Gifts from the heart, not the credit card
It is the season to be jolly…if you’re a retailer! Intense commercialisation of holiday gift giving sets lofty expectations and can quickly negate tidings of goodwill. It’s time to bring the joy back. For most of us, indulging in spending time with family and friends is far more fulfilling than facing into retail chaos and credit card angst.
Here are some tips for planning your Christmas gift giving and keeping stress levels, and your budget, manageable.
Write your list, check it twice
Here is a suggested approach to managing your gift giving budget:
- Set your total budget amount.
- Write down the names of everyone you plan to give gifts to.
- Calculate the cost of gift wrapping, cards and sticky tape. Deduct this amount away from your total budget. And remember newspaper with festive ribbon can look very effective as gift wrap, as can handmade cards or tags!
- Divide the remaining budget evenly by the number of names on your list.
- Redistribute the funds as you see fit. For example, you may want to allocate more to grandchildren than your twice removed sister-in-law.
- Check the list again. Now, consider the people on your list where a card, letter or token handmade gift would be valued. Reshuffle your budget accordingly.
- Research gifts to suit each person, under the budget allocated. Compare prices online, and hold on to brochures with advertised specials.
Influence creative gift giving this year
Speak with loved ones about introducing creative gift giving traditions. Consider the following ideas for group festivities:
Kris Kringle or Secret Santa
Coordinate a Kris Kringle or Secret Santa where everyone brings just one gift valued at price point comfortable for all.
Set a limit or a theme
Suggest that this year, adults are not to outlay more than say, $5 per gift per adult. The challenge is then for everyone to get creative and get the most out of the limit set. Or specify that all gifts must be handmade.
Coordinate a collection for one special gift
Collective gift giving gives to everyone involved! If a loved one has been wanting say, a camera – set up a collection and buy the camera, or a gift voucher for a camera – with love from everyone. This will save you time, money and is a well-considered, highly appreciated gift.
A festive tin of biscuits may sit in the recipient’s stash for re-gifting next year! Make a bulk batch of homemade gourmet goodies (Anzac biscuits are budget friendly and popular); or propagate a cutting from your garden, then grab some cellophane and ribbon and create 10 gifts for the price of one inflated one.
Create gift vouchers for your services. For example a book of 5 vouchers for your services like ‘this voucher entitles you to one Sunday afternoon high tea in my garden for you and three friends’ or ‘one basket of ironing done’; or ‘18 holes of golf with me, my treat’ and the like. It is a thoughtful, personalized gift that isn’t compressed into the month of December.
Most importantly of all, soak up the festivities, stay safe and enjoy the holiday season.