Thrill Her on the Cheap

I have more than my fair share of holiday gift horror stories (that Titanic-sized second-hand microwave first comes to mind). Since we’re all on a tight budget this year, you can try to go for personalized – those gifts are priceless and girls love them. The only catch? They require more-than-average effort on your part (but that’s the point!). Here are five ideas:

1. Good old mixed tape (Cost: $2 – $10 for blanks plus hours of searching & putting together a playlist)
There is nothing sweeter than listening to good tunes that remind you of me. Don’t just give a plain CD – make it artsy with pretty labels and a dedication; give a series of CDs if you have enough material (I once got a music CD plus David Sedaris CD to balance out the over-kill of romance tunes).

2. Photo plus frame ($10 – $25 for frame plus searching and processing of the photo)
The photo can be of the following: me, us together, place I grew up in, place we first kissed in, a puppy you’re going to buy me next year when we know each other a bit better. You can get nice frames at Urban Barn, for example.

3. is your friend (up to $25, hours of browsing)
If you’ve never heard of etsy, please send flowers/thank-you cards here. This is the emporium of handmade, meaningful gifs: thousands of potential and unique prezzies. I recommend a local, Augusta Marie, for amazing, beautifully packaged one-of-a-kind pendants under $25.

4. At-home spa (up to $25, lots of shopping around but may be a one-go at Shoppers Drugmart)
Pick a theme & colour and hit the many stores in town for those two perfect scented candles ($5), soap ($3), bubble-m

5. Poetry (up to $25, Chapters, used book stores)
No, not your own (unless you’re him) but as with the mixed tape, this can be a highly personalized gift if you know your girl’s tastes. “Dedicate” one poem to her (frame it?).

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