This time of year it’s easy to get caught up in all the holiday sale hype. It’s easy to forget that holidays are about family and community and not about consumption. Like most people I love to get people gifts and I have to reign myself in this time of year. Here are my tips for getting meaningful and mindful holiday gifts and resisting blowing a bunh of money on stuff that people don’t need or will be forgotten a week later.
Resist shopping and go the homemade route. My family always made platters of assorted baked goods to give to our teachers, post office workers and librarians. Homemade baked goods are always appreciated this time of year and it’s a cheap and easy gift that is appropriate for any small gift giving you need to do.
Get a Necessity
Prevent waste by getting them something you know that they will need or use.
Support Small Business
I love supporting small business by shopping on Etsy. It’s a great way to get unique and handmade pieces and to support small business owners.
Give to Charity
Tons of charities allow you to purchase gifts in someone else’s name. One year my family gave animals from Heffer International as gifts. Find a charity that would mean something to the person you are shopping for and make a donation in their name. This is a great way to give a thoughtful and meaningful gift that you know won’t go to waste.
Buy an Experience
My parents are stupid difficult to shop for. They live very simply and don’t really like most material gifts. My brother and I started gifting them activities we can do as a family and it’s been a huge hit. Last year we went on a sunset cruise on the river where we live and the year before we went on a kayak trip.
Tell your family that you want to make the focus of Christmas about spending time together and you don’t want to do gifts this year. My family has done this for various reasons throughout the years and it’s a great way to make the focus more on hanging out together and not about spending money. You can also suggest that you do a secret santa so each person just gets one gift or enact a ten dollar limit.
My favorite shopping hack of all time (OK maybe my only shopping hack) is to use EBates. I had heard about EBates but always thought it was a scam or probably didn’t really work the way it was advertised. One of my friends started using it and she convinced me to signup and it really does work. All you do is go to EBates.com before you shop online and you get cashback on whatever you buy.
Don’t Buy Just to Buy
This time of year advertising and sales are at a fever pitch. All of the small things you purchase on sale can quickly add up to a huge hole in your pocket. Use my holiday budget sheets to stay on budget this season.
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