Between the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, the hour long post office wait to mail those packages and the everyday rythm of life, few people give thought to gift presentation. Gift presentation not only gives you gifts the epitome of the WOW factor when opening them, it can actually save you money... which I know crosses every gift givers mind!
Lets pretend for a minute we have a gift idea in mind for everyone on our list. Even the neighbors, and the school crossing guard. I know I feel cheap if I walk into the dollar store and buy a generic candle or christmas ornament to give as a gift to those folks in your life who you don't spend alot on. I also can't afford to go buy them each even a $10 coffee giftcard. Here's where presentation can make all the difference. I am a frequent Goodwill shopper, sometimes I just use it as my mommy time away from the kids. So as such, I'm always looking for neat containers, riboon scraps, and new items. I also stock up on ribbon and ornaments at the end of the season at Target.
Every year, we have a little gathering with neighbors and friends. Most of which we don't typically exchange gifts with.
However if I'm hosting, I'm giving- it's a personal rule. Again, I can't spend a small fortune and I don't want to come off cheap. Worst of all giving a gift that makes someone feel as if it was an after thought. This year, I wanted to put the gifts at the table settings, instead of chargers because we are doing drinks and appetizers instead of a full meal. I set a goal $3 or less for each of the guests gifts. With 5 couples, that was only $30- that's a number we can work with. Here are 3 of my $3 or below gifts, and their presntation that makes them feel very personalized.
For our Ohio State University fan down the street. I had a few new clearance ornaments, but I wanted to hang on to them because I still paid $3 a piece for them. So I was on the hunt, and once again Goodwill delivered with a new pack of OSU candy canes, the package was beat up and one was missing. It was only $1 and I was sold. Then moved on looking for an interesting way to display them. I came across a vintage tumbler with lime and emerald polka dots!!! For $.50 I knew I had a perfect combo of red and green for my concept. I tied a ribbon scrap loosely around the cup (after washing it of course), and tucked the canes in one at a time. I then eveny spread them around the glass. I tucked the silver thread hooks inside the cup and topped it with a cupcake wrapped in tissue paper.
Nobody will ever know what those candy canes looked like when I bought them.
Moving on to our newly wed couple, I decided I wanted ornaments for them to help build their christmas decoration stash. So I hit up my end of season clearance bin. I always leave my reciepts with the bags, so I know what I paid when using them as gifts. I had 2 identical frame ornaments and a houndstooth bear. Retail $2.99 and I got them for 90% off $.29 each. I wrote Mr. & Mrs. on a little piece of cardstock and a little note for them. Tucked the cardstock into the frames and nestled the bear in between. One of my favorite tricks in using a standard shirt box for a gift, is to lay the tissue paper in and cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit snuggly inside and place the gifts on top. This gift came in at under $1.50 and they never would have a clue!
My husbands best friend and his wife travel often, so I knew I wanted to find a way to play on that. I found an acrylic photo square for $1 at goodwill. I printed some travel photos of theirs from a social media website and filled the cube. Next I found a white paper mache house I bought for $1 at Pat Catans last season. I took a piece of cardstock and wrote a little note inside the front door, and place the cube inside. This gift was bulky and made a statement vs just placing the cube into a gift bag.
Simple changes in the way you present your gifts, allow you to purchase items from thirft stores and on clearance and make them one of a kind!
Thank you Amanda for your great ideas!