Gifts for Other People's Children
You love the idea of showing up like Santa at your friends' homes with small gifts for their children, but the added expense of the toys awakens your inner Scrooge. Here's one way to save big on little gifts: During the year, whenever you stop at a rest stop or a mall with a toy vending machine, pop in a few quarters and save the prize. Disperse these baubles (they're prewrapped!) to your friends' children as you make the holiday social rounds. If you have more than a few coins to spare, look for games built to quietly amuse. These serpentine dominoes will delight the kids and their parents without putting you over your budget ($13 at Target).