When I give gifts to friends or family I like to put a little bit of thought and a lot less money into it. Believe it or not a $100 outfit is easy to buy and does not require any thought. But a nice plant arrangement is homemade, thoughtful, unique and a lot cheaper than the $100 outfit.
The wicker purse bag on the above picture was $3 at the used goods store + $10-15 worth of plants makes a great planted purse that looks unique and is bound to be loved by the receiver. In this case I added some hemp mesh and a blue denim fabric stripe for a punch of color and whoa-la.
Have you ever seen those old containers that were once used for teas or spices? I bet your grandmother may even have some in her garage somewhere. If you have some then may I suggest putting a succulent in it. In the bottom picture Dudleya lanceolata shines in it's true glory in what used to be a tea container.
There are many things that you can do to get creative and impress your friends or family. Just remember that some plants prefer shade while some prefer sun and knowing the plants habit will help you better select the right plant to use. You could also bring the container to the nursery and have the sales associate assist you in picking the right plant for your container.
Another neat gift idea is a holiday herb basket as demonstrated by Fern Richardson from Life on The Balcony.