Please help with gift idea under $10 for lady

lexi7November 29, 2008

A ladies organization that I belong to is meeting for a Christmas meal and present exchange. We are not supposed to spend over $10 on the gift. The ladies range in age from 20 to 70. We are going to draw names when we get there. A few ladies are diabetic so no box of candy. Others have allergies so nothing scented. They say not to bring jewelry because everybody has their own style. Last year some left unhappy with their gift. I am really thinking of not going, but my name will be mud if I do not. Do any of you have a gift suggestion?

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I'd suggest a gift certificate for a store (even a grocery store) commonly used or a popular restaurant. With these limitations and not knowing who you're buying for, they really put you in a bad position! If they all drive, gas cards would be good too.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 4:18PM
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1. tote bag
2. calendar/appointment book
3. cookbook
4. mug/s with mulling spices
5. kitchen mit or strainer filled with pasta, a pasta server, spices or makings for a pasta sauce
6. I give everyone I know hand-knitted dishrags
7. I've painted a rustic (elongated) snowman on the top portion of long cinnamon sticks (approx. 5-6 inches long, or so). You can use Q-tips and acrylic craft paint. Used a raggy-frayed piece of cotton cloth for his scarf (about 1/2" wide and 4" long) - tied all the way around the cinnamon stick (a bit of glue in the back will keep it in place), and use them for swizzle sticks for holiday "drinks", along with a set of mugs.

Check out the link below for a lot more great ideas. I love Tip Nut... -Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Tip Nut

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 4:35PM
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gas card
store card
movie certificate
...definitely something consumable.

The last thing I personally need is another little knick-knack or kitchen thing that does not match my decor or my needs. Those get immediately packed for the Thrift Shop.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 4:48PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I think a gift card would be best too but if you don't want to do that here is an idea:
A bag of pistachios - last year I bought 2 pound burlap (gift wrapped with bow) bags of pistachios at the grocery store. I gave this to a lot of people. Nearly everyone seemed really pleased with this gift. It cost 10 exactly and looked like it cost a lot more. Or, a glass gift jar of 1 pound of pistachios-do it yourself. Or pecans.

Another item: some gorgeous pasta from a gourmet shop. The bags I've seen run around ten. Or a jar of honey and a wooden stir stick.

Sorry Grainlady, but I would regift nearly every item you listed.Maybe I would keep the pasta but that's it.

Whatever you do, make the item fancy/luxury: something from a cooking shop, not Walmart.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 5:08PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

How about a set of Amaryllis bulbs from Wal-Mart, basic pot $5, more decorated pot is $10. Another idea would be an herb pot from the grocery store.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 5:22PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I think those amaryllis bulb pots are great! And an herb pot! I love both those ideas. If you get the amaryllis, look for ones that already have the shoot coming out.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 6:13PM
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Be careful about gift certificates, what with so many stores going out of business these days. Certainly one from a large, well-established store would be good.

I like to make gift baskets. During the summer I buy pretty baskets at garage sales for around fifty cents to a dollar each. Then I fill the basket with something built around a theme -- a pack of recipes and some of the ingredients called for in them, or different kinds of teas and a pretty tea cup, or seeds and some small garden tools. Other times it's something as simple as several different kinds of fruit from the grocery store, or a batch of freshly-baked cookies. Sometimes a couple of loaves of home made bread and some home made jam. I guess candles are out since they don't want anything scented. Maybe a pretty calendar for next year, a package of matching envelopes and paper, some stamps? So I realize you probably don't have any baskets around by this time of year. Even an old Easter basket would do if it was in good shape. You can always spray paint it. Hobby Lobby sometimes has sales on their baskets this time of year. Oh, and they have shrink wrap for baskets, around a dollar or two.

It's hard to provide a gift for someone you don't know. In that situation, someone will always go home unhappy, although it's pretty rude to show that, isn't it? Sometimes you can approach someone who knows that person a little better than you and get some ideas of what she likes.

Good luck! --Ilene

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 8:12AM
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I just looked at Tip Nut, Grainlady. There are some cute ideas there. It just occurred to me if there were no baskets available, a tote bag could be made. Or a nice sized, square-ish cardboard box could be covered with some pretty wrapping paper (with the top flaps removed or folded into the box, and this would make a nice substitute for a basket, as well.

I especially liked the bed caddy and the magazine bowl.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 8:32AM
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Thank you all very much for the many good suggestions and the wonderful link. I won't say which idea I plan to use, but I like them all very much.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 10:48AM
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You already have your idea, but I'll post this in case anyone else is looking for something. My local grocery sometimes has really nice florals for less than $10. I bought a poinsetta there last year. It is still healthy. I liked theirs because they always do something special like using spray glitter on the leaves.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 11:50AM
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Hi Lexi7,
What about a magazine subscription?
Magazines are begging for new subscribers and many have half-off specials all the time.
Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, any of the Reiman magazines, i.e. Country Living, etc.
And I'm talking $10.00 or less. I love getting magazine subscriptions. Look forward to the new issue every month.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 10:45PM
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Magazines can be good, but you have to know WHO you are buying for.

This is a gift exchange and the ages run from 20 to 70. What would appeal to a 20 year old would sorely disappoint a senior... and vice versa.

Also they might either already get that mag or hate it entirely (like me with any 'country' stuff... yuck!).


    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 8:01AM
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In our area, some of the school kids go door to door selling stuff for their fund raising projects. One of them has subscriptions for $12. When you buy those, you get a voucher for each magazine you paid for that you fill out with what magazine you want and mail in, and your subscription starts soon after. These would be useful for any age because they could pick whatever they want. ALTHOUGH.... I have a couple of 'little old lady friends' that I gave these to and they thought they were going to have to send a check with it and so they THREW THEM AWAY!!!!!!!! Even though it said "Prepaid" clearly all over the voucher! So if you give these, be sure to include a note that says that they're already paid for and all they have to do is pick what they want and send it in. I do understand there are some prepaid magazine offers that are scams. I've never had any trouble with the ones I buy from the school. And it's probably too late to get them now. If you want to do this next year, you could call your local school and see if any of their money-making projects include these. --Ilene

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 8:38AM
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I have a great gift that I give to all my teachers. There is a website that is called and there is a "dip stick" which is a premade dip mix in a straw like container that you just add to 8oz of sour cream to make a dip. There is 7 or 8 different kinds of dips,and everyone loves chips and dip. They are only $2.25 a piece so I usually buy 2 or 3 and tie them together with a little red and green curling ribbon for gifts. I've gotten really good responses from the people I've given them to.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 9:49AM
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I hope nobody takes this personal or gets offended. Food was mentioned as a gift for teachers on several sites that I visited. My best friend teaches and she tells me that all teachers, no matter how much they express delight in a food gift, always discard the gift. They cannot take the chance. Even the brightest and best students have been known to display shocking passive aggressive behavior. A teacher in her school sent a trusted student to the bathroom to fill up her coffee pot with water from the sink. Another student caught the girl dipping the water from the toilet.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 10:25AM
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Guess it is a regional thing.. because the teachers here LOVE homemade goodies.

They rave and brag to other teachers what they received. There is sharing in the teacher's lounge. They ask for the recipes.
WAY better than another mug or apple-themed doo-dads.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 12:40PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

What about a package of note cards, with no preprinted message, and if they aren't too expensive, some postage stamps to bring it up to $10? I use them occasionally and they are nice to have on hand to write a brief personal note.
Beware of getting any that are square as opposed to rectangular, as square ones require additional postage.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 1:09PM
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I wish the whole 'gift exchange' thing would go by the wayside. Discussion boards are always filled with the question "What should I buy? What should I buy?!?!" Nobody ever knows what to buy and the dollar amount is always so low.

I've attended a few of these gift exchanges and also heard others speak of them. There are always people who feel they got gypped - that the mystery giver did not spend the suggested amount. A lot of things are obviously re-gifted junk received at previous gift exchanges and people notice. Most of the things given are useless tchotckies that end up at Goodwill. Or baked goods that end up straight into the garbage. Or archaic, out of date items that nobody uses now days.

It is impossible to give a meaningful gift to a stranger not knowing their tastes or needs. The generic gifts that are passed around at gift exchanges nobody appreciates. Just getting together with friends or co-workers should bring enough joy. Skip the gift exchange.

OK. Now flame me. I can take it. I won't get mad.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 1:32PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I agree with you so much dilly. But, I host a gift exchange each year at a Christmas party for the women of our church and it is a blast! It's a white elephant; bring an item that is nice but you no longer need or a new item that cost at least $5.
We draw names and as each persons name is called they pick a wrapped item from under the tree or someone else's opened present. I have never gotten anything I want but I love doing it each year because it's fun. Some of the presents are nice...I usually wrap up several presents of 2 pump soaps from Bath and Body works for those who want to participate but didn't bring a present. So, at least I give something half way decent!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 1:49PM
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We have exchanged gifts and usually it is a white elephant type, or something that can be used during the holidays - like decorated oven mitts. Often we drew numbers and the next number could take a new gift and keep it or exchange with one of the previous taken gifts - no gifts were unwrapped; or sometimes they were unwrapped and that made it fun because it seems that 3 or 4 would always be passed around and around.

Personally I would like to see it change to bringing canned goods for our local shelter and just have a great party.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 3:04PM
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Dilly, you won't get any flames from me.

Gift exchanges with people you hardly know is just another complication to an already busy, stressful time. Our family's birthdays mostly hit between September and January. And the January one is mine. So by the time we hit my birthday, I'm crabby as all get-out and not in the mood for one more event.

I did go to one where we exchanged Christmas ornaments and that was fun.

But there's always the person who feels like they got the fuzzy side of the lollypop and that ruins it for everyone, embarrasses the person who bought the gift in question.

I see nothing wrong with just getting together for cookies and coffee. The gift thing is overdone. In these times when $10 could buy someone enough to eat for more than a day, it does seem a shame for us to be wasting our money on stuff that's going to end up at someone's garage sale, priced 'way below what it cost in the first place.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 3:42PM
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