Hopefully, you enjoy giving gifts like I do. Remember... it is better to give than to receive. I really do believe in this Holiday mantra. When you embrace this mindset, gift giving is a real joy.
Whether you shop all year round or at the last minute, the first thing that you need to do is make a list. This is the best way to reduce the stress of gift giving.
Here's how I keep my holiday gifting simple:
- First, I take a 4” x 6” index card and write down the names of all the people I want to gift.
- Then, I give myself a budget and assign an amount to each person. Yes, the nieces and nephews tend to have larger allowances. I like to spoil the little ones.
- As I purchase my gifts, I note them on my card with the cost so that I keep to my budget. (Ok, so maybe stocking stuffers don't count.)
- Next, I think of items or themes for a gift that would make the individual happy. This way, I am shopping with a purpose and not aimlessly wandering through stores.
I like to buy local. Last year, all my gifts were handmade or locally purchased, except a Lego set and an Easy Bake Oven. (Hey, that's what they wanted.)
This season, one of my favorite local businesses is Rhode Island Rustic, run by my friends, Leigh & Mark. Their passion for the outdoors and environmental conservation coupled with their talented artistry result in practical, inspiring, and perfect gifts. There will be some lucky family members and friends, who will receive these beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces as gifts this year. If you email Leigh & Mark or see them at a Holiday Show, tell them that "D sent you" and you will receive 5% off your purchase from now through 12/31/15.
Of course, handmade gifts are always a wonderful, personal touch. I bake a lot during the holidays. Whether it is my famous pumpkin chocolate chip loaf or a fresh batch of cookies; my auto advisor, the mailman, some relatives and special friends receive a little something to let them know that I am thinking of them.
Another one of my favorite gifts to give is a paperwhite bulb in a decorative container. You place some stones in a decorative container, nestle the paperwhite bulb in the stones, cover with cranberries and add a little water. The combination of the cranberries with the green leaves and the white, fragrant flowers make a beautiful presentation. This is a lovely, yet economical gift to give. (You can even get the supplies from your local Dollar Store.)
If you make a list and carefully plan and shop within your budget, you will:
- Enjoy shopping
- Take pride in the gifts that you choose to give
- Eliminate gift-giving panic
- Be stress free
If you start now and work your gift budget into your monthly expenses, you can even eliminate any debt after the Holidays! This will definitely reduce the stress of gift giving.
Enjoy and remember it really is better to give than to receive. The beauty of giving is that, whether the gift is big or small, it comes from your heart.