Stuck for Christmas gift ideas?

(NC) Shopping for some people on your list is fun and easy — you know exactly what they want and where to get it. For others, not so much. If you’re stumped on gift-giving ideas, here is some affordable inspiration to keep you within your budget.

For the kids. How many toys does a kid really need? Whether you’re shopping for your own child or someone else’s, chances are they’ll receive plenty of toys this season. Minimize waste and unused toys by using this list — want, need, wear and read. Coordinate with relatives to make sure the kids in the family have one of each for a balance of both useful and fun gifts.

For work Secret Santa. Here, stick with something edible or a fun gag gift if you know them well. Chocolates are always a safe bet, but look for nut-free varieties in case of sensitivities in the office. Another idea is to try a twist on the tradition — have everyone pick out a toy the kid version of their recipient would have loved, and donate the lot to a toy drive after unwrapping them as a group.

For couples. Whether it’s your empty-nester parents, a young couple with a toddler or a power career duo without kids, all partnerships could benefit from a weekend away together. Think a staycation with a hotel in their same city, a holiday in a new place or a spa retreat in the country. If you’re a Marriott Rewards member, you can even use your rewards points to book a night or two away for a wow-factor gift that’s easy on your budget. Find more information at

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