Often I have made some home made gifts for my children using pictures, and other decorations like the characters that come from their gifts bags if we have had a birthday party, or from special cards for notes they have received. One year we printed my son a coupon and promised him a sleepover with a couple of close friends as a gift. I also have passed on things like jewelry or purses I did not use anymore as a gift for a little girl.
This year I have to be honest with Christmas, I have not done much home made. Next week while the kids are off school we will bake cookies, and make play dough. I did check out the good will and salvation army. We actually got a teacher gift for .50 and I got my daughter a bracelet making set for .99 that she will love. New in box. It can be a great idea to check those places.
I have also accepted things my friends with older kids may no longer use, and presented them nicely for my children. If there is a specific item your child is asking for, you may be able to ask grandparents or other people in your life that usually do something for your kids if they would like to go in on a gift with you. For example, this year my daughter's request was the Minnie Mouse Kitchen. It wasn't really in our price range. I checked prices Black Friday the best price was 74.00. So I was going to ask her grandparents to go in on the gift with us, but actually, I later found the kitchen for 60.00 and my best friend put 20.00 towards the gift for her, so we only had to pay 40.00 and my daughter will get something on her wish list, even though it is from more then just her parents. I shopped mostly online this year, alot of places had free shipping. I got my son a jacket that retailed for 18.00 in the store online for half prices. Same jacket from the same store, but online it was cheaper. Don't be afraid to check out local Facebook yard sale sites (of course always meet in a safe well populated neutral place), I have found gently used items, from tv's to video games, to books that my kids really wanted.
I am making my daughter up a little bag of goodies filled with dollar tree items like hair ties, bubble bath, etc.
Those are some of the things I could think of. Simple really can be effective. Home made experiences or gifts can go a long way! I hope this was somehow helpful.
From our family to yours, Have Yourself a Merry Christmas!!!!! Here is our little collection of recent event photos....A Christmas Parade, A school play my daughter was in, and a couple of family togetherness shots before a church dinner. Much love to you all!