It’s been an annual tradition for many years in my husband’s extended family to do a $5 gift exchange as part of our Christmas gathering. Recently we increased our amount just a little to a range of between $5 to $10 to make the shopping a little easier as prices have gone up over the years.
What I’ve always liked about this $5 gift exchange tradition is that it’s a fun way to have some gift opening time (we always play a game as we do it too) but it’s also low-key and casual and it’s a nice way for everybody to still go home with a little extra something.
Our game is nothing fancy either! For each person who has brought a gift, a number is put in a bowl. Then we each draw a number. We then go in numerical order, and pick a gift from the pile – OR – as the game goes along, when it’s your turn to pick, you can also take somebody else’s already opened gift from them, and then they have to go back to the pile for a new gift. This has always been something we do with just the adults and older kids as the “stealing” and “trading” can be confusing and not as fun for little ones.
Over the years, many of the $5 to $10 gift exchange ideas I’ve used have been from DIY recipes I’ve shared here on the blog. One of my favorite strategies is to take a simple homemade item and pair it with a complimentary store bought item. This is a nice way to have the thoughtfulness of something homemade without it needing to be anything elaborate.
Because this strategy has come in handy and worked well for me over the years, I thought I would put together a list of some of the ideas I’ve used that maybe you’ll find inspiring and helpful too. Once you start looking it over, you’ll see how easy this way of thinking is and you’ll probably come up with a few ideas of your own.
Even if your family doesn’t do a gift exchange, you might find yourself in need of a low cost $5 to $10 gift to use as a teacher gift, neighbor gift, co-worker gift, or a Secret Santa gift. If so, I hope you find some ideas on this list that will inspire you to add a simple homemade touch to your gift giving.
Ideas for $5 to $10 Gifts
1 – Homemade Pancake Mix with a bottle of real maple syrup
5 – Peppermint Soap Cleaner with microfiber cleaning cloths
8 – Semi-Homemade Lotion with a scented candle
9 – Brown Sugar Body Scrub and some fuzzy socks
10 – Sparkling grape juice or inexpensive wine with a Knit Santa Hat and dollar store wine glasses
11 – Quick homemade salsa with a bag of tortilla chips (sometimes you can find red & green chips)
(Note: this salsa is not canned so be sure the recipient knows it needs to be refrigerated)
12 – A set of homemade spice blends in cute shaker jars
13 – Snowman jars filled with candies
15 – Fire Starters with a couple long multi-purpose lighters
16 – Homemade Notepads with a set of colorful pens or markers
17 – DIY Microwave Popcorn packs with assorted store bought seasoning salts
18 – Homemade Peanut Butter with a fancy jam or jelly
19 – Southwestern Dip Mix and some crackers
20 – And if you need a gag gift you can do Homemade Poo Spray and a roll of toilet paper!
So those are a few ways you can pair together a quick homemade item with an inexpensive store bought item to make a cute gift package for an exchange. And remember – many of the DIY items listed above can stand on their own too and make lovely gifts with just the quick addition of some ribbon or a bow.
Additional recipes for festive food gift giving: