The holidays are upon us and there is no shortage of reasons to spread some holiday cheer with gifts for all our loved ones. However, spreading holiday joy can get expensive, that’s why finding deals or DIY projects can come in handy—especially if they’re under twenty-five dollars. Although Miami isn’t known for being cheap, there are a few treasure troves that will warm hearts instead of breaking banks.
For your musically inclined friends and family, check out Sweat Records’ dollar vinyls. Mostly random donations, the cheaper bins are often filled with one-hit wonders, obscure symphonies, and hilarious covers with eighties’ hairdos. You’ll also find more recognizable artists like Madonna, Acid Camera, Julio Iglesias, Nancy Sinatra, ABBA, and The Mamas and The Papas. If you’re feeling like a big spender, hit up the newer vinyl, most of them around twenty-five dollars too. However, if you’re super broke, check out the free poster bin brimming with the promotional swag of touring artists, both local and mainstream. To spruce up this bargain gift, take the posters to Office Depot and laminate them for less than five dollars if they are 8”x13” or smaller.
For all the crafty friends or family, any nearby Dollar Tree is a saver’s paradise. Want Christmas themed items? The shop has Christmas mugs, socks, stockings, and candy—all less than three dollars! Surprise your parents, roommates, or significant other by brightening the home with twenty-five dollars’ worth of decorations. On the other hand, if you’re stuck at the kiddie table again (even though you’re in your twenties,) buy some silly putty and water guns for (vengeance) a wholesome time with the youngsters. Moreover, if you want to get sentimental, buy some stickers and glitter pens from Dollar Tree, a used scrapbook from Goodwill, and develop old photos at CVS. Your mom will cry, guaranteed.
If you’re shopping for old souls or history junkies, consider Antique and Collector’s Emporium on South Dixie Highway for niche finds. Although the store looks intimidating and expensive, it’s filled with affordable treasures like vintage photographs, postcards, jewelry, accessories, and other neat knick-knacks. Not to mention, the owner is an elegant badass named Jackie who offers complimentary chocolate and bottled water. Word of warning, you will want to spend more than twenty-five dollars because 1) it’s on the farthest end of town and who knows when you’ll be back 2) quality vintage products.
In light of finding cheap gifts, let’s not forget that solely focusing on material gifts actually takes away from the real meaning of the holidays. Material things eventually become trash, even if it’s pretty trash. Whatever you decide to buy, the people who love you will adore anything you gift and hopefully vice versa. Ultimately, the holidays should be spent appreciating all the good and simple beauty in our lives, so let’s not sweat the small stuff.
By Stephanie Elmir