Dec 13, 2012

Neighbor/teacher/babysitter holiday gift ideas

Most of the time when I look at Pinterest, I get overwhelmed by how much that's out there that I CAN'T do. But sometimes, SOMETIMES, I find great ideas that are simple enough for me to implement and cost very little. And if it's simple and inexpensive enough for ME, Internet, then I can guarantee that it's simple and inexpensive enough for anyone.

I went looking for some ideas I could use for nearby neighbors, teachers, and a couple of babysitters we've used (and it's NEVER a bad idea to have a generic gift in your hall closet for that person who drops by bearing a gift for whom you really have nothing in return). And Pinterest did not disappoint.

For a couple of our sweetest neighbors, I picked up some Christmas paper plates and napkins on sale at Target. Pinterest told me to get paper cups, too, but honestly. Who drinks out of those six-ounce paper cups? Toddlers, that's who. I wasn't wasting my money on those.


If you've got the cash, you could also throw in a set of 20 plastic forks, spoons and knives, but I was trying to keep this to $5 or $6 per family, so I just went with the paper plates and napkins, and I printed out a little note with the suggested verse from How Does She: “Don’t let your dishes pile up this busy holiday season. Let our family ‘do the dishes’ this week! Merry Christmas!” 

The plates were $2.50, the napkins were $2.50 and the cello bag was $1. I already had the ribbon, leftover from a package from last year.

Not bad for $6, right? And I bet you could find paper plates and napkins -- and even plastic utensils -- in Christmas colors at the Dollar Tree any time of the year and pull this together for less than $6.

Next up is a set of measuring spoons and cups -- which I bought at Target, but you could easily spend MUCH more on at a place like Anthropologie.

Target measuring cups and spoons look like these:

Anthro measuring cups and spoons look like these:

At any rate, no matter which ones you go with, if you add a note that says, "Wishing you joy beyond 'measure' this holiday season," the recipient is bound to think you're adorable. 

I already had the gift bag and tissue paper, and the measuring cups and spoons set me back about $5 apiece, so this was about a $10 gift for me.

I've gone back to Pinterest three times to search for the idea for that little "beyond measure" note, but I can't find the original Pin. If anyone runs across it, please let me know, because I'd like to give the author credit!

The last idea I used this year is the Warm & Cozy Toes idea from Our Best Bites. This works with any color socks and nail polish.

I picked up two pairs of brightly colored, fluffy socks at Target and then went in search of nail polish to match.

I do suggest choosing the socks first, because it's easier to match nail polish to socks than the other way around, by the way.

This was probably the most expensive of the gifts I did, because I believe the socks were $7 per pair and the polish was $4 or $5 per bottle.

Once I threw in the little cello bags, that made each gift about $12 to $13.

But I do think this is a pretty thoughtful gift, and the socks should last a long time. This would be a great gift for a high school or college student, especially in fun, bright colors, I think.

I actually have both of these colors in my own nail polish collection! Jakey and I are partial to lime green, especially at Christmas. Right now he's sporting alternating red and lime green toenails.

If you've got any great neighbor/teacher/babysitter gift ideas, I'm all ears!


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