By Jaimi Erickson
Guest Blogger

A holiday tip I’ve learned: If we are going to lug bags of gifts long-distance or ship them to family, let’s make the time and expense worthwhile for our gift recipients. With inflation rising and fixed household budgets, the goal this year is to give unique, useful and affordable gifts. This list will help you find useful gifts for your family and friends. 

1. Dinner Gift Cards

Being on the hamster wheel of meal planning and prep leads to burnout. Yes, families need to eat. And, yes, it can get a little monotonous. Help a friend out by buying them dinner — and a night off from cooking. We don’t all live close enough to our best military spouse friends to take them out to a meal, but a gift card to their favorite local restaurant or takeout place is a great and helpful substitute. 

2. Quince Travel Bags

Security is the top concern as we travel across the country. Whether for vacation or the next PCS move, Quince travel bags keep everything within reach and are very fashionable. They can be worn as a cross body bag or over the shoulder. Your friend or family member will enjoy holiday travel that is safe and stylish.

3. Personalized Jewelry 

Personalized jewelry is a touching gift to receive and give, especially for moms or grandmas. With so many unique styles to choose from, you can customize this gift for the special people on your list.

4. Handy Gadgets

Husbands always seem to appreciate new gadgets. A portable light was a hit for my husband since he always likes tools that make projects easier. I bought the rechargeable stand light to help him when he is working in the garage, and it is versatile. 

5. Experience Gifts

Gift certificates to fun parks, arcades or bowling alleys are a hit with adults and older kids. I have found that my teens enjoy time alone with my husband and me. Maybe the gift is taking your teen out shopping or bowling and then to lunch. Special activities that build parent-child relationships mean a lot to teens.

6. Home Décor 

My teen daughter loves to decorate her room. Gift cards to places such as Home Goods or Marshalls are useful. At that age, teenagers love to shop for their own décor, so a gift card lets you stay on budget but gives the child more freedom to choose what they love.

7. Backpack Lunchbox Gift Sets

Children can always use a new backpack. Backpacks built to withstand wear and tear are worth the money. Perfect for family holiday travel, the backpack lunchbox sets help kids keep their important items close whether flying or driving. Useful gifts like these are wonderful for gifting to long-distance family members because the bags are built to last and the valuet makes an impact.

There is no need to break your budget for the holidays.  Focus on finding thoughtful, affordable and useful gifts  that make your friends and family feel loved. That’s what the spirit of the season’s about, after all. 

About Jaimi Erickson

Jaimi is a mom of 4, military wife, and writer. She blogs about motherhood, kids activities and homemaking tips at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.

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