want is your attention, time, and presence.
More than your attendance cost-free, it’s worthwhile. Seeing your loved ones smile, laugh, eat, and celebrate together can be the most priceless thing you give to them and to yourself. It’s the memories we make that truly matter this gift-giving season. Sentiments aside, try your best to give those old friends a call, attend your family dinner. Or maybe set up a date with your special someone.
No matter how you plan the dinners, dates, and celebrations for those dear to you, what’s important is that you are there. In the words of the best Christmas idol of all time- Mariah Carey, “I don’t want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need… make my wish come true, all I want for Christmas is you.”
And that concludes our article for Christmas on a budget! This year, release your creativity in surprising your family, friends, associates, and partners without compromising your funds. So now that you have a few ideas on what to purchase, enjoy the nearing of December by preparing early gifts, getting in touch with your “faves” and forging memories that will get you through the cold, hard months, and perhaps, your entire life.
Photos Courtesy of Jet Sevilla & Shaira Briones
If you’re worried about the recipes, Pinterest has got you covered! Thankfully, the site has tons of simple techniques that you can follow through. Personally, I love baking air fryer cookies since it’s simpler furthermore, painless to clean. If you’re interested, feel free to click this link.
Nevertheless, whatever choice you make, as long as it’s baked with sincerity (and extra added sugar), it’s sure to be appreciated!
Price: PHP 200 – 1, 200 (depending on ingredients, decoration and materials)
Purchase site: Online, grocery stores, baking stores, etc.
Time to prepare: 2 hours to a day (depending on dessert)