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The 12 Days of Christmas Countdown: Day 3

We're counting down the days and double checking our list of chores pre-Christmas. Follow along and add your own tricks to keep this holiday on track. We peruse a few inexpensive, but thoughtful gifts for friends today.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, gifts for my friends, and 

According to a wise man by the name of Elbert Hubard, "Your friend is the (one) who knows all about you, and still likes you." That in itself is reason enough to make a select few worthy of some holiday trinket.

Whether it's a Secret Santa exchange, or simply a price limit to keep the giving fair and friendly, a gift swap among friends doesn't have to be an expensive, arduous process. A little creativity and the know-how of where to look are all you need.

Believe it or not, stores like , and are great stops to shop these trinket treasures. Carrying a variety of candles, soaps, candies and adult beverages, it's fairly easy to pick one item to dress up or several to create a themed basket of fun.

The first step, of course, is to narrow down the "nice list" among your friends–lists make every shopping excursion easier and nine times out of 10, you spend less.

With list in hand, divide your friends into arts and eats. The "arts" get the scented candles and iTunes gift cards, while the eats get all that's sweet, salty and delicious. If you have a really diverse set of friends you can mix and match–chocolate-scented candle, 12-ounce jar of Sanders Hot Fudge. Win-win.

Here are a few ideas and the spots around town where you can find the necessary items to wrap things up:

  • Cookie Mixes in Mason Jars
  • Michigan-Made Gift Baskets, fill with Better Made chips, Faygo, Sanders and your favorites – , Morley Candy Makers,
  • Christmas "Spirits" – , ,
  • Candle Extravaganza – , ACO Hardware,
  • Tee for Two, golf certificates – , , ,
  • An Evening Out, restaurant gift cards – Kroger, Meijer, restaurant of choice
Jenny Whalen (Editor) December 15, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Do you do one gift per friend, or Secret Santa/white elephant?
Jenny Whalen (Editor) December 15, 2011 at 07:16 PM
P.S. If you're leaning toward candles as a gift, I was just emailed this deal by a reader: Grab this Yankee Candle coupon for Buy 1-Get 1 FREE Signature Reed Diffuser (Exp. 12/24). Online shoppers can also enter code H1111 to get the same deal. http://www.couponmountain.com/Yankee_Candle-coupons-deals.html Also, Dec. 16 is FREE SHIPPING DAY for many onlines stores. CouponMountain will post the list at midnight Thursday: http://www.couponmountain.com/blog/

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