In light of the financial issues that I’ve been faced with this year, I want to still be able to give meaningful gifts to my friends and family for the holidays. I have $100 worth of $/bonus points saved up from my checking account that I’ll cash out sometime in December, and I’m planning on putting aside $150 extra for gifts. It will not be an extravagant holiday season for my gift-giving and I’m kinda bummed that I can’t provide tons of fun stuff for people, especially my nephew. I get my next paycheck this Friday but then don’t get paid again until December 24th and I doubt that any banks or other places are open on Christmas Eve … well, I know retail outlets probably are. And, that’ll be a madhouse anyways.
Here’s my “to-buy for” list:
- Grandma J
- Grandma M
- Co-workers (team members) aka. small gift
I already spotted my dad’s gift this past weekend, which is $30 but is a banner of the “Original 6″ hockey clubs. It was really cool and I think he’ll love it. I already stocked up on some small items for Caiden and my sister wants me to get him a savings bond also, so I’ll be out trying to get one of those. My grandparents will all get smaller gifts because they don’t really “need” nor “want” anything anything. JP and I put a $25 cap on our gifts to each other, and my team will get some tiny items, probably candy or lotion or something.
I think one of the most important thing to keep in mind is a budget. Know what you can spend and stick to it. Many times, we can get overwhelmed and slightly consumed by the euphoria that surrounds shopping, especially during the holiday seasons. But the disappointment, guilt and credit card bills that are left in the aftermath can take months to recover. No one wants that, and I can bet anything that your family doesn’t want that for you either.
If you’re exchanging gifts with friends, set a cash limit, or plan a group activity that doesn’t need to be an actual “gift” such as a nice dinner out, girls-night, bowling, wine exchange, etc. If you set the bar, your friends will follow in your lead. Pre-plan major purchases. If you’re on the search for the “in-item” of the year for your niece, nephew, child, etc….use the few months before the holidays to start pricing and shopping … and saving, if necessary. You don’t want to be stuck paying out the wah-zoo (yeah, I went there) for something last-minute that you can’t really afford anyways.
My main advice is to just be smart. There’s no use trying to win everyone over with lavish gifts. Mostly, they just want to share time with you and see you happy as well. Enjoy good food and great conversation. Make new memories! And be creative with gifts and activities that are more meaningful than costly. Happy Holidays!