Recession Proof Holiday

Lots of talk lately about the recession and how it’s putting a damper on most of the world’s holiday shopping. 

And yes people are spending less this year and some are wondering how they are going to give a worthy gift to everyone on their list.  Since gift giving is a reflection of who you are, no one ever wants to feel like they have gifted a lame present.

The truth is you don’t have to spend a lot to give a lovely gift and people are not hard to shop for.  It just takes some thinking.

I always find it comical when someone says I am hard to shop for.  If they say that, then they do not know me well. 

Of course there are things I want (we’re talking in the materialistic sense here) such as finally building my dream house and really it’s just my dream kitchen, the rest of the house can be a box as far as I’m concerned.  There’s the newer model to my camera that just came out, however it is not equipped with as good a lens as I currently have, then there’s that vineyard.  But those are all things I have to give myself.  And work for…and sacrifice to have.  I don’t expect these things from anyone.

But if someone were to give me a gift, I would prefer a gift certificate to Marshall’s or Ross before the mall.  I really would.  Do you know what I can do with a $100 from Marshall’s?  The truth is, the thrill is in the hunt.  What you find there is not packaged perfectly, but it’s what you do with the items you come across that makes the difference; taking parts and pieces and creating things that go together is well beyond satisfying.

The high end products found at these stores are often far superior to things you can find in other places.  Plus, it’s fun…you can be creative and the possibilities are endless.

On a recent shopping trip to Marshall’s I put together many small gifts most people can afford for the special people on your list.  All are things I would be tickled to receive, knowing someone went out of their way to put them together.  And no one would ever know they were from Marshall’s.

All these items offer simple pleasures.  Gone are the days of dream vacations and a new car every year.  The truth is, if I didn’t have the “little things” every day to look forward to, I couldn’t cope.  Life would be dull.

I have found more pleasure in simplicity than a week in Hawaii has ever given me.  A good glass of wine, a beautiful sunset, a plate of homemade cookies and the smell of the air after a rain is far more satisfying than a new purse.

So let’s start with the picture at the top of this page…remember everything was purchased at Marshall’s…

French Grey Sea Salt from Pepper Creek Farms (perfect for baking and cooking or for salads) $3.99, a silver, vintage looking star ornament $3.00,  D’Amico & Sons rosemary leaves in a silver tin $1.99, one small sparkly votive candle $1.00 and a beautiful light blue plate with raised decorative edges 9-inches in diameter $2.00.  Wrap this is cellophane and tie with ribbon or add some homemade treats to the platter.  Total cost: $11.98  I would be thrilled if someone brought this to me.

A tower of love….Barbotina ramekins made in Portugal.  The white is 5-inches in diameter, the gray is 4-inches in diameter.  Both are very sturdy and thick ceramic.  Each was $1.99, a total steal.  I’m kicking myself for not buying the black one.  High quality Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract $5.99, mini powdered sugar sifter $1.00.  Wrap in cellophane and tie with a beautiful ribbon or just tie a ribbon around the bottom ramekin.  The best part of this gift is that the ramekins don’t match, that would be boring.  Total cost: $10.97. 

Do you have a friend who loves Christmas and has three trees and changes her decorations every year?  Marshall’s has these absolutely exquisite tree skirts made by the Gingerbread Lane company.  They are thick, detail orientated and just beautiful.  I could not capture how gorgeous this is by camera.  Fold it beautifully and tie with a large red or white bow, maybe add an ornament to the ribbon that matches the skirt.  There were so many different ones and all were beautiful.  Total cost: $24.99.

When I saw these coffee cups with vintage Tony the Tiger and Frosted Flakes images, I melted.  How cute are they?  For $2.99 each, they are very cute.  I placed them on a handmade serving tray made by Ceriart from Portugal, 14 x 8.5-inches, $7.99.  I added candy canes to the cups for the picture but I think I would add homemade chocolate dipped pretzel sticks or peppermint bark to the mugs.  I would also place tinsel or peppermint candies around the base of the plate and wrap it all in cellophane.  I would be ecstatic with a gift like this, coffee time in the morning would be G-r–reat!  Total Cost:  $16.96.

The selection of holiday hand soaps was absolutely endless…the possibilities were just mind-boggling.  I settled on Candy Cane Foaming Wash and a Cranberry Moisturizing Hand Soap.  They both smell ridiculously good.  They also had matching hand lotions and candles for the same price of $4.99 each.  These are great hostess gifts, and I’m telling you the selection was unbelievable and the packaging was very pretty. Total Cost:  $9.98.  A small gift basket with the soap, candle and lotion were be a very lovely gift for anyone.

Do you have an ornament exchange to attend?  Marshall’s has drop-dead gorgeous holiday ornaments.  These are all hand-painted, handmade vintage looking ornaments.  All strung on red ribbon and are about 3-3.5-inches in length.  I was not able to capture their uniqueness on camera, but trust me they are beauties.  $5.00 each.

Give someone you love these lovely salad tongs adorned in heart jewels, 12-inches in length.  Even the paddles are heart shaped at the end with a sweet heart cutout in the middle, $12.99.  Large “Love” coffee mug, hand painted on the inside and out, $1.99.  Three peppermint candles, 2.00.  Wrap this in cellophane or add to a gift basket with special teas or coffee.  It’s festive and Valentine’s is coming up! Total cost: $16.98.

You can’t see them but there are five Christmas kitchen towels wrapped under this ribbon. All are high quality with beautiful holiday patterns of reindeer and snowflakes etc.  They were sold as a bundle for $5.99.  I added the ornament you see, which is large, about 9-inches long for $3.00 and she is holding an All-Clad whisk for $9.99.  Total cost: $18.98.  You could also separate these towels and wrap them around bottles of wine and tie with a ribbon for a festive look.

Marshall’s has tons of perfume.  Just tons.  Lots of old school stuff but every year Escada comes out with a new fragrance and discontinue the previous one.  “Moon Sparkle” was one of my favorites.  I usually pay between $50-80 dollars for this, Marshall’s had it for $29.99.  This would be wonderful given with these plush, white Spa towels they had, all wrapped in a bow of course!

For the baker in your life…a Mastercraft nonstick baking tray, 13 x 8 inches, perfect for baking brownies or shortbreads, $7.99.  A Cuisinart nonstick 9″ loaf pan $6.99, Endurance measuring cups ($9.99) and spoons ($5.99).  With the red handles these are very festive and overall very high quality.  Pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice and Vietnamese cinnamon, 4.8 ounces each, $3.99 each.  Wrap this with a large ribbon or cellophane for a nice presentation.  Total cost: $39.93.

Tinted glass Pinecone ornaments, 5-inches in length.  Total cost $3.00.  These are stunning.

Like I said before, the selection of holiday soaps, lotions and sprays was pretty extensive and all packaged very nicely.  Michel “Holiday” hand lotion, $4.99 each.  The lovely box in the back with the city scape held the two bars of soap which are stamped with the christmas trees.  The soap itself smells like a holiday tree, $4.99.  Savon Vegetal Lime Cream soap from Italy, $4.99 and Candy Cane room spray for $4.99 as well.  Put these together in a gift basket and bestow them on a lucky recipient.  Total Cost: $19.96.

Here is a close-up of the stamping on the soap, pretty huh?

Call me crazy but don’t bring me eight matching glasses.  I love all mismatched stemware.  Add homemade candied or spiced pecans to them and tie with cellophane and a ribbon for the perfect elegant gift.  I loved the stems on these glasses and one had detailed sea shell patterns on it.  Both were only $3.00 each.

Now, I found this lonely  orange creamer on the clearance aisle for $2.00.  I loved it’s unique markings.  I added a set of three rubber spatulas for $5.99 and bit of holiday cheer.  I thinks it’s unique and since orange is my favorite color…well I just love it.  Total cost: $7.99.

These are two sturdy and very well made prep bowls, about 7-inches in diameter each for $2.99 each.  I added a jar of Vidalia Georgia Peach Salsa for $3.99 and wrapped it in a bow.  I would love to pour this over some cream cheese. Or add homemade crackers to the bowls for a homemade touch. 
Total cost:  $9.97.

These bathroom hand towels are thick, high quality towels, unlike the flimsy ones often made.  They are decorative and all have a cute stripe at the bottom for $3.99 each.  Fold nicely and wrap with a large bow for a hostess gift.  Total cost: $15.96.

I love these large soup or salad bowls.  It’s hard to see the raised detail pattern on each one.  They are sturdy and would be perfect to use for meals, prep or ice cream for $1.99 each.  The salad tossers are handmade from bamboo and are very nice as well, $7.99.
  Total cost:  $11.97.

I could go on and on…there is just so much more.  My point is, beautiful, thoughtful gifts can be given for very little money. 

With so many people on your list, how can you not afford to go to Marshall’s?  And no, I do not own stock in Marshall’s nor am I paid by them.  I just like to shop there for fun items like these. 

These are all gifts you have to put together yourself and adding any homemade goodies to any of them will only make your gift more special.

Of course I have a bazillion more ideas if you need any help!

Post a Comment


  1. HoneyB 1

    I do love Marshalls but they are a 2 hour drive. I live in boondock country. The closest we have is TJ Max and they are an hour away too! I can only wish.

  2. Lindsay 2

    Am I crazy, or is my screen weird … the first plate with the salt looks green to me? Anyone? Am I nuts?
    Regardless – great ideas! I will definitely use some – thank you! Love the site!

  3. Deeba 3

    This is by far the prettiest & most comprehensive lot of gifts I have seen. each one is delightful…I love Ross & Marshall’s, & the knick-knacks they keep. It’s FUN going through the shelves & each time I’ve come out of the store, it’s with glee…a sense of achievement! I don’t live in the US, but I love the 2 stores. And I love this post too Cathy…you should be a holiday consultant & I could send you a buncha gift ideas from India…lol!

  4. I LIVE at Marshalls, TJs and Homegoods. I love them. Stop spilling our secrets!!!! ;)

  5. Teri 5

    Yummy, I love that Vanilla and would stock that in my pantry on a regular basis. I’m going to have to check HomeGoods for it next time I’m there.


  6. Debbie 6

    Thank you for some great ideas! We are doing Secret Santa at work and this is perfect!

  7. Laura 7

    if I had a creative bone in my body … we have a marshalls I think… will have to do some checking it out…love the whole thing and thank you for sharing ideas.

  8. jackie cohen 8

    Enjoy your site. These ideas are great, the pictures sure help non creative people like me. Masrshals is good but so is Value City, closing down now , and TJ Max. Nothing is the same the next day, it is really the thrill of the hunt for a bargin. Your creativity with what to do with those bargins is more than mine. Some of the scents of the soaps in those stores is divine. Thanks again for a great site and good recipes and ideas. Want to try your ginger cookies. I have a good recipe but yours looks pretty and sounds good.

  9. What a fantastic post. Every idea is absolutely wonderful.

    Take care,

  10. I love finding little items like this and packaging them up nicely to make great gifts. It’s so much fun! (This said by the same person who was wailing and gnashing her teeth over the need to do some clothes/shoe shopping and who hates the mall.) I like the challenge of putting together a gift someone will love at a price I can afford. I love receiving gifts like this, too, because I know how much thought and care goes into them. It’s the thought that counts, not the price. Just make it a good thought and not a passing one. Nothing says, “I felt I had to get you something” like a mini (smaller than a sheet of paper) pool table with tiny balls. What the hell am I supposed to do with that? True story. I don’t think it was worth the $10 (they paid that much?) to stand in the after Christmas return line at Walmart. Seriously, no one *has* to get me anything. I will not be offended.

  11. Kari 11

    You are a rockin’ shopper! I love all those gifts that you put together. My mother-in-law is a huge fan of Marshall’s and always amazes me at the great bargains she finds. I guess you have to go there on a regular basis because I never seem to have any luck, or maybe I just don’t have the eye for it like you guys do. Great finds, thanks for sharing.

  12. Alright. That’s it. You are the new Martha Stewart.

    All of those ideas were great, but those Tony the Tiger mugs were to die for. I would love to get those as a gift!

  13. You gotta love Marshall’s! These are wonderful!

  14. Jodie 14

    Thank you for reminding me about Marshall’s and Ross. I always forget that they have that huge section in the back full of housewares. Do you have any suggestions as to what to get my mother-in-law?

  15. Adriana 15

    You are just amazing. I absolutely LOVE Marshalls, you gave me so many great ideas! Thank you Thank you. BTW your blog is awesome. Keep up the good work!

  16. I would be thrilled with any of those. Marshalls and Homegoods are my favorite stores for cheap dishes etc. I’m totally going there in the next couple of days to do some investigating. Great ideas!

  17. Barbie with a T 17

    Amazing!!!! I would love to receive each and every one of those gifts! We are having a “recycled” Christmas gift exchange this year, but these gifts are certainly affordable and a great way to “economize”. My sister had given me a two piece sweater set about two or three years ago, and I never wore it, and it still had the tags in it. I gave it to her this Christmas and when she saw it, she asked me “Where did you get this? I just love it!” When I told her that she had given it to me a few years back, she could not believe it! She really had no recollection of it. Isn’t that funny? But I knew that she must have liked it to have given it to me, and I was so glad that I could give it to someone who could wear it. (it was too big for me and just her size). My two daughters are receiving a few heiroom pieces that I have with maybe a small check placed inside….All this required no shopping and I am cleaning out my closets and shelves at the same time! I am even using up the old wrapping paper that I have saved from previous years and getting rid of that also. Next year might be better and then I can shop for them at Marshall’s using some of your ideas. It is too late to use the ideas this year, as I did my gift preparation a couple of weeks ago. My sister and I celebrated our Christmas together this weekend, as she lives out of town, and we exchanged gifts already also. She boxed up some old paperback books for me…I love paperbacks, and a beautiful shell decorative piece for our beach home that she had when she once lived at the beach herself. She also gave me some vintage beer and homemade chocolate cake! Oh, and some old CD’s that she no longer listens to. I thought that was a very thoughtful gift and I will enjoy it even more than a “store bought” gift. The laughs and the hugs that we shared were the icing on the cake, and it really made my holidays complete to have shared this brief visit with her. But next year it will be Marshall’s for me, and your list of ideas! Thanks for sharing them.

  18. Maureen 18

    Love all of these ideas! I would be thrilled to death to get a few new spices or a lovely lotion.

    Unfortunately, I think fewer people are willing to do the “hunt” and pay to much for less personal gifts.

    Thanks for the magnificent ideas!

  19. What a great post Cathy! Lots of good ideas there!

  20. Becky 20

    What beautiful ideas you have. Not only can you cook but creative, too?!
    Now I gotta go find a Marshall’s.

  21. We have a Marshalls & a Homegoods store near us. I’m reading through your ideas and thinking “take this, add my spin, and you have brother #2” and going down the list. I think I’ll be going to visit those stores soon. If Marshall’s were smart, they’d put you on retainage right now:D

  22. What wonderful affordable ideas you give us…we should all be so thrifty with great eye sight and inginuity that you obviously have and use to save hundreds during the holidays!

    While I was surfing yesterday – I came up with some additional ideas such as sending your family and friends your ‘dry ingredients’ layered in a mason jar with directions to make your best brownies or soup, etc. = the ideas are endless. By adding ribbons, directions you provide wonderful personal gifts…and since I am on a super tight budget this year, I will definitely do the mason jars and some of your ideas since I have both a Marshalls and TJ Max nearby – thank you….

  23. howdy 23

    I bet you are a hoot to shop with! It might just remind me of my sons early Easter egg hunt. He ran around the living room gathering plastic eggs in his pulled up nightgown saying… “ooo ooo found anetter one!”

    Those are all wonderful combination and it shows that with a little thought and a watchful eye you could combine items to make a nice gift.

  24. Bunny 24

    These are all great gift ideas Cathy, I would be happy with any of them!

  25. Indigo 25

    I don’t know Marshalls (being British) but these are some gorgeous ideas. It’s only now that I’ve left home and buy my own cooking/baking stuff that I realise how over the moon I would genuinely be to be given a bottle of good quality vanilla extract for Christmas, haha. Tragic.

  26. We don’t have a Marshall’s here in Canada…look at all we’re missing.

  27. kiki 27

    I love those ideas. If I don’t make enough gifts or need to “spruce-up” something I’ve made, I know where to go.

    I’ve been a big fan of Marshalls & TJ Maxx for gift giving & other great bargains. I got my Christmas China (Waterford) at the after Christmas sale for 80% off

  28. tipper 28

    Beautiful gifts-and all very thrifty!
    Never been to a Marshalls but I love love Ross stores!

  29. Marjie 29

    The hard one is the 89 year old mother in law who won’t come to visit any more, whines that she is ready to “join her husband in heaven”, won’t cook except using the george foreman grill and one pan, and gives everything she gets to someone else. I just find a nice food basket and ship it. It’s really frustrating.

  30. Teri 30

    I love your creativity! I too, love to give gifts put together like yours! It’s thoughtful and looks pretty. The tree skirt is amazing and your camera does do a justice to the color! Wish I could find one just like it for myself for that price! Problem with my relatives… they not only give me lists of what they want, they tell me where it can be bought and how much it is! Kicker, ain’t it? I couldn’t care a less what someone gets me (or if!) I love putting fun gifts together!

    Nice post, Thanks Cathy!

  31. Wow–those are some awesome ideas!! I totally need to think outside the box more and put some cute gifts like that together. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  32. Flea 32

    Thank you for reminding me that Christmas is a very do-able thing this year! I like to buy stamped or engraved wine glasses at Ross and place chocolate covered coffee beans, wrapped in cellophane with curling ribbon, inside.

  33. ELRA 33

    Whoaaaaa Cathy……
    I am off to Marshall, right now.
    Thanks a lot dah…..ling…..

  34. cathy,
    will you just wrap yourself in a beautiful package, i’m sure you’ll think of something unique and gorgeous, and mail yourself to me for christmas?? i’ll pay for postage.

  35. Biz 35

    I haven’t been in a Marshall’s for YEARS! Thanks for all the great ideas! Love it!

  36. I looooooooove Marshall’s BUT live an hour from the nearest. It’s always my store of choice — I love the hunt! You, my dear, are a genius with all these great gifty paks. Thanks for sharing your artistry and ideas. : D

  37. I have a Marhsalls down the street from my office and I can do some serious damage there. I do have fun picking through the food and kitchen related items. The gift baskets you created are way cheaper than the ones I purchased as thank you gifts at a farm stand near my barn!

    I do take pleasure in the little things, but I don’t have much basis for comparison that a sunset and a glass of wine are better than a week in Hawaii. I think that’s one I have to try for myself rather than take your word for it. ;-)

  38. Pam 38

    Great post. I think I’ll be heading to Marshalls today. Great gift ideas Cathy and very affordable. Thank you!!!

  39. phillygirl64 39

    Oh I wish a) I had the patience to shop at such stores, and b) I was on your gift list ;)

  40. Wow, these are fantastic! Home Goods/Marshalls is my favorite home store…I love finding these high end and sometimes exotic items! Your ideas are wonderful and exactly what I need to finish up my shopping! Can you deliver them to me by the 20th? Thanks!

  41. Liz C. 41

    I absolutely love each and every one of your gift ideas & wish I had friends as clever as you!

    This year, in keeping it simple, I’ve been drinking a lot of Grolsch beer so that I could make homemade Kahlua and give it in the Grolsch bottles, which are very cool. I also give my peach jam wrapped in pretty tissue paper & ribbon. I’ve had people ask if they could buy some, but I always say no. It’s a gift of love & doesn’t require money.If I don’t love you, then you don’t get it, lol.

  42. bethieofva 42

    I LOVE all of your ideas. Do you have a Big Lots? I was there today and found beautiful Williams and Sonoma cookbooks for $5 each. I do an exchange with two friends and we have a $5 limit. I bought two wrapped them in lovely wrapping paper and attached a glittery snowflake ornament(picked up last year at Target’s 90% off sale) and it looks like a million bucks! Well, not really…..

  43. vanessa 43

    This is GREAT inspiration for a girl who hasn’t started her holiday shopping yet. And who happens to be on a tight budget this year. Very nice!

  44. Cheryl 44

    Lovely presents, all! Think beyond the reasonability factor (which DEFINITELY appeals), the most appealing aspect is in the presentation and personal touch you brought to each. Lovely, lovely!

  45. What a great post! You made me wish I was on your Christmas list. I think I need to go hit up HomeGoods now….

  46. I completely agree with you thoughts on stemware. I like plates and glasses that don’t completely match.

  47. Colleen 47

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m on my way to Marshall’s now!

  48. Those are great. I would go out shopping but the one thing we don’t have is a Marshal’s.

  49. Shirley 49

    Beautiful gifts. So much is in the presentation, which you excel at! I wish I was on the receiving end of some of these gifts! Those measuring spoons and cups are the best and I’ve always needed salad tossers (just use skinny wooden forks). :-) I think what I like best about these gifts is that not only are they beautiful, but most of them are very practical. I like gift you can use, that are not dust collectors.

    Barbie–I love what you and your sister did! Absolutely love it! I am all for that … the trick is having someone on the other end who feels the same way.

  50. Ooh you can give Oprah’s My Favorite Things a run for her money! This is wonderful! Great ideas and so beautifully arranged. Very thoughtful indeed. Thanks!

  51. heather 51

    what a bunch of cool ideas! those are the sort of gifts that are fun to put together. if only there was a marshalls around…….

  52. DD 52

    I just discovered your blog and wow! Awesome! Thanks for the great ideas…I’ll be following along!

  53. You always have such beautiful images!

  54. Ruthanne (in Seattle) 54

    wow – so simple and delightful and perfect! I am the kind of person that needs to see them and then I can get going – and you gave me the incentive! Marshalls – here I come. . . there is one not too far away too! Thanks Cathy

  55. pam 55

    You are insanely creative! Those are wonderful! Like I need another excuse to go to Marshall’s!

  56. KathyB. 56

    Oh, WOW ! What a wonderful post for this time of year. You are very creative, and on a budget too.I am so in agreement with you on the matching thing, you can be even more creative when you let go of that idea of decorating. What with your talents as a cook, wine maker and creativity with displays, I just know the gift shop accompanying your winery ( will you have a gift shop for the wine tastings?) will be a big draw for all ! O. K. the creative way you will display your very good wines will be a big draw!

  57. Good Tuesday evening to you Cathy.

    Those are ingenious ideas for great prsesents !

    You are so sweet about commenting to me – would you be willing to add my ‘Loving Annie’s Travel Treasures’ blog to your links ?
    I’m trying hard to build traffic, and it is a really helpful way for people who love YOUR blog to know that mine exists and maybe come visit :)
    THANK YOU…. I appreciate it !

    Loving Annie

  58. Such great ideas…really great ideas!


  59. Linda 59

    I can’t tell you how much I LOVED this post … how thrilled I would be to receive any of those lovely gifts. Marshall’s rocks … and you’ve done an amazing job putting things together and making it personal and special. And for not a lot of money. I love it!

    Btw, we love Lincoln City … my brother lives down in Newport. Gorgeous coast! And … your other previous post … ginger cookies. My favorite! I love coming to your blog.


  60. Lisa 60

    You are soooo clever! Those are some truly fabulous gift ideas. You have almost inspired me to get out of my house and go shopping.

  61. Sandie 61

    Love, love, love this post! You and I would get along just fine—the thrill IS in the hunt, and I love visiting Marshalls, TJ Maxx and other such stores just to see how creative I can be and what treasures I can find. Great job with this one Cathy…now, let’s go shopping!

  62. you are speaking my language! we were separated at birth your my long lost sister. Now I know it’s true.
    My other favorite is TJ Maxx but Marshals is the place and careful hunting can bring treasures!
    so which one do I get huh huh?

  63. Suzette 63

    Your gift ideas are all wonderful! You’re right, I’ve often spent a lot of time in the aisles of Ross and Marshalls…and TJ Maxx as well. We have a luncheon on Tuesday where we’re supposed to bring a $10 gift for “dirty Santa.” I’ve always wanted MY gift to be the one everyone steals from one another. Maybe I’ll have a shot this year if I follow your examples! :)

  64. Egghead 64

    We dont’ have a Marshall’s here. But we do have a TJ Maxx and Ross. Clever girl you are.

  65. You are so creative Cathy! What great ideas!

  66. vanessa 66

    had to update you… i actually went to marshall’s yesterday. while i didn’t make as many great finds as you, i put together one gift – a cute mixing bowl ($6!) with stonewall chocolate cake mix, mocha frosting mix, and sprinkles. it’s going to look so cute all wrapped up. will probably give it to my brother and his wife.

    i’ll probably give it another whirl next week.

    my wallet thanks you!

  67. imom 67

    Great ideas! I wish I was on your gift giving list! Asthmagirl told me about your blog and I’m really enjoying it.

  68. Mrs. L 68

    Awesome suggestions. I just hope no one in my area is reading this before I get to my local Marshalls (TJ Max would be another trip).

  69. kathy, you really are an unbelievable woman. truly. you do it ALL. you amaze me… continually…

  70. i meant cathy…

    (sorry, my close friend here is a kathy)

  71. Jane 71

    Wow!! I have always enjoyed your recipes, but the gift suggestions—I am so inspired!! You definitely have a knack for this kind of thing, and you’ve motivated me to try putting together some similar gifts. I’m heading to Marshall’s and T. J. Maxx tomorrow!!
    Thanks a bunch!

  72. People ALWAYS say I am hard to buy for.
    Anything kitchen related or food related from Home Goods or TJ’s would be great!
    Wrapped in pretty ribbon like that, you don’t have to spend a fortune (except for my husband. He has to!).
    Stacey Snacks

  73. elizabethk 73

    What an inspiring post. I am bookmarking and will call upon time and again.

    I hope you get many thoughtful and creative giftings this Christmas!

    (I read via my google feed)

  74. Tallie 74

    What wonderfully creative gifts! I never think of things like that. Thank goodness you’re around to steal ideas from! ;-)

  75. June 75

    I just had to comment on this post – it is as “current” today as it was last year. Thanks so much for the ideas. I love Marshalls, Ross, TJ Max and Tuesday Morning for the same reasons you do. Being creative and saving cashola is a darn good thing!

  76. Kate 76

    Such great ideas – I am totally inspired by this post!
    I love Marshalls and TJ Maxx especially. They have the most beautiful Himalayan Sea Salt block with a grater for $12! Fabulous hostess gift! Thanks for this wonderful post!

  77. This is always my favorite post of the year!! You are crazy creative. I love it!

  78. Laurie 78

    I’m heading to Marshalls!!! Wow, these are fabulous ideas, and I was needing some inspiration. Thank you for such a luscious post!


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