Early reports are showing that people across the country are spending quite a bit of money this year on the holidays even though they don’t really have money to be spending. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap. Don’t fall for all the retail gimmicks and splurge on the ‘best sale of the year’ every time you come across one. You can have a festive, heartfelt holiday season without spending a fortune! Here are a few ideas for Christmas gift baskets that’s sure to bring joy and a few other tips…

The Family Christmas Basket

Wondering what to get that family you’re close friends with? This is a perfect gift that they’ll all enjoy! Depending on the members of the family, it can include a variety of items. Put in a nice Christmas CD they can enjoy listening to, along with a Christmas ornament that’s customized with their family name (here’s some help on making homemade personalized Christmas ornaments) and some homemade fudge & candy canes. If there are children in the family, include a couple of small illustrated books they can read together.

The Spa Basket

Although you normally associate ‘spa’ with being expensive that’s far from the truth. You can easily find little things like an eye mask, lotions, etc… at your local dollar store. You can even make your own goodies to fill the basket, such as a delightful sugar scrub. There are lots of them you can make that serve different purposes – they’re easy, cheap and fun to do too!

Angry Birds

If you’re looking for something a little more ‘fun’ for the kiddies, don’t fret. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to see their face light up Christmas morning. If you’re like most families these days, your kids probably spend at least some time on a PC, tablet or smart phone. One of the most popular games right now that kids and adults both love is Angry Birds… Admittedly, I play this all the time with our 6-year-old and our 2-year-old has pretty much even gotten the hang of it on my Android phone!

Just the other day, I bought Angry Birds RIO and the Season’s version for him to play on his computer. The cost? A whole $4.99 each. Divide that by the hours he sits playing and figuring out the strategy to win each level and that’s crazy cheap. He keeps begging for me to buy the original Angry Birds for his PC, too… but guess what – he’ll have it come Christmas morning and he’ll be thrilled.

Kinect Amazon Bundle

Older kids are a little harder to please, though. They likely want bigger, cooler… more expensive gifts. Kinect for the Xbox360 lets them have fun and get exercise at the same time (Seems much cooler than the Wii we have!). However, I did recently notice that Amazon has a Kinect bundle that comes with the Kinect Adventures game and even tokens so you kids can download Fruit Ninja Kinect and Gunstringer. Of course, it comes with the Kinect sensor too… for only $99 Not a bad deal at all.

Veronica is a mom of two boys and a WAHM freelance writer. She suggests using comparison shopping and always checking for the latest Amazon holiday coupons online before purchasing anything. With the holidays among us, there are always new deals popping up.