I am looking for the best value, basic, beginners software packages that can help me create my own personalised cards & print gifts for friends & family please?
If you are printing these yourself on a home printer, you may already have software that you could use, such as a word processor, like MS Word. Or painting software such as MS Paint. Sure these are pretty basic, but you could use them to layout a simple print project with text and graphics/photographs. If you don't have or want to buy or use MS Office products, then there's also LibreOffice which is free and open source.
If you want software that's more capable, and you don't mind a bit of a learning curve, then there's some Open Source software (all free) that you might want to have a look at:
GIMP which is a raster image editor for manipulating photographic images, similar to Adobe Photoshop.
Inkscape is a vector image editor for creating logos and graphics, similar to Adobe Illustrator.
Scribus is desktop publishing software for page layout, similar to Adobe InDesign. This software also supports CMYK colour for commercial print jobs.
Krita - digital art/painting software, raster based, but with vector capabilities too. This software also supports CMYK colour for commercial print jobs.