When it comes to Christmas, you can never start too soon in preparing for the gift gathering. It's easy to give cash or just give gift cards. It's much more fun to put some genuine thought into gifts and save at the same time. There are so many inexpensive Christmas gift ideas if you think about it, why not save some money, rather then spend needlessly.
You can buy movie tickets in blocks so that you save more per ticket. These are great gifts because everyone loves to go to the movies. All you need is a nice card with them. You usually have to buy large amounts, a couple of hundred at a time. You will wind up paying around $4.00 or $5.00 per ticket. These are great last minute gifts as well as inexpensive Christmas gifts.
Baskets or bowls are great for themes. For instance, a nice big popcorn bowl with matching little bowls are great to use as an inexpensive Christmas gift when you fill it with microwave popcorn, some movie tickets or DVD rental movie gift cards. You could put candy or some kind of snack in with it. Wrap it in clear cellophane wrap with a bow and it looks fantastic.
A CD collection is always a good idea. Make sure you have a list of a few music artists that the person loves and then bargain shop on E-Bay and Amazon for those gift sets. You could also try to bargain shop local stores before Christmas to see if you can catch a sale for this type of item.
Family memberships are nice to give as a Christmas gift and it can wind up being less expensive then buying every person in the family. For instance, if the kids are young, you may want to give the family a zoo membership, or some other place that is family oriented toward young children.
For couples, you could give them a local art museum membership. These are yearly memberships whereas they can get in free whenever they want as members.
If you are crafty you could make homemade items. There are so many options in this area such as wreaths, candy or any useful or decorative craft that you can think of. This can save you a ton of cash and if you get the craft items you need on sale or wholesale, it can really save you money.
People love to have pictures of their family and friends. Try making a collage of some recent or throughout the year pictures of your family in a nice frame. If you're really crafty you can make your own photo album covering it with material and even add music to it. These albums are not hard to make and are very unique!
Make a big tray of homemade cookies or cookies and candies.
You don't have to make the candy yourself and it usually makes a great accent
on the tray if you buy colorfully wrapped candies. Buy decorative trays first
so you know how much you will have to make. Start making cookies early and put
them in tins to keep them fresh.This way it you can put them together right before the holiday. This takes some work but is a very inexpensive Christmas gift idea.