My latest challenge: this year, the husband informed me that last year, everyone in his office gave office gifts, and, since he is now an actual full-time employee (as opposed to an indentured servant, ahem, resident), he wants to reciprocate this year. Which means 10 gifts of some sort of impressive quality without breaking the bank. Last year, it appears that he mostly got semi-gourmet food items (which explains why I never saw these gifts), but food alone seems so passe to me and not all that cheap, when you get right down to it, even if you make it yourself. Also, I don't really have any holiday goodies to share specialties, since most involve more than 5 ingredients, you see.
So, to solve my dilemma, I turned to the web. Actually, I was thinking of turning to the web, and, before I had even begun searching, I ran into a "Recession-Proof Holiday Gifts" guide and thought I might as well start there. And voila, before I had hardly begun to worry about all this, my problems were solved. This guide led me back to my new favorite site, Etsy.com, and a stationer there who sells downloadable templates for all sorts of gifts, including tasteful and cheerful calendars, perfect for holiday giving. The beauty of this particular e-tailer is that you pay once for the templates and then can print as many copies of the work as you want, for as many different contexts as you can imagine. Like, for instance, office gifts! And he was having a sale to boot!
So, I am combining these lovely calendars printed on the recommended cardstock with festive (and leftover) ribbon I already have, candy canes and perhaps peppermint bark, and calling the gifts done. Grand total per gift (minus the peppermint bark, which is a bit of a splurge)? $0.75. I know! Even with the peppermint bark (bought, by the way, at my peppermint bark secret store, T.J. Maxx), we're still only out about $1.50 each. And they're useful and cute and contemporary and handmade (I will make them by hand, even though I didn't design them) and include a bit of sweet because it is the holidays after all, and they are the gift that keeps on giving because I get to feel good about them for the entire holiday season AND the calendars are useful for the whole year to come. Huzzah!