Christmas Gifts – Sometimes, Less is More

Somebody please tell me, when did December creep up on me? My “to do” list says it’s time for a Christmas post and I can’t believe it’s just a few weeks away.

Some of us are probably not done with Thanksgiving leftovers yet….how could it be time for Christmas already?

So, if you’re grabbing your coat and bag to rush out to the mall to find the coolest bargains before they’re gone, wait. These tips could save you lots of time and some hard-earned money.

  • Never buy gifts for people because you have to. If someone is not really very close to you, then why waste time and energy trying to find an inexpensive gift for them that they will probably not use anyway? Too many of us fall into this trap of buying something, because it’s supposed to be better than nothing. I have news for you – it’s not. Unless you really know someone well, know what they might like, feel a special bond and really want to buy a gift for them – don’t. You’d be better off taking them out for coffee or simply wishing them a Merry Christmas in the hallway or the street. They’re more likely to remember and appreciate THAT than a pair of re-wrapped socks.
  • Always make a list and stick to it. Never head out to the mall without a list. It’s one of the most dangerous places to be in as far as your wallet is concerned. One minute you will be going in counting a handful of things you need to buy and 6 hours later you will be walking out with a dozen bags in each hand without a clue as to what hit you. You’ll find more tips on how to make a good shopping list that saves you time and money in the next post.
  • Buy bulk gifts whenever possible. Visit warehouse stores and find bargains on items such as stationary, books, clothes and other items. With one such bulk pack, you could strike off two or three people off your gift list.
  • Use Coupons. Do not throw away the flyers and coupons you receive in your mail, in magazines and newspapers. Clip them and save them. Even if you don’t find anything you like, you could always trade it with someone else who may be looking for those items. A book of neatly organized coupons in itself would make a good gift for a savvy shopper in your family.
  • Do not underestimate the value of FREE! Many of us don’t realize that some of the best gifts are still free. For something to be valuable, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Your time, for example is one of the best gifts there is. There are so many different ways you could use it to make someone else’s day better. You could offer to baby-sit your friend’s or sister’s kids for a few hours. For free. You could spend an hour reading to your nieces and nephews or to your kid’s class. For free. You could drive up to see your grandma in the senior center and spend an entire day with her. Or just take a day off and surprise your spouse, friend or mom at work, take them out to lunch or for a walk. The consumer culture we have all been subjected to has led us to forget the incredible value of free gifts that mean a whole lot more than a shopping bag full of unwanted clutter.

And on the same note- guess what else is completely free, creates no clutter and makes your loved ones smile even before they open it?

Free Christmas Ecards.  And, we’ve got plenty of those here.

Have a great Holiday Season!