Photo: Perpetual Kid
Are you one of the millions of Americans who are taking a conservative approach to gift giving this holiday season?Me too! And you know what? We aren’t alone.
The National Retail Federation’s holiday spending survey found that over 52% of holiday shoppers are scaling back on their holiday shopping for 2012, with most citing the economy as the main factor.
According to NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay, “More than half of Americans this holiday season will feel the impact of the economy and will compensate by doing what they’ve been doing for several years – looking for ways to cut any corners, comparative shop online and in stores more often, and even planning to travel less or not at all,” stated Shay.
Despite the recent shift towards better spending habits, consumers still plan on spending a good chunk of change on the holidays. According to NRF’s holiday consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, the average consumer will spend $749.51 this holiday season, with gifts accounting for the largest portion of that figure.
That’s a lot of candy canes!
To all my dear family, friends, colleagues, and Secret Santa/White Elephant gift exchange recipients: I am not spending $750 on the holidays this year. In fact, I’m shooting for a figure more like $150.
I know how hard it is to stay on budget, especially during this time of year. It’s even harder to find holiday gifts that are unique, thoughtful, and inexpensive.
But, just because you are on a tight budget, doesn’t mean you have to go the predictable gift card route or risk cutting your fingertip off making a felt flower brooch for your sister-in-law (true story).
I’ve scoured the earth (ok, the Internet) high and low, and here are 10 awesome holiday gifts that are $10 and under.
These fair trade, organic specialty caramels come in holiday flavours like gingersnap with milk chocolate (a peppery molasses caramel) and apple cider in dark chocolate (a fresh apple cider reduction and mulling spices).
These totes feature fun state facts that have been translated into illustrations. State bird? Local delicacies? World-record-breaking pie eaters? Yup, they're all here--on a sturdy canvas designed to be taken everywhere (12 state designs available).
Bamboo is a grass that grows to a harvestable height of 60 feet in 3 to 5 years. It has an extensive root system that continually develops new shoots (thus, not requiring replanting) making it an incredible self-renewing resource and a brilliant alternative to the wide spread clear cutting of our world's hard wood forests.
Not only will you look good while brushing those pearly whites, but this ultra sleek, biodegradable toothbrush gives back, too. When you order a Bogobrush, the same toothbrush is sent to one of the more than 80 million of Americans without access to adequate dental care.
Just four dollars buys you two bookmarks with still life images and art on both sides. This is a perfect small gift for the book (or feather) lover in your life.
High-tech meets low tech and the coolest accessory for the smartphone was born. Squish it against the back of any device with a smooth hard surface, sit back and smile.
This little helper holds your tea bag while it steeps and traps the heat in the cup in the process. After the tea has steeped, lift and squeeze excess tea from the bag. Turn it over and it holds your used tea bag.