Holiday Gift Guide: The Budget Holiday

The holidays can be extra tough for anyone living on a budget. Even if you usually get by month-to-month, the cultural compulsion to consume extra in December is hard to avoid. While it’s easy to say that the value of a gift has nothing to do with its price tag, resisting the urge to spend can be trickier than many of us would like to admit. Whether you just need to pick up a few extra things for acquaintances or need to keep your whole shopping list under control, we’ve got some suggestions for budget gifts that don’t sacrifice style or sentiment.

DIY Wreath with Christmas Tree Clippings

Unwind a few metal clothes hangers and reshape them into circles. Then, gather some trimmings from a Christmas tree (or forage around for some evergreen boughs), and, following any of the thousands of online tutorials, use floral twine or green twist ties to fashion a lovely wreath. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect; irregularities and asymmetry lend that cozy, handmade aesthetic.
Practically free

Kombucha SCOBY with Brewing Instructions

That kombucha mother you’ve been cultivating is a little gift factory waiting to happen. You can gently peel layers off of a healthy SCOBY and put them in small jars with sweetened tea and a half cup of starter. A kombucha baby in a jar, tied with a pretty ribbon and accompanied by simple brewing instructions, makes a great gift for your booch-addicted friends.
Practically free

Send a card from Groundswell Greetings

Does your BFF or favorite cousin really need another scented candle? Instead, send a card from Groundswell Greetings, a woman-owned and -operated company that features work from independent Philly artists. Printed on recycled paper, they sport charming designs celebrating all kinds of holidays, not just Christmas. Find them online or in a handful of shops, including Vix Emporium, Nice Things Handmade and Vault + Vine.
$5 or less, plus free shipping

'100 Things to Do in Philadelphia Before You Die' Book

Give your favorite Philly diehard a ready-made bucket list and a valuable resource to explore the city even more fully. This book’s author, Irene Levy Baker, knows the ins and outs of our fair city; she worked for nearly a decade for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, and she guides readers toward all the secret Philly gems.
$16

Reusable Linens and Filters From the Kitchen Garden Series

These beautiful napkins step up your entertainment game, and the coffee and tea filters will help any coffee or tea fanatic brew clean and green. Between uses, the single-serve tea bags and size 4 coffee cone filters can be rinsed out or even run through the dishwasher and then reused hundreds of times. The handmade, heirloom-quality linens are designed by local artist Heidi Barr and made in Philly, and 25 percent of the proceeds are donated to Henry Got Crops and the East Park Revitalization Alliance, two organizations growing food inside the city limits.
$4–$16