Blogs » Business Notebook » Gift giving doesn't always have to break the bank

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I'm not sure about the rest of you out there, but when the holiday season rolls around for me, it means a little stricter budget, fewer meals out and renting movies instead of a trip to the theater.

Newsflash for those who happen to be rolling in dough: buying presents is expensive. Really expensive. No joke.

And it's that very reason that I am a huge advocate of homemade gifts. Now, I'm not talking about those little coupon books that entitle the person to "one free hug" or macaroni glued to a sheet of paper (Unless you're 5 - and then it's adorable). I'm an advocate of homemade gifts that people would actually like.

I've gone the scrapbook route - I made them for my grandmas a couple of years ago and still hear how much they like them. I've never gotten as good a reaction from anything store-bought. Crocheted blankets are always pretty popular - everybody gets cold once in a while. And also, if it's a gift for a family, rather than an individual person, I'll do party mix or cinnamon candy.

I found a Web site that offers instructions for homemade gifts suitable to give a grown-up without looking cheap - we're talking things like message boards, snowy candles, etc. Take a look here.

Our family's cinnamon candy is always a big hit - I don't have the recipe on me (and in all honesty I'm not sure the family wants to hand it over) - but if I can find it, I'll post it up here soon.