Giving Christmas presents is sometimes the best part about Christmas: when you know what to get someone and that they will love it, you feel a sense of enjoyment and accomplishment within yourself. By contrast, when you don’t know what to buy someone – or worse, you’ve forgotten altogether – finding Christmas presents can be quite stressful.

We’ve put together a few ideas of things you can whip up last minute to ensure no one gets left out at Christmas (and all without breaking the bank!).

Cheap Gift Ideas

Just because something is cheap, it doesn’t mean it is rubbish. There are so many great presents you can buy last minute that don’t cost a fortune and generally come in under a tenner. Think cocktail shakers, scarves and recipe books. These are all things you can buy at supermarkets, so you don’t even need to make a trip to a shopping centre, and you can probably still find them in stock on Christmas Eve.

As we near Christmas, shops will start stocking these types of items in festive packaging, so they’ll look more exciting as well. Plus, you can always pick up a beautiful tin of biscuits – often in a Scottie dog tin or polar bear shape – for around £5, and who doesn’t love biscuits? As the tins are lovely themselves, they’ll look more expensive and add a little smile to the face of the recipient.

Crowd Pleasers

Crowd pleasers are general gifts that you could give to almost anyone and they’d love it. While not directly personal or sentimental, usually you can tailor the gift to suit the person. Crowd pleasers are things like cosy jumpers, puzzles and luxury soap sets. While quite general, people love receiving things that make them feel a little bit special and these always hit the nail on the head. Think about what you might like to receive this Christmas - things you want but don’t want to buy yourself - and see if anyone else might like those things as well.

The great part about crowd pleaser presents is that you can buy them all year round so although they’re fab as last minute gifts as you don’t need to put too much thought into it, you can get them any time. If you’re trying to spread the cost of Christmas, try to be prepared and buy a few things like these in advance. You can gift them to anyone, so they won’t go to waste! And they’ll do well as back up birthday presents if you don’t use them for Christmas.

Homemade add-ons

If you are panicking at the last minute because you haven’t got enough presents or something hasn’t arrived in time, why not bake or make something to add into the mix. Instead of spending money on silly little things to bulk up the present bag, try creating something with the things you already have at home (or at least, can easily get from your local shop).

We love the idea of cookie jars: you put all the dry ingredients needed to make a batch of cookies into a jar (raw) and then add simple instructions like “add butter and milk”. They look really sweet – especially with a sash of ribbon tied round them – and they provide a fun activity for the recipient. You can do a similar thing with cake and gingerbread. Alternatively, why not make a batch of mince pie mince meat and jar this up instead? You can make a good amount of this fairly cheaply so you could give some to everyone. Plus, there’s not a lot of things more Christmassy than a homemade mince pie!

If you’re a good knitter or craftsman, you could always knit a nice scarf or make a personalised photo frame with a lovely photo inside. If you’re creative, there’s no end to the little homemade gifts you could make last minute to put a smile on someone’s face.

Festive brownies decorated to look like reindeers, snowmen and christmas trees!

Presents shouldn’t be about how much money we spend, but about the joy they bring to the person receiving them. No one should have to go through severe financial difficulty just to buy lots of presents. Maybe try using the Christmas Money Planner from the Money Advice Service for a little help on balancing your finances in the run up to Christmas.

Alternatively, if you are worried about your financial circumstances, don’t let it ruin a well deserved festive break: get in touch with a free debt advice service. They will be able to help you create a realistic budget and advise on where you could be cutting down your expenses or adjusting your repayments to make them more affordable. Don’t let financial troubles impair your Christmas spirit!