It's July- the big time for vacations and when millions of people flock to the beach or other destinations.
The beach is a perfect place to pick up special gifts- literally- for free. Hunt the shores for sea shells and use them to glue to a plain store-bought (or hand painted) picture frame. This could work great as a gift for a mother or grandparent, especially if you have an old picture of the family at the beach.
Gather seashells and sand from the beach. Put the sand in a vase (try the dollar store), place a candle in the sand (make sure it's slightly buried in the sand for stability) and sprinkle cute shells you found (or bought cheaply at the gift shops) around it. You can do this same thing with beautiful pebbles from a mountain stream.
Pick up river rocks if the beach isn't your thing. Wash them well and let them dry, then use a paint pen to write words on each rock that describe your recipient- "Funny", "Happy", "Inspiring"- try to do around 10, then package them in a cute little container. Write a beautiful note to the person you are gifting them to, to let them know where the rocks came from and that each one describes how you feel about them. This is a perfect pick-me-up gift and a nice bowl picked up on clearance could make a lovely way for them to be displayed year round.
Even if you don't want to make a gift, try looking for unique items while you are shopping on vacation. You never know when you'll find a completely unique item in one of those funky little tourist shops- it's a great way to avoid a big box store and you can even share that you got the item in X- a subtle way to share with the person that you were thinking about them at a time other than Christmas.
Catch up on all the 12 Months of Christmas posts here.