Gifts That Won't Break The Bank


Christmas 2020 will go down as a most atypical Christmas. Although the crowds still seem to be congregating for super sales, many people are staying home and shopping online or handcrafting a gift. I'm one of them.

I stopped going to Black Friday sales years ago. I found that the items for sale were geared more for younger people with disposable income. Also, supplies were limited so you probably had to fight for that latest gadget or toy.

With more people staying home, I thought I'd make a roundup of the best gifts to buy or make that won't cost a bundle.

Below is a list that's applicable to nearly everyone.

For Anyone, but especially Seniors and the Handicapped

  • Make them a basket with hand sanitizer, toilet paper, soaps, and alcohol. All of these things are easy to find now, but they might not be able to go out and shop.

  • Change the basket to include ready-to-eat foods. Don't get the dollar store stuff. That might be all they buy for themselves. Instead, pop for brand name foods that you know they like.

  • Are they coffee or tea drinkers? Now's the time to get them an elaborate cornucopia of drinkable delights.

  • Fruits and chocolates. My mom loves these gifts. This year I'm sending one with nuts as well.

  • Offer to put in security cameras, video doorbells, or safety rails in their homes. You would be aces in their book if you did something to make them feel safe in their own homes.

  • Make them a meal. Nothing says love like a home cooked meal.
  • Set up the Zoom app on their phones so they can visit with family and friends.

Gifts Under $25

(Prices subject to change)

Click on each picture for price and info.

Throw Blanket                                      Thermal Underwear


Space Heater                        Insulated Tumbler                Coffee (Greg loves this brand)



Gifts Under $50

Hair Trimmer                     Complete Painting Set           Immersion Blender (Love this!)                   



 Garden Seeds                     White Noise Machine                            Games



Check out my Favorite Things Page. These are items that I have bought for myself or friends and can absolutely recommend.

This year I'm making neighbor gifts. Originally, the plan was to make limoncello, but I might have started too late. It takes weeks for it to mellow into a drinkable liqueur.  

Just in case it's not ready, I saved all the lemon juice (for limoncello you only use the zest). I plan to make lemon curd and a lemon yogurt cake that is to die for. 

How about you? What kind of goodies are you making this Christmas?


My gift to people is that I'm NOT making anything. :)

I love the flavor of lemon, and your lemon yogurt cake sounds delicious! One of my favorite breakfast/brunch foods - back when we were going to restaurants - was lemon ricotta pancakes, topped with lemon curd and some sort of fruit, usually strawberries. Yum!
Maria Zannini said…
Madeline: OMG, that sounds great. That's a perfect topping for pancakes. Now I'm going to have to find a recipe for ricotta pancakes.

Thanks for the idea!
Maria: Hmm, now I'm wondering if I can get those pancakes to go. . . :)
Maria Zannini said…
Madeline: Just in case you want to try it on your own...
Maria: Hmm, if not me then maybe my husband. :) Thanks!
Mike Keyton said…
Thanks for the lemon ricotta pancake link, Maria. Now I just need your limoncello recipe. We fell in love with Limoncello when we were in the Sorrento/Naples area a few years ago.
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: After Madeline mentioned the pancakes I had to find out how to make them.

Our limoncello is slowly mellowing. We used 190 proof Everclear. That is potent stuff. I don't think it'll be ready for Christmas, but we might present it after New Year's.