Spreading the Holiday Cheer (Responsibly)

This is one of my favorite times of the year. There’s snow and hot chocolate as you curl up to watch holiday movies – the cheesier the better in my book! I enjoy decorating the tree with my family, wandering the city amidst all the festive decorations, and the many holiday parties that allow me to spend time with family and friends. For me, it’s a season of connecting with those I love.

In addition to the good tidings and cheer, this time of year also brings about a whirlwind of holiday shopping. Finding the perfect gift that shows your loved ones just how important they are to you can be stressful – and potentially expensive! So, in the spirit of responsible generosity, here are a few ideas to keep top of mind as you search for that perfect gift – without getting yourself into the season’s proverbial financial pinch.

Make a List & Set a Budget

It may sound simple, but sit down and make a list of those you want to be sure to have a special gift for. Once you’ve completed your list, check it twi – wait, that’s not us – set a budget. Determine the maximum amount you will spend for each person and track that budget. If it helps, cross the names off your list as you go to avoid impulse purchases.

Group Gifting

For friends and family, Secret Santa is a fun and sensible way to exchange gifts without spending a ton of money. Devise a plan to randomly select who each person will be assigned and then bring your special gift to your gathering.

Another great option is the White Elephant approach – a.k.a. Yankee Swap or Dirty Santa – where everyone simply shows up with an amusing and impractical gift to exchange amongst the group. (If you’re not familiar, you can find the rules online.)

Both of these scenarios allow each person to give and receive one gift. However, don’t forget to set a spending limit for your group!

Be Thrifty!

Want to get the most bang for your buck? Join forces with a collaborative gift. By sharing in the cost with one or more other people you can significantly increase the value of your gift without going over your budget.

And finally, get creative! Not all gifts have to be expensive or store-bought. Use your talents or thoughtfulness and come up with something unique. Hunting for those rare finds or even homemade gifts that come from the heart are always appreciated!

There’s no shame in wanting to shower your loved ones with gifts this holiday season – but no one wants to see you put yourself in financial disarray – so have a strategy and know your limits. With just a little extra planning you can bring joy to those around you without breaking the bank. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and financially responsible holiday season!

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