Today I wanted to give you 21 practical ideas for Christmas gifts that are both frugal and meaningful. Sometimes frugal is equated with “cheap” but I don’t believe that is truly the intent behind low-cost gift-giving.

Due to our internet being down for five days, I haven’t been able to write as much as I’d like. This is the final post in our series “How to Create a Memorable Christmas on a Small Budget“! I hope you’ve enjoyed walking along with me on renewing our minds and refocusing this season.

As a family, we are trying to move away from getting dead-end gifts: those that will be used for a short time and then forgotten about and discarded.

Instead, we are trying to remain frugal at Christmas (so we can remain debt free) while also giving our children gifts that will bring us together, not just toys that split us apart into our own little corners. :)

frugal Christmas gifts that are meaningful

21 Frugal Christmas Gifts with Lasting Meaning

This gift list should give you some inspiration and ideas that you can use to bless the special people in your life this season in a frugal way!

Not all of them are “bare bones” ideas, but they are all suggestions that will actually be used and enjoyed for a long time–which is a great way to make the most of your budget!

There are some links to different products or tutorials that go along with the ideas. Have a very Merry Christmas!

1) Experience Gifts

This could be anything from purchasing a yearly zoo membership to taking a frugal trip to a local attraction. You can make up little cards to put in the kids’ stockings that tell them about and get them excited about their experience gift for the year!

Our children’s grandparents have given them money for t-ball or swim lessons (along with gifts they can open because grandparents like to do that too) ;)

2) Repurpose an old picture frame and make a memory board or jewelry holder.

picture frames with wire strung across and tiny clothes pins:

3) DIY Lego Table or Tray

Here’s a Lego tray you can make for as little as $5!

You can find another great Lego tray idea at The Handyman’s Daughter.

4) DIY Letter Artwork 

The photo below is from my friend Tiffany. She used some old buttons they found at her grandmother’s house to make these for her children and nieces/nephews!


This would also be a gift that kids can make for grandparents or other friends and family. Find an easy letter art tutorial at Day2Day Joys!

5) Easy No-Sew Fleece Blanket

We have several of these and they are such a great gift for a child, maybe to make for children in your community who do not normally receive gifts for Christmas!

Find a tutorial at Adventures of a DIY Mom

6) DIY iPad Display and Chalkboard

I made one for myself using scrap wood and stain I already had and use it constantly! Find the tutorial HERE.

DIY iPad Stand

7) Homemade Spice Rubs for Cooking

Homemade gifts are gifts I consider to have lasting meaning when they are truly useful and thoughtful!


7) Homemade Spice Rubs

8) Homemade Hot Cocoa 

9) DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice Sugar Scrubs

10) Homemade Bubble Bath

Find the homemade bubble bath recipe HERE. Combine with a couple of fun bath toys for your littlest ones!

11) Age-Appropriate Bible

There are many nice Bibles that can be found for a reasonable price, from children’s Bibles to adult Bibles that have great commentaries. This is definitely a gift with lasting meaning!

If you’re looking for a Children’s Storybook Bible , I’ve highlighted four kids’ story Bibles that we feel are worth purchasing. These are nice to use as a “collective” gift for everyone to enjoy!

12) Books!

They’re the perfect gift that lasts and they don’t have to be expensive! There are often holiday deals on Amazon or other online bookstores that you can make use of. Look for book orders through your child’s school and purchase paperback versions of the books advertised to keep it even more budget friendly.

I have lots of ideas for Christian families over in my Purposeful Mom Amazon store page! You can shop through my Amazon store page for any kind of books, like one of our favorites pictured below :)

13) Open-ended and collective toys

A large set of classic Legos, building blocks or Lincoln Logs can be a great way to encourage creativity and learn to work together with their siblings!

One year we found several boxes of Hot Wheels cars at a garage sale for a cheap price and our kids were thrilled! You don’t always have to buy new, it’s perfectly fine to buy toys that are “new to you” :)

14) Family Class

Why not enroll your family in a fun class that you can all do together? Pottery, painting and ice skating are just the start of ideas!

15) Cooking Class for Kids

Gift a cooking class to your budding chef! Check out the Kids Cook Real Food classes HERE! You can do these online cooking classes together to help your child build safe skills in the kitchen!

The Kids’ Baking Challenge is only $19, and this gift also helps you create memories with your kids.

16) Heirloom Cookbooks 

This is a great DIY project to preserve all the beautiful recipes from your mom, grandma or other loved ones!

You can order one for as little as $19.99 on the Create My Cookbook website or you can also make your own heirloom cookbook using ideas found in this blog post and this blog post.

17) Family and friends photo book for babies

My mom made one of these for each of my babies! You can make a very simple DIY version or you can order a pre-made book through Shutterfly or Snapfish. Now that there are lots of holiday sales going on on photo albums/photo books, this is a very frugal and meaningful idea.

18) Christmas Tea Towel

I love this Christmas themed Tea Towel that can be personalized with family names.

You can also get a custom tea towel with a favorite family recipe printed on it.

If you’re giving to someone who could use some Scriptural encouragement, check out these Scripture tea towels from The Daily Grace shop!

19) Audiobooks

 American Girl, Brinkman Family Adventures and Little House audiobooks are well loved by our kids ages 4, 7 and 9! Plus, it doesn’t create clutter.

20) Art supplies or craft supplies

Easy to purchase with coupons at stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Sometimes Amazon has great deals as well.

Combine it with a crafting book for a creative gift.

21) Pajamas

Quite often you can find pajamas on sale around Christmas time, we purchased a set of pajamas for each of our kids for $7.99 each. Something they love to find in a package or their stocking and keeps them cozy for many months (at least where we live the cold weather lasts many months!).

What about matching pajamas for your whole family?


Swedish Dish Cloths are my favorite gift for teachers, aunts, and friends that already seem to have everything! You can find them on Amazon or you can support a small business and buy some from Scandinavian North in Stillwater, MN!

MadeOn Hard Lotion bars, lip balms, and other body care products! Just three ingredients in these lotion bars that are perfect for the winter season and for those who do a lot of airplane travel (they are lotion and shampoo bars so no worries about liquids!).

Click HERE or the photo below to see all their products–my favorite is the Peppermint Lip Balm, I keep several on hand for gifting throughout the year!

What are your best ideas for frugal Christmas gifts that have lasting meaning?

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