If you're looking for creative gifts that don't cost a lot of money or time, check out what I got my family for Christmas.

Being a lazy person, I am constantly asking myself: How can I put the least amount of effort into what I’m doing and still be successful?

Well, that applies to the holidays as well. I want to get nice things for my family and friends, but I don’t have a lot of money. And since I work two jobs, I don’t have a lot of time.

Maybe you’re in a similar boat. Here’s my list of what I got my friends and family for Christmas, while avoiding the mall and without making a huge dent in my bank account…

My boyfriend

My boyfriend is always hungry, so I thought about cooking him a homemade meal.

Then I realized how much effort that would require (grocery shopping! cooking! cleaning up!) and decided to get him a restaurant gift card instead.

Luckily, I’m a waitress, so I can get a discount on the card, and I plan on telling him to come use his gift card while I’m working so I can give him excellent, personalized service. Maybe I’ll even toss in a free drink or dessert — but don’t tell my manager.

Cost: $20

My dad

My dad is super religious, and while I’m not, I do appreciate the holiday efforts of certain Christian organizations that “gift” aid to those living in third-world countries.

World Vision is one of those organizations, and they’ve been given a rating of A- by the watchdog group CharityWatch, so you know your money is going to a good cause. Every year, they mail out a gift catalog where you can order things like a goat and two chickens for $100, or five fruit trees for $30, which will then be given to those in need across the world.

I know my dad will love this gift, since he always insists that I don’t get him anything. Plus, when I was a kid, my parents would give my brothers and me a certain amount of money each that we would get to spend on whatever we wanted on items in the catalog. This year, I’m choosing to give the gift of education for girls.

Cost: $70

My mom

My poor mother. Every year, she has to endure a slew of well-meaning gifts from my father (recent years have consisted of Bath and Body works gift baskets, a panini maker, and my all-time favorite: a leaf blower). And my siblings are all boys, so you can bet they aren’t the greatest in the mom-gift-giving department.

My mom absolutely loves gardening, but she lives in Ohio, where flowers really only bloom from May through September. So I’m making her a beach-themed terrarium that she can keep indoors in the winter (and also so she can constantly be reminded of what a fantastic daughter I am). I’m also tossing in a spa gift card, since my mom is always on her feet.

Cost: $20 (the terrarium is free with a bit of time invested) 

My 21-year-old brother

Last year I bought an Adventure Time T-shirt for Seth, and he wears it all the time. So this year I’m getting him a T-shirt from his other favorite TV show: Workaholics. This sweet T-shirt is $20, and since he also just turned 21, I’m gonna toss in a mini bottle of rum because I am an awesome big sister.

Cost: $20

My 18-year-old brother

Hustler and cigarettes! Just kidding — my brother Jared is practically an angel, so I won’t be getting him porn. But I do want to encourage him to apply to college, since he graduates from high school in May. So I’m going to buy him a gift card to the Apple store, in hopes that he uses it toward a Macbook, even though he will probably use it for baseball apps.

Cost: $20

My 15-year-old brother

I have no idea what 15-year-old boys like, so of course I texted Jared to find out what I should get Austin. This was his response: “Knives guns bows proly idk.” Okayyy then. Definitely planning to bring that knife set with me when I fly home for Christmas.

Not having  a lot to work with, I plan on getting him a Fartzooka, since it is literally impossible for a 15-year-old boy to not love farting, whether real or fake. (Doesn’t matter that it was listed on the 2014 Stupidest Gifts Guide. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.)

Cost: $10

And that’s it.

There. All my shopping’s done, and all it required was some clicking around and a walk on the beach. What hassle-free gifts are you giving this year?

Meet the Author

Jess Miller

Jess Miller


Miller is the former assistant editor of Debt.com.

Budgeting & Saving, Family

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Article last modified on February 2, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: How To Save Your Sanity (And Your Wallet) While Christmas Shopping - AMP.