It was the holiday season of 2005 when my friend, Joanie, came to visit with her eleven year old son to celebrate Hanukkah. We had been friends since junior high school, and she celebrated many Jewish holidays in our home.
Her life had been a series of ups and downs, and this year she was experiencing a terrible down. A single parent with a job that barely paid the bills and an ex-husband who refused to pay child support, she had been struggling to not just to make ends meet, but to be sure that her son had a Happy Hanukkah.
She always bestowed Hanukkah gifts upon my children, and I told her to skip it that year.
But she did not listen.
Although this money should have been spent on food, Joanie managed to give each of my three children a small gift from the Dollar Store. While my twins were too young to understand how much these few dollars were really worth and the true value of these gifts, my older daughter, who was ten, understood.
For anyone who struggles to make ends meet, the holiday season can be a very depressing time. Children desire expensive toys that their peers have and are heavily marketed to them on television. Parents have to choose between going into debt to buy these pricey playthings or being honest with their children about their financial situation and explaining what they could afford to spend.
While you may not be able to afford the latest game system, there are plenty of quality gifts that you can buy that do not come from the Dollar Store. For less than ten dollars, you can give a gift that will not have you going into debt.
The Laws of Money
In her 2004 best seller, The Laws of Money: 5 Timeless Secrets to Get Out and Stay Out of Financial Trouble, author and financial guru Suze Orman shares the 5 secrets to monetary success. The first one, and the one that has always stood out to me is this:
Truth Creates Money, Lies Destroy It
For example, in 2008, my husband’s pay cuts had became so steep that we could not afford to send our five year old twins to our synagogue’s summer camp for all seven weeks. When their last week arrived, the preschool director asked me why they were not staying for the final two weeks.
I was honest-I told her there was no money in our budget for it.
She said, “They can stay, no charge.”
I could have lied and said that we had tons of other things to do, but the truth was far easier to admit and there were no lies to cover up. And the truth made my children’s summer a whole lot brighter.
It is this first money law that is what I have tried to stress with my own children. Sure, your friends may have lots of gadgets and gizmos, but how did their parents pay for them? Are they in credit card debt? Do they have to borrow money from Grandma and Grandpa each month to pay the bills?
I have a black belt in bargain shopping, and my children have never been deprived because I have been able to give them gifts for under $10. Gifts they have wanted. Gifts that are not garbage.
The following presents are all under ten bucks and are things that anyone on your Christmas gift list-children, spouse, and other relatives-will enjoy.
Cheap Christmas Presents for Girls
For me, little girls are the easiest people on my gift list to buy presents for. Anything that smacks of girly girl, whether it be jewelry, dolls clothing, books or arts and crafts kits or clothing-is easy to find. Plus, they always have some of the best sale prices around.
Here are some wonderful gift choices for the special little girl on your list and are highly rated.
Mal’s Spell Book and the full line of Disney Descendants Books under $10 are available on Amazon.
It seems that anything related to the hit summer film Disney Descendants is gold. Fans of the popular movie want merchandise related to the film. Books are simply one of the best gifts you can give a child, as she can open it up and read it over and over again. Even kids who are not big readers will enjoy receiving this enchanting book.
Little girls love cupcakes so this is a wonderful gift for them! You do not want to give young children good jewelry that they cannot take care of or might lose as they are not responsible enough at this age. This necklace will charm them, especially since it is presented in it’s own gift box!
Christmas Gifts for Boys Under $10
I will be the first to admit that buying gifts for boys has often stumped me, especially before I became a mother of a son. Thank goodness my husband has been able to help buy things for him, because as he got older, he loved more techy things-a love they both share. Don’t shy away from classic games or trucks to give as gifts for boys. They enjoy these things! Here are some items that are sure to please any boy!
It seems like a natural thing to do…boys will turn almost any object into some kind of weapon. Why not use this natural affinity and give them a gift they are sure to enjoy! Kids love anything that glows in the dark, and this Boy Craft item is just what he will be wanting to assemble and use. Be sure to add a bag of marshmallows to your gift so that he can use it right after he puts it together.
The classic game of darts dates back centuries. However, the way adults play it-with real, pointy darts-is most definitely not for children of any age. This game is made of a Velcro fabric and comes with four Velcro “darts”. Not only will kids not damage your walls with this game, they will get practice with math by adding scores and improving their hand/eye coordination while playing and improving their game.
Gifts for Women Under $10
For women, anything that looks cheap will not pass muster. Yes, it is the thought that counts, but you have to be careful about what you are thinking! It does not have to cost you an entire paycheck to make your woman happy; as long as it has some special meaning, your gift will be appreciated.
The perfect gift needs to be classy, elegant and look like you spent more than you actually did. The choices below fit all of these categories and will be treasured by the woman receiving it.
The 1928 jewelry brand has been around for years and this pair has received rave customer reviews. These earrings come in silver, gold, brass, gold-tine and gray. These will go well with a little black dress or can be worn with a pair of jeans and a black shirt to jazz up a simple, casual outfit.
Maybe expensive jewelry is not on your gift list this year, but you can give this gorgeous jewelry holder so the woman in your life has a place to put the gems she already owns. It comes in black, and is highly rated by those who have purchased it. Hoop earrings can also be hung from this as well-it is not just for bracelets!
Gifts for Guys Under 10 Bucks!
Of all the people for whom you need to buy gifts, men seem to be the most challenging. Most guys I know do not care much about clothes, do not wear jewelry other than watches, and are mainly into sports, cars and technical gadgets…and these items do not fall into the under ten dollar category.
But have no fear!
The following gift is great for guys and will be very friendly to your budget. If you think a little outside the box, finding the right gift will be easier.
This handy19-in-1 key ring has many essentials to handle any of life’s little emergencies. Included are wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, a hand drill, two different kinds of rulers and several other handy tools that may be needed at a moments notice.
Giving a quality gift that is also thoughtful does not need to put you into debt.
Feature image from Pixabay and altered by the author in Picmonkey.