With the Christmas season fast approaching, we are once again faced with the challenge of finding just the perfect gift for each person on our holiday list. Seeing the joy on a loved one’s face when they open your gift is always a wonderful feeling; unfortunately, most of us wind up spending more than we can really afford to get that reaction. For many of us, this can become a source of stress that causes the true joy of Christmas to be lost. The dilemma of trying to figure out what to buy and how to get it without plunging yourself into financial ruin can be overwhelming to say the least.
However, there are many ways that you can avoid these yuletide traps. Holiday gift giving needn’t become a stressful or expensive endeavor. With a little thought and creativity, you can give your loved ones uniquely personal gifts that are relatively inexpensive and sure to bring a smile to their faces. For example, everyone knows that we all love to enjoy holiday treats, so edible gifts are always a safe bet. Baking brightly decorated cookies or any variety of sweet bread, or maybe even making some other type of treat like homemade fudge or bread pudding will undoubtedly be appreciated. Or, if you aren’t much for cooking, you could buy some little dishes or holiday tins and fill them with candy. Most discount or dollar stores have a wide selection of such things that are very affordable and very cute!
For those of you who enjoy arts & crafts, your hobby can open up another great gift giving possibility. Many craft stores can offer great ideas for easy gifts to fit any budget. If you knit or crochet, you can make sweaters, scarves, hats, or any number of other personalized gifts. Those who enjoy scrap booking can make remembrance books for almost any significant event in a loved one’s life. This will give them a keepsake to be treasured for years to come…and these ideas barely scratch the surface! In fact, there are so many different types of crafts that the possibilities here are almost endless. Gifts of this nature can also give you the satisfaction of knowing that you are giving a one-of-a kind gift that will have a deeply personal meaning to your loved ones because you have put a lot of time, thought and love into its creation!
If you happen to be a bargain hunter who enjoys frequenting garage sales, thrift stores, or flea markets, this can offer a wonderful avenue for finding great gifts at a fraction of their original cost. For the careful shopper with an eye for quality merchandise, it can be possible to find almost anything this way. You can give a wonderful present for pennies on the dollar, and no one will be the wiser! If you attend these events regularly, you can pick up things at any time during the year and store them away for future giving.
And here’s another great tip for those who come from very large families. Since most people have children to buy for, and that is usually a parent’s main focus at this time of year, it may be beneficial for the adults in the family to get together and draw names before your gift exchange. This way, each person will only have to buy one gift, and everyone will have something to open. It will allow you to still make the holiday special for the little ones, while ensuring that no one is left out!
No matter how you choose to go about finding that perfect gift, I think it is helpful to keep in mind the unique and individual personality of the person for whom you are shopping. Sometimes, when we aren’t sure what to buy, we tend to pick out things that we think they would like, or things that we would like them to have. Instead of “flying blind” like that, I think it is helpful to focus on their specific likes and dislikes. For example, if your loved one is the artistic type, give them a supply of materials necessary to create in their chosen medium. If they enjoy a certain sport, a unique collectible related to that sport makes a great gift; you could even give them a pair of tickets to a game! Wherever their interests lie, they will be more likely to enjoy your gift if it is chosen with those interests in mind!
So to those of you who dread the coming Christmas season, I would just like to close by saying don’t lose heart. Hopefully my suggestions have shown you that it is possible to have a holiday that is stress and worry free…and these are just a few ideas to simplify gift giving; I’m sure that if you do some investigating, you’ll be able to find countless others as well! As I said before, all it takes is a little ingenuity!