Gift suggestions needed.

Yesterday, my dad called and told me that he was bringing his family up to visit with us for Christmas. We are happy to have them, but I need gift suggestions. I am going through a tough time financily and each gift has to be under $5.00. These are the people I have to buy for.

My dad likes expensive electronic gadgets, they are his only hobby. He eats just about anything and drinks only coffee. Maybe some coffee mugs and coffee from Duncan Donuts ?

My step mother seems to do nothing, but clean her house. She can understand English, but does not speak it very well and I have no clue about what to give her. I make afghans and I might give her one of them.

My step sister is in her mid-twenties and has no interest in music or movies as far as I can tell. She works full time in an office and goes to school to become a nurse.

My step brother is the most difficult for me. He was 14 when we met and didn’t speak English at the time, so I guess he’s still really shy now, because he never says a word to anyone. He’s in his ealry twenties now nad goes to school, but I don’t know what he wants to do. He used to play soccer and guitar, but not anymore.

Any sugggestions ?


Where are your steps from? Maybe a touch of the old country would be really nice.

Prepaid phone cards are always nice. That way, they can call the folks back home, and you help defray the cost.

They are from Columbia originally.

Would a phone card calling from the U.S. to Columbia be worth it ? I don’t think they call Columbia much anymore. They’ve been in America for about 8 years now.

Now find out about Columbia Christmas traditions and maybe something will jump out at you.

Did you really say $5?
Why not get them a card and put the $2 change inside.

I would not get anything individual but instead make some a group gift of cookies for the family. You could make a huge batch for $10.

This is what I was going to say. If your budget is that tight, baked goods are going to be a much better gift than anything you could buy them. Everyone loves homemade cookies.

Or a dish that reminds them of home. Here are a couple of ideas that I found:

Go to one of the big bookstores (B&N, Borders, whatever) and dig through bargin books. I know where I work we have lovely coffee table books for under 10 bucks. Maybe you could get one of Columbia or South America. Get one and or two and bake cookies or breads or something. Egg nog cookies are a favorite of everyone I know, I can get you the recipe if you’d like.

gfloyd, that sounds delicious. I would love to get the recipie for egg nog cookies !

For the family member who’s attending nursing school, how about a nice pen?

Also, it’s Colombia.

Cookies in a jar are always nice, too. Of course, it’s kind of hard to find quart jars this time of year, but they’re nice and they’re cheap.

Do you have a fabric stash? If so, buy a bag of deer corn (in the sporting goods department) and make warming bags. I like to make them with an inner bag made of light cotton, then a removable outer bag of flannel or fleece. Hell, even if you don’t have a fabric stash, these are cheap, nice gifts. Buy a couple yards of whatever cotton is on clearance ($2/yd is easy to find, and sometimes you can find $1/yd–it’s generally fugly, but that doesn’t matter for the inside bag), then get some flannel or fleece. Enough fabric to make 4 of these is usually less than $10, both layers. A bag of deer corn is $5, and it will make a metric assload of these things. I like to put velcro on the outside bag so you can take it off and wash it, but a lot of people just sew it shut and have done with it. That might be a better option this year, as the velcro’s by far the priciest part of this project.

Salt dough ornaments are cheap and fairly easy. The year I was unemployed, I made these for most of my family. For people who had pets, I made little dogs and cats and painted them to look like that person’s pet. It was a lot of fun.

I also made some beaded dragonfly ornaments for the women in my family, and those were something ridiculous like $5/dozen. I can give you the pattern if you want. They take like twenty minutes to make, once you get the hang of it. And once you have the wire and beads, you can make napkin rings. Add in a package of earring hoops, and you can make some unique wine glass charms.