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Holiday gifting can be a stressful experience. A feeling of obligation to purchase gifts for family, friends, and coworkers can easily lead to a larger than expected hit to your account balances. Whether you’re looking for more meaningful gift ideas or options that may be more budget-friendly, read ahead so you can finish out the holiday shopping season with confidence:
Prep Homemade Gifts
A simple Google search will lead to endless ideas for holiday gifts you can make in bulk. Search for coupons or a sale on the items you need and set aside an afternoon to purchase and assemble your holiday gifts in a festive package. This can also be a low-cost solution for a young family member who wants to share the holiday spirit. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- A jar of dry ingredients for a cookie recipe
- A sugar scrub for dry winter skin
- An at-home manicure or pedicure kit
- A holiday ornament
- Stovetop potpourri
Give the Gift of Time
Sometimes finding the item that is “just right” can be a roadblock to finishing holiday shopping. Instead, set your sights on an experience that you and the gift recipient can do together or that they can enjoy on their own time. This idea could also help offset the timing of holiday spending if you are strapped on cash. Some ideas include:
- Lunch or dinner at their favorite restaurant
- Coffee and a sweet treat at a local coffeehouse you’ve been meaning to try together
- Time together while helping support a good cause (e.g. meal packing at Feed My Starving Children, walking dogs at a local animal shelter)
- An annual membership they’ll actually use (e.g. Zoo, Museum)
Plan a Group Gift Exchange
If you have a large group of coworkers, family members, or friends that you regularly exchange gifts with, you know how quickly purchases can add up – even if they are for small amounts. Suggest your group draw names for a gift exchange and set a spending threshold that is realistic for everyone who has chosen to participate. This will likely ease gifting burdens for everyone involved and give you the opportunity to find a more meaningful gift.
Create a Gifting Tradition
Another solution to ease holiday gifting anxiety is to create a blueprint you can follow for years to come. Selecting a category (or categories) for gifts can be a fun tradition and can help set realistic gifting expectations for young family members. Here are some ideas:
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
- Something to share
- Something for hair
- Something to make
- Something to do
The possibilities are endless and can make for fun holiday memories (e.g. pajamas and a book as a gift before bedtime). Do you have a great idea for another gifting category? Share it in the comments!
Write a Heartfelt Note
Buying the perfect holiday gift is not worth going into debt. If your budget is too tight for holiday spending, those who care about you will understand! If this includes young family members, setting expectations early is key. Breaking the news that they may not get the toy they’ve been talking about for months on the holiday itself or even days before will not create a positive holiday experience for anyone involved. As an alternative to pricy gifts, consider a handwritten note from the heart - it will likely be something that sticks with the recipient longer than a small trinket or last-minute gift card.
Material in this blog should not be considered legal, financial or other professional advice. Neither the publisher nor TruStone Financial assumes liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on this material. Websites not belonging to TruStone Financial are for information only. No endorsement is implied.