34 answers

Small Gift Ideas for Holidays for Acquaintances- Eco Friendly, Practical, Cute

This group always has such good ideas- I thought I would throw this one out there. Does anyone have any cute or clever ideas for small gifties for day care workers, co-workers, acquantainces etc? Something I can buy 20-30 of? I have always given small gifts, and of course this year would like to find some clever ideas for under $5- and practical is good because with this economy i don't think people need more wasteful gag gifts to throw away. I was thinking something along the lines of something eco friendly or otherwise useful- saw some cute reusable bag in a bag types of thing at the grocery store. Of course, I have done and can do baked goods, but would really appreciate some other ideas. I work full time, so I can't really make anything crafty for 20 people, but feel free to share those ideas too if you think it would help other moms. :)

12 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I knew I would get some fabulous responses. Tnanks everyone! I ended up doing the Chico bags for the small gifties (the website had some other prints instead of the ones with the store name on them that I saw at the store). However, I also am using some of the other great ideas for gifts for family. The green gift websites were the best (thanks Aphra!). I also recommend globalgirlfriend.com-- I found some great items there that not only are eco friendly but support working women in developing nations and other women's groups. Gifts at various prices that carry good stories with them about the women who make them (India, Afghanistan, Burma etc) at all prices. I also got some great donation certificates. Thanks again everyone!!!

Featured Answers

A cute gift I saw a parent give to teachers and teacher aides was a small potted plant of thyme (the herb). She got small gift bags (fabric) from the Dollar Store and put the plants inside and tied the string just below the plant -- you might even take some cute x-mas fabric squares--try some fabric that won't fray like fleece-- and just tie them to the plant with some ribbon. You might want to wrap the bottom of the plant with cellophane/Saranwrap first.

The note attached said either "thanks for all the "time you've given", or "wanted to give you a little "time"), or some other clever phrase.

4 moms found this helpful

We made paper out of old paper and embedded flower seeds in the paper. Then gave everyone a little garden. All they had to do was plant it and water.

One year we bought those smaller clay pots and bottoms (trays), put dirt in a little baggie and put the baggy in the pot. Then cut the seed embedded paper to fit the top of the pot. The card explained what to do.

Stephanie

1 mom found this helpful

Making food always gets a good reception. Years ago when I was more ambitious, I prepared a homecooked lunch for the day care staff (12 people). They loved it! I had to take the morning off from work to do all the cooking and deliver the food. They really appreciated the food and the effort. I've also done a Noah's Bagel spread and delivered it in the morning.
On other occasions, I've given Starbuck's Bucks which everyone seems to like. You can dress them up a bit by putting the card in a little pouch with some candy.
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

A cute gift I saw a parent give to teachers and teacher aides was a small potted plant of thyme (the herb). She got small gift bags (fabric) from the Dollar Store and put the plants inside and tied the string just below the plant -- you might even take some cute x-mas fabric squares--try some fabric that won't fray like fleece-- and just tie them to the plant with some ribbon. You might want to wrap the bottom of the plant with cellophane/Saranwrap first.

The note attached said either "thanks for all the "time you've given", or "wanted to give you a little "time"), or some other clever phrase.

4 moms found this helpful

My answer isn't going to relate much to the small "gifties".
You mentioned daycare workers in your list of people you want to give something to. Having been there as a daycare worker, I'd like to put out some ideas for them. People tend to bring in candy or bath items... special soaps, lotions etc. With each parent spending $5 to $10 on these items that the teacher often doesn't need .. or that isn't a scent that the teacher would use, I've often thought it would be really nice if several parents would get together and pool their money into one small 'token' and a gift card. Someone in the group could, in casual talk with the teacher when dropping off or picking up their child, find out a favorite restaurant, store, etc. from which to get the gift card. Nice 'token' gifts to go with a card might be something the parent has helped the child make.

As far as the smaller gifts go, I have received several over the years that have been special. Probably the best one is a bracelet one girl gave to me when she left my class to go into kindergarten. It has little figures on it that look like stylized people (children) and I have worn it almost constantly since I got it over 5 years ago. The children I work with now love to look at my bracelet and play with those little figures. Another family had a side business selling Mexican pottery and gave me several pieces of that... so if you have something that would just remind the teacher of your family each time she/he looked at it, that would make a wonderful gift too. I remember those two families each time I look at their gifts.

2 moms found this helpful

Do you know how to make jam? You said that you have done baked goods in the past. I usually give my kids' school "people" (principal, librarian, etc.) jars of homemade boysenberry, raspberry, blueberry jam that I decorate with cute holiday fabric and a raffia or jute bow with a homemade gift tag. They love it, and have for the last two years asked if I will be doing it again!

People tend to appreciate something little to say thanks and Merry Christmas that can be tasted, enjoyed, and that doesn't clutter up the space. If you don't have time to bake or do "crafty things" then a $5 gift card to Jamba Juice, Starbuck's, or something that will get them a few minutes to enjoy the treat is usually appreciated.

I have done everything from homemade candles, bath salts, flavored oils to picture frames and baked goodies and jam. If you don't make jam, find a store (Cost Plus is great for this)pick up some packets of scone mixes and a sampler pack of jams and split them up between everyone. You can wrap them in a brown lunch sack that you have stamped, colored, or tied a colored ribbon around and give that as a small thank you. It really doesn't have to be anything big. Even a simple Thank You card is appreciated if money is really tight.

Maybe you have a store in your area that sells handmade items from different artists and vendors? Who says you have to make it yourself? We have a place in Fresno called The Palace Courtyard that is full of handmade items by various crafters/artists in the area.

Have fun, whatever you decide to do!

2 moms found this helpful

How about a donation to a charity in your area; in their honor? My neighbors, for example, make a donation in our honor to Heifer International. You "purchase" a goat, bees, rabbits or other animals for a village. It is a gift that keeps on giving. Or how about a donation of books or blankets to a homeless shelter, childrens center or SPCA...make a nice card on your computer to go to the person or people you are honoring in this way. Joy to you and your family!

1 mom found this helpful

etsy.com is a crafters site, most everything there is eco- friendly. here is a link to some things under $20.

http://www.etsy.com/gift-guides/under-20/34

1 mom found this helpful

I realize you've made your decision already, but I just wanted to share what I am doing this year for family...

Cookies in a Jar
Soup in a Jar

You don't have to actually bake anything - just layer the ingredients in a mason jar and tie a pretty ribbon around it. There are recipes online with the instructions for the recipient on what to add and how to cook the recipe from within the jar.

Enjoy!

1 mom found this helpful

Make a donation to your local food bank or Toy$ for Tot$ etc. Then get boxed gla$$ holiday ornament$ for each recipient - attach a tag that readz "A donation waz made in your honor to __________________. Happy HOlidayz!"
I do thi$ for all my co-worker$, auntie$ etc. and they all love it!
I found cute gla$$ boxed ornamentz at Long'$, O$H, Walgreen'z etc. for under $8 each.
Kiddo broke a key off the laptop - $orry for the funky $pelling!

1 mom found this helpful

We made paper out of old paper and embedded flower seeds in the paper. Then gave everyone a little garden. All they had to do was plant it and water.

One year we bought those smaller clay pots and bottoms (trays), put dirt in a little baggie and put the baggy in the pot. Then cut the seed embedded paper to fit the top of the pot. The card explained what to do.

Stephanie

1 mom found this helpful

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