The holiday season is upon us once again, and many of us will be buying gifts for friends, co-workers, and loved ones. If you’re going to be going on a shopping spree, I know it can be stressful – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some ideas to ease you through this year’s gift-giving season:
List the loved ones. Create a list of who you are planning on giving to this year, and what you would like to give each person. Make sure your intended gifts fit within the budget that you have in mind for your holiday spending. Come up with a few options for each recipient so that you have a backup plan in case you can’t find what you wanted to get them initially.
Re-gift without regret. We all have received gifts that we don’t really want or need – that garish painting from Aunt Sally, the ill-fitting sweater from Uncle Dave, and so on. As well meaning as the givers were, these items are just not right for you – but they may be perfect for someone else. Collect all your re-giftables into one area, and go down your gifting list and see if someone on there might be a good fit for one of your castoffs. When you re-gift, make sure the person who gave you the gift initially and the person to whom you are going to be re-gifting it to are not in the same social circle.
Keep your costs down by planning ahead. Make sure you get the best deal on your purchases by checking sites like blackfriday.info, fatwallet.com and slickdeals.net. These sites have forums listing the hot deals of the day and opportunities to save cash on popular products. If you’re out and about and are ready to buy, before you hit the checkout line try calling 1-888-DO-FRUCALL. This free service lets you type in the UPC product code of the item you’re thinking of buying, and checks its price against several online retailers to find you the lowest price.
Consider giving experiences instead of things. If someone loves to dine, give them a gift certificate for their favorite restaurant. Got a friend that’s into art? How about a class at a local art center? People quickly forget things that are given to them, but tend to remember experiences – as well as the giver. Another bonus – experiences don’t take up any storage space! Another great “non-thing” gift is making a donation to your recipient’s favorite charity. This is a gift that people really remember.
Plan for next year. Once this holiday season is over, start a list of gift ideas to help you decide what to get for next year. If it’s February and you see something that would be a perfect holiday gift for your Aunt Sally, just jot it down on your list under her name. Do the same thing for everyone else you’d normally buy gifts for. When next year’s holidays come around, you won’t have to spend any time coming up with a shopping list.
I know that the holidays can be filled with fun, food – and to-do lists. Make this season easier by planning ahead a bit. Don’t let your holiday shopping become just another chore – after all, isn’t there supposed to be joy in giving?