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Christmas Gift Basket Ideas

Christmas Gift Basket Ideas That Won't Break Your Bank

Need gift ideas for Christmas but don't want to spend a lot? Here are some gift basket tips from Tawra Kellam, author of Not Just Beans: Fifty Years of Frugal Family Favorites.

  • Buy items in sets and divide among baskets. Buy a four-pack of nail polish for four ladies baskets or buy packs of whistles or other party favors for the kids. Take individual popcorn, coffee or cocoa packets out of their boxes. They will fill the basket better.
  • Shop garage sales and thrift stores for baskets and other containers.
  • Dollar stores have lots of great inexpensive gift ideas. Browse!
  • Use cellophane bags to package your mixes. They are inexpensive when purchased at party stores or florists.
  • A gift can be as simple as tea bags in a tea cup tied with a pretty ribbon. A large soup mug and saucer with soup mix or a small glass bowl with some potpourri might also make a simple but nice gift.

Try making these specialty gift baskets:

Football Fan -- For teenage boys, brothers, fathers and brothers-in-law! Fill a large bowl purchased at the dollar store with candy bars, bags of microwave popcorn, sodas, chips, dips, a favorite football flag or hat and a calendar of game days.

Fisherman -- In a tackle box or fish bowl put hooks, bait, line, hot chocolate or sodas, trail mix, gloves, fishing magazines and a fish pillow.

Dog -- In a dog bowl, place a ball, old sock with a knot tied in it, dog bones, rawhides, a leash, a name tag and a brush. You might include a picture of a mailman with "the enemy" written on it.

Cat -- In a cat litter box, place a catnip toy, cat food, a poop scoop, a leash, a name tag and a little rubber mouse.

Car -- In a large bucket, place fuzzy dice, air freshener, wax, car wash, chamois ("shammy"), tire cleaner, a car trash can, a key ring, ice melter for cars and an ice scraper.

Baby Basket -- Spray paint a basket white and line it with a baby blanket or use a diaper bag. Fill with bibs, baby oil, baby lotion, baby powder, diaper ointment, a teething ring, burp cloths, wipes and a rattle.

Relaxing Basket -- Line a basket with a hand towel. Add a lavender candle, bath oil or bubble bath, bath salts, a favorite magazine or book, a poof and scented soap and a "Do Not Disturb" sign. (Make one out of a piece of cardboard.)

Coffee Lover -- In a basket, include flavored coffee packets, cinnamon sticks dipped in chocolate -- wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon -- cookie mix or cookies, flavored powdered creamer and a coffee cup.

Baker's Delight -- Line a large mixing bowl with a dish towel. Add cookie mixes, hot chocolate mixes, brownie mix, muffin mix, a package of walnuts, measuring cups and pot holders.

Ice Cream Lover -- Place tissue paper on the bottom of a basket. Add sundae dishes, an ice cream scoop, nuts, hot fudge sauce, butterscotch sauce, chocolate syrup, Maraschino cherries and a gift certificate for two half-gallons of ice cream.

Soup Basket -- In a basket, stock pot or bean crock add large soup mugs, seven-bean soup, cornbread mix, cookie mix and oyster crackers wrapped in cellophane bags and tied with a ribbon.

Nail Polish Basket -- In a pretty bucket or basket, add a variety of nail polish, emery boards, nail clippers, polish remover, cotton balls, hand cream, cuticle cream and a nail buffer.

Family Night -- In a large bowl, add a puzzle or game, popcorn, candy bars, soda, hot chocolate mix and mugs.

Fruit Basket -- Line a basket with tissue paper. Add apples, oranges, hot chocolate mix, various teas and dried fruits (like figs or raisins). Sprinkle nuts on top of everything.

Cookie Delight -- In a basket lined with tissue paper, add two cookie mixes in cellophane bags or jars tied with ribbons, Russian Tea (also in a cellophane bag or small jar tied with ribbon), cookie cutters, a teacup and two pot holders.

Chocolate Lover -- In a basket, add [Hot Chocolate Mix], brownie mix, chocolate peanut butter cookie mix, party mints, Mexican hot chocolate mix and a small package of marshmallows.

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