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There are a MILLION gift guides on the internet, but this is By Your Bootstraps– and around here, we like to give abundantly while staying on- budget! Check out our round- up of the Top 10 unique, budget- friendly gifts we’ve found for Christmas 2019!


Personalized Presents-

My best kept secret for personalized gifts (on a budget) is I am not a partner of this brand- but I am a HUGE customer!

If you’re looking for unique gifts for any holiday, (especially Christmas) sign up to Qualtry’s mailing list and receive AMAZING deals year-round!

(Spoiler) I’ve already got almost ALL my gifts wrapped and ready for Christmas 2019, and most of them are personalized and very expensive looking! Probably my favorite gifts I purchased this year were personalized wooden cutting boards– laser engraved with family names and fancy scroll work. They can be hung up on the kitchen wall as decoration, but they’re also quality construction and made to be used!

I spent only $5 each + shipping with a promo code from my in-box!

Check out these cutting boards and hundreds of other personalized gifts at

The Kiddos-

Last year, my two kids and I ended up at a relative’s home out of town for a Thanksgiving feast. It was a long drive- and my fidgety boys were ready to wreak some havoc after being pinned to car seats for hours! I prepared for bad behavior at dinner, and then…

They found this Magnet Puzzle on an end table. Not only were they silent, they manipulated the magically magnetized objects for more than two hours while the grown-ups shared coffee and company!

As you can imagine, I quickly searched for this thing on Amazon upon returning home! It’s way more inexpensive than I thought- $12.99+ free prime shipping! I bought one for each kid, and hid them for stocking stuffers. BIG WIN– the kids still zone out when they pick these up!

(Note- This is not for really small kids- the pieces are tiny and can be swallowed. Mature kids only!)

Gift for Yourself-

I did not realize how wonderful shower time could be until I bought a waterproof wireless speaker! (I’m probably way behind the technology curve on this one!) Last year, my mom received a blue tooth speaker as a gift. When I came to visit for a couple weeks I enjoyed that thing so much I decided to buy one for myself!

You all know I love to do DIY… I can take my waterproof speaker outside to paint the deck railings, I take it to the workshop when I’m up-cycling furniture, and of course, I get my day off to a rockin’ start when I put it in the shower first thing in the morning!


For less than $30, this speaker has totally enhanced the way I get ready for my day and do chores at home! If you’ve got a teenager at home, this is the perfect gift- just remember to gift yourself a pair of noise-cancelling headphones 😉


The Father-In-Law Who Has Everything

Do you have this problem too?! Do you have a man in the family who has everything, and every Christmas you RACK YOUR BRAIN trying to find something unique and thoughtful to buy?

I must say, I got a big pat on the back for this one a few years ago, (and BONUS- He STILL USES IT!) For the avid griller, there are only so many dry rub sets and grill accessory kits you can give! He probably already has all his favorite tools and flavors at hand-


That’s why I jumped ALL OVER this BBQ Branding Iron!

He can label his steaks with whatever inappropriate nick-names he wants! (If you don’t know yours yet- you’ll soon find out!)

This was a steal at $16! And it’s unique- not something you’d usually find for him… Enough with the Walmart Axe Gift sets already! Gift something thoughtful, AND AMUSING!

For the Pet Lover-

My grandparent’s recently lost their fur baby of 15 years. They’re “snow birds”, travelling from the mid-west to Florida in the winter, and their precious Yorkie traveled with them EVERYWHERE. Grandpa didn’t know what to do with her ashes- where to bury her?

I was heart broken. There must be a way they could take her with them…

I found a company on etsy that specializes in personalized pet products, for people- and when Grandpa received his beautiful key chain engraved with his beloved pet’s name he was truly touched!


You can’t really put a price on these kinds of gifts- but I think these personal charms are VERY reasonable- and if you love giving sentimental things like I do, I highly recommend this store for their beautiful products and quick shipping time! Visit SJ Expressions on Etsy to gift to the pet-lover in your life!

Do you love to make stuff? 

Making Christmas Candy Boxes is something of a tradition at the Bootstraps house. Every year around Thanksgiving, I check my grocery store ads for sales on almond bark, chocolate chips and dried berries- Then, my kids help me get to work in the kitchen creating some VERY TASTY TREATS for our neighbors!

One year, I shipped my chocolate covered pretzels and candied pecans to family- but I would recommend that you hand-deliver! Some of the beautiful baked goods didn’t look so beautiful after travel, (much like myself!) 

Please save our STAPLE holiday recipes and make these at home! You’re friends and family will be delighted that you took the time, but be prepared to make these again next year- you’ll be asked 😉

Addictive Chocolate Covered Pretzels by Premeditated Leftovers
From My Childhood- Peanut Butter Balls Thanks to
Starbucks Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars Courtesy of Belle of the Kitchen
Easy Saltine Cracker Toffee, Thanks to Live Well, Bake Often

Candle Lovers-

We all know Yankee candle and Bath & Body Works has some truly amazing holiday scents. But did you know- Target has their own collection of beautiful holiday candles that rival the bigger brands?! If you don’t enjoy “Dashing Through the Mall” to get to your favorite stores, Target is a pretty great place to finish your list.

You can get groceries, school supplies AND stocking stuffers all in a single trip!! These candles are a little less pricey than those other stores too- giving you some good bang for your buck at Christmastime!  

(Educational) Toys-

If you want to give to the littles this year, but you DON’T want to add to their IMMENSE collection of TOYS.. I have a few things to share with you!

I am one of those moms who appreciates those practical, interactive things that don’t make a ton of fuss! And I especially get excited when we’re gifted something slightly educational!

Here are THREE of my favorite things that have been gifted to my kids, or gifted by me to other (spoiled) children, that they truly ENJOY RECIEVING!

Super fun, immersive Board Game, purchased at Target for Christmas last year. Get the whole family involved!
When my oldest grew out of, we naturally moved on to the big- kid version, Adventure Academy!
We call this “Marble Run”! This was an awesome STEM toy gifted to us last Christmas- the kids & I spent hours together putting this together and watching it work!
That does it for my top 10 personal budget- friendly gifts this season! Let me know what you think in the comment box, and don’t forget to subscribe for more money- saving ideas and easy DIY projects!

Happy Holidays! -Breezy


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