With Christmas right around the corner, last minute preparations approach the minds of many, along with shopping ideas that seem to run out. Searching for the right gift isn’t always easy, especially on a budget. Multiple parties and extended family invites plague most with that familiar question in our heads; “what to give, and what to spend.” So this year, in order to lighten the load… make a suggestion to those you intend on spending the holiday with; a gift giving game named Yankee Swap.

Yankee Swap has a website with rules and variations of how to play the game. Beginning with a gift idea, there is a spending limit, to which everyone agrees on prior to the holiday. This makes it cheaper for all, and a whole lot of less stress. The only issue then might be what to purchase, as it must be a gift for a female or male. This limits certain ideas, making the origin of the gift unisex. So, I’ve spent days thinking of unique ideas that most might enjoy, and I’ll share some of those here.

Gifts range from tickets to gift cards, along with other ideas. Purchasing advance tickets for a museum or zoo are great, because most people enjoy the thought of being able to attend either, and it gives them something to look forward to after the holidays are long gone. I’d also like to suggest, depending where you live, local banks or credit unions, which sometimes offer advance tickets to an event, such as a state fair, or some type of show which may be running nearby through the winter. Then there are universal gifts. You could purchase a coffee mug and put a Starbucks’ gift card inside it, or maybe use hot cocoa packets, marshmallows and small flavored liquor bottles (cherry flavored liqueur works well with hot chocolate or baileys).

People love to attend the movies. Pick up a gift card for a movie theater and put it inside a bucket of popcorn, or boxes of candy you can buy at Walgreens for less than half the price of the theaters. If you know of any new releases on dvd coming up, you can pick one up right before Christmas, this way you’re almost sure no one already has it. The majority of people have dvd players. More ideas would be some favorite games people like to play. There are newer adult games that are out on Amazon, as well as some classics. There are always tech savvy gifts, such as earbuds, electric wine openers, and usb flash drives or executive charging valets for people to store their stuff in a more fashionable and organized way. Any of these ideas can be done on a budget.

For those that have higher price ranges, there are kindles, androids and visa gift cards. One can also purchase a gift package from Omaha Steaks or a Winery to have it sent right to your door. The ideas are endless once you give it some real thought. And may I mention here, the Yankee Swap game is amusing, as no one knows what crazy idea someone might come up with. Whatever your plans are for this coming Holiday, make it joyful and be mindful of others, as we embrace yet another year. May all your dreams come true and remember the reason for the season.

Make your week count.