So we are officially into December. That means we are only weeks away until the big guy in the red suit visits. Here are some tips on keeping your holiday shopping on budget.
Make a List
If you haven’t already, make a list of who you want to buy for, approximately how much you want to spend for each person and some gift ideas. It’s like grocery shopping. You won’t be effective if you go in without a plan. You end up wasting time, money and – inevitably – you will forget something.
Set a Budget
Set your budget. Then stick to it. Take some time to look at ads and watch for things that are on your list that you can pick up on sale. Remember that if someone has made it to your list, they are important to you. At the end of the day, they really don’t care how much you spent. It’s the thought that counts.
If you are part of a large family, consider contributing to one larger gift. If your list is the same as someone else’s, why not get together. The bonus is you can save time by also splitting the ‘to do’s of actually making the purchase. Be sure everyone keeps track of receipts so you can square up at the end.
Think Stocking Stuffers
You don’t have to break the bank to buy big, expensive gifts. Think stocking stuffer stuff. Sometimes it’s the small things that have the most meaning. Maybe someone on your list is a coffee or tea lover. You can put together an inexpensive gift that includes different samples, a special mug and maybe some honey or cinnamon to make it extra special. An outdoorsy person could get a ‘keep warm’ survival kit that includes a hat, mitts, warm socks and some hand warmers that slip into mitts and boots. Be creative and have fun with it.
Consider a Handmade Gift
Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that have been made with time and love. Perhaps you are an amateur photographer. You might put together a special calendar, DVD photo album set to favourite music or a collage frame that includes some special photos of a trip or event you enjoyed together. If you love to cook or bake, your gift might be a special dinner or dessert or your favourite recipe ingredients layered in a mason jar with a pretty recipe tag attached. Maybe you are handy in the garden or with knitting needles. Your gift might be a handmade creation or an afternoon teaching and sharing your skills.
Ultimately, have fun and keep in mind the true meaning of the holidays. Your gift should reflect the person you are buying for. Put some thought into it. Anyone can go out and buy something but your gift should reflect your relationship. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give a unique and thoughtful gift to the special people in your life. Happy giving!