This is # 9 of 10 Ways to Save!
In our family, birthdays and Christmas are both coming up. I don’t feel the need to buy my girls things they wouldn’t get anyway. I mean, this is America. Goodness knows they have enough toys to fuel 3 garage sales. And they always play with the same things! So, toys are out. I plan to purchase things I would get them anyway, like craft supplies, educational things like musical instruments (if I find a good deal on ebay!), girly snow boots, and hair accessories. I know they will be thrilled! My gift list for them is planned out, knowing they will love it, and it will all be put to good use–not thrown in a corner and forgotten the next day.
My husband and I are a little more high-maintenance, I’m afraid. We want expensive things. Well, if I get my expensive gift, it will be something I’ve been wanting for the last 3 years, and it will be a combination of birthday-Christmas-anniversary. Was I going to buy it anyway when I had the cash? Yes. Is it useful? Yes! The same is true for my husband’s gift. There, it is justified.
For my family and friends, I plan to give anyway gifts like baked goods on a pretty plate from the thrift store, craft items I make myself like hankies wrapped in a pretty bow and placed in an artistic clay pot, and for my close girly friends–maybe even an accessory of mine they have previously admired as a bonus gift. These are all anyway gifts. We feed our friends and family anyway; we make crafts or have some kind of hobby anyway; and we downsize our closets (even things we like, for a close pal!) anyway!
Not everyone needs a gift. Schmoozing the boss might help you out if you want to bring in some hot chocolate and homebaked cookies, or maybe just a card. Bosses tend to get really stressed around the holidays, and it might make your life easier if he/she gets a moment to relax and enjoy your gift. Teachers, babysitters, pastors, (those who offer a service that don’t get paid a ton) deserve a little something-something. Again, I don’t think it needs to be expensive. But a gesture that you care goes a long way. For groups of people and extended family, it is good to draw names, which takes the pressure off everybody. If someone has not already organized parameters for a gift exchange, then step up and be a leader!
Gift wrap need not be a cost factor. I’m a fan of buying a roll of Easter basket plastic wrap post-season for $0.25 each, and using a square of that and piece of leftover ribbon from last Christmas to wrap a plate of cookies. Or I might make my own gift bags, as you have seen in a previous post! I might use “wrapping paper” consisting of beautiful drawings from my daughters. Once I scored a box of old Christmas wrap in the attic, which has lasted me several years. For a good laugh I might even wrap someone’s gift in newspaper. Tape? Yes, you will probably need to buy that, unless you are very creative with string or recycled ribbon.
Honestly, I think we obsess way to much over the wrapping. People don’t care how much you spend, they care that you care.
Yes, I will occasionally pay full “gift price” especially for gift registries, and when I’m surprised by a birthday! (Funny how they sneak up on you every year.)
Food for thought.
Western Woman 😉