CHRISTMAS is coming, but many people will be worrying about the cost of it all. Gift buying can be very expensive or fairly economical - it's what you make it.

But don't forget that the most expensive gifts are not always those most appreciated.

Start by considering the traditional range of gifts - clothes of course, for both him and her pullover, scarf, gloves for the man perhaps, nightwear or sexy underwear for the woman.

There are perfumeries and cosmetics for the lady in your life and aftershave or toiletries for him.

A bottle of spirits is often appreciated by a man, while wine lovers might be pleased with a bottle better than what they would normally purchase.

A beautiful bunch of flowers or a quality box of chocolates is nearly always welcomed by a lady.

Jewellery is a winner with both sexes and here, there's no limit to what you can spend, so think carefully and make the correct choice of present.

Vouchers for books, records, CDs, videos etc. offer a universal choice and are nearly always a safe buy for all ages.

Many specialist shops sell vouchers allowing the recipient to make a selection in their own good time.

And there is the old stand-by of gifts for a hobby. Embroidery, photography, modelmaking, sport, outdoor pursuits - there's really no limit to your choice in this category.

Pictures, puzzles, ornaments, china, pottery, glassware, quality pots and pans, superior dining room and kitchenware items all offer gift possibilities bearing the individual in mind.

Jigsaw puzzles make excellent presents for both men and women - many people like the challenge.

For the rare or unusual gift, a trip round the antique or second-hand shops and a little imagination is all you need.

An old china pot or bowl bought in a junk shop and filled with potpourri can prove a hit.

There's many a collectable item at a reasonable price that someone would really appreciate as a present - all they take is a little time and patience to find.

Socks and handkerchiefs may be cheap gifts, but they are not always welcome, especially after the sixth or seventh set, so avoid these unless you can find something a little unusual.

Something for the car perhaps a new chamois with polish and shampoo, a book of maps or a manual.

Craft fairs can be good source for gift buying. Hand-made earrings in exotic styles can prove a big hit with the fashion-conscious.

A bunch of dried flowers neatly boxed can be inexpensive but very nice to look at and there are so many different designs, large and small, that just about everyone who likes dried flower arrangements will appreciate another gift of this nature.

Someone who has everything, including a computer, might appreciate a minivac, especially designed to clean a keyboard or camera.

Whatever you choose - happy shopping!