So, I got this great find for my sister and I wanted to share it with my frugal readers.
My sister always has cold feet in the winter. We are country living folk up here in Wisconsin and my sister lives in a 100-year-old-house with a wood stove in the living room for heat. Needless to say her house is really charming, really rustic and really, really cold. Wool socks are a staple for her but so are good movies on the couch. That being said, when I was walking through the local thrift store the other day, I spied this foot warmer/massager thing. It was not in the package, but it looks brand new and it was only $2.00, so I grabbed it up and started brainstorming as to how I could make this little thing special for Christmas. As you can see, it's just a super soft plush pad with pockets for your feet. It plugs in and there is heat and massage settings on the side.
It's a shame that isn't a pair of slippers right? Man...
Anyway. My sister has a TON of trouble with her feet in general. When she was little she had to wear special shoes because she was pigeon toed, but nothing else was done for her other than shoes, so at the end of the day, her feet hurt. I was thinking of packing the "foot pockets" of this little find with foot soothing stuff. I live for the dollar store and while I'm not the craziest about the actual bath and body lotions, soaps, etc. I do see microfiber towels, bath pillows, and roller massagers on occasion which can be nice for little things like this. I chose a roller foot massager and a pair of cotton hydration socks (you put them over your feet after lotion to keep them soft), a callus remover and some pedicure supplies. I then made her some peppermint foot oil which is sweet almond oil and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil. If you do not have the supplies for this, it's okay. This is just a little something I have on hand so it really costs me nothing extra. You can also pick up a small jar of unfragranced Eucerine cream (or any vanishing cream-no fragrance) and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil for a creamier foot lotion without the expense of making your own base.
You can also add a few chocolates, or, since my sister is a movie buff and would be using this for movie nights, I added a DVD and a cute jar with popcorn kernels to pop up.
The whole gift cost me $15.00, but that is because I already had the stuff to make the foot oil and creams (the DVD was $10.00). You can buy some nice foot creams from the store for $2-$5.00 a tube, or you can buy the vanishing cream for $4.00 and the peppermint essential oil for $10.00 (not scented oil-but essential oils that can be used on skin is very expensive). PLEASE do not use scented oils for anything topical. Those are for home fragrance purposes only and are not made for skin. They are much cheaper though, and can be used for an entirely different gift at another time.
Do not be afraid to look outside of the retail circuit for your Christmas giving. There are some beautiful gifts to be found that can be given in little gift baskets with other things, or, with a little refurbishing, can be made into useful new objects. Being a recycle artist, I make things out of found objects all the time. You can check out my website to see what I mean: http://uniqueeuphoria.etsy.com. When I have an unexpected guest drop by during the holidays with a treat for me, I have a few of my wine bottle serving trays made up with cookies or chocolates, cocoa, biscotti or teas (depending on what I know about the guest's tastes) to send with them. It is a nice inexpensive thing to have around, and your guest will be pleasantly surprised that you thought of them too.
Also, know the person you are giving the gift to. All too often I see articles on what to buy the boss, the family doctor, that person in the next cubicle. Seriously? Keep it simple. If you think you HAVE to give the boss something, a nice heartfelt or handmade card is perfectly fine. Your family doctor can get the same with maybe pictures of the kids tucked inside. Otherwise, Christmas is for family and most importantly, the babies. Take the stress out of it and get to know the people your giving to. I guarantee you will be a success, no one will stop talking to you because they aren't happy with the gift, because they love you and they know you put an effort. Remember what Christmas is about. It is most definitely NOT about breaking the bank.