Shop thrifty this gifting season

Many people get frazzled when they’re unsure of what to get that certain family member or friend — especially when they can’t afford expensive gifts.

First, think about their interests and hobbies. If your brother enjoys Marvel films, perhaps go to Hobby Lobby and buy him a framed piece of art with Captain America proudly holding his shield. If you’re not sure what your female cousin enjoys, but you know she is always wearing makeup at every family gathering, check out Marshall’s for an inexpensive eyeshadow palette.

Maybe your friend is one of those people who always treat themselves, so it’s difficult to find a gift they haven’t already bought. That’s when one must get unique and creative. Creating a gift can be fun and cheap, if you know what you are doing. Try making a framed work that has your family’s names in a Scrabble format for your parents. Or make your own soap that is cinnamon scented and have them held in a Starbucks cup.

If you can splurge on someone special, possibly try to get them an experience. Buy your sister a ticket to see Shawn Mendes next year in Austin. Purchase a skydiving ticket for your uncle who is always talking about how fearless he is. To reiterate, this is only if you’re feeling extra generous.

A gift card, in my eyes, is a last resort gift, so ixnay that idea until you can’t think of anything else.

When your friend or family member already has everything they want and need, most likely the best gifts aren’t material at all. The real challenge isn’t in selecting the perfect present but finding a way to show your love and appreciation in other ways. It is the thought that counts: putting extra consideration into services, experiences and gifts that show you care, which are much more valuable than even the priciest item.

Think outside of the big box store and come up with a gift that is truly meaningful.

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