Inexpensive Chanukah Gift Ideas #1: Personalized Calendars

free vista calendar

I know not everyone gives Chanukah presents, but for those that do, the costs can quickly add up. We usually give our kids one *small* gift each night, which includes gifts from grandparents.

In addition, we typically exchange gifts with our parents and with each other. When money is especially tight, we can be looking at a gift budget of just $5 or $10 a person, so creativity and clever shopping is essential!

Over the next couple of weeks, I will share some of my family’s inexpensive Chaunkah gift-giving ideas with you. Of course, I won’t be able to tell you what I’m getting for my husband, since he’s one of my most loyal readers. (Well, that and I haven’t decided yet!)

First up today is Personalized Calendars. Last year, I made the grandparents wall calendars, with a different photo of our kids on each month. I did my best to make theme thematic: The kids in their Purim costumes in March; the first-day-of-school shot in September; and pictures with grandparents on their birthday months.

They were fairly quick and easy to make, but most importantly, everyone loved them! So much so that I plan to make calendars again this year (shhhh, don’t tell.)

The best part of this little creative project? They were free! I ordered them from Vista Print and all I had to pay was shipping & handling. The quality was excellent and the shipping was pretty quick.

Vista Print is offering the same deal again this year, so if you’re interested in making up a free wall or desk calendar for your friends and family, Vista would be my first choice. For the record, I have seen personalized calendars at Snapfish and Picaboo as well, but no “free” coupon codes as of yet.

If you haven’t used Vista Print before, there are two things you should know:

(1) You will pay for shipping & handling on the free calendar and the lowest priced shipping option will take a looong time. If you want to go with that option, I suggest making your calendar(s) now, just to make sure you get it in time.

(2) You will be offered a bunch of add-ons when you finish your order. DO NOT check those boxes. Even if it says something is free (like free software or free checks), selecting it will open you up to a whole spam festival in your email box. If you just make your free calendar, and proceed to checkout without ticking any other opt-ins, you will be fine. This isn’t a scam — our parents’ lovely calendars can attest to that! — but you do have to be careful not to get sucked in to checking boxes!

Even if you don’t want to make a calendar as a gift, make up a free one for yourself and use it for menu planning. Include shots of all your favorite dishes to make menu planning more fun than you can handle!

In case you didn’t get all my clever hyperlinking, just click here to order your free Vista Print calendar!


  1. actually they don’t take as long to ship as you might think…at least for the things I’ve ordered. I’ve never done calendars but I’ve done birth announcements, address labels, etc.

    • When I did the slowest shipping it took 3.5 weeks last year, and my MIL actually got her calendar after chanukah ended. (oops!) Thus my recommendation not to leave this to the last minute. I assume the more costly shipping options are more timely, but now that I think about it, my business cards (also free) were a lot faster. So maybe it’s the calendars.

  2. Our least expensive, and humorously most coveted Hanukkah gift for the kids is a movie sized box of Mike and Ikes for each of them. It costs me $4 if I pay full price and they are as happy as can be.

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