Staying Sane During the Gift-Giving Season
What’s your holiday budget like? Is your shopping all done, or are you more into homemade gift ideas? Holiday spending can get out of hand if you aren’t careful, especially if you tend to shop at the last minute or continue to buy “just one more thing”.
I was surprised to learn that according to a survey that Women & Co. recently conducted with Real Simple (my favorite magazine), the majority of women surveyed spend at least $700 on holiday expenses — and 1 out of 3 spend $1,000 or more.
What wasn’t a surprise to me though is that 41 percent of those surveyed started their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, and 22 percent shop all year long for the holidays. (How else are we going to get it all done?)
As for gifts, the majority of respondents say they buy gifts for at least 10 people, with 1 of 4 buying gifts for more than 15 people during the holiday season. How many do you buy for?
Simplifying gift giving
So, how do you simplify your gift giving and stay sane during the holiday season? And how can you teach your kids the importance of giving (and not just getting) this time of year?
For me, the first rule is to recognize that I’m not going to find deeply meaningful gift ideas for everyone at the office, etc. I just don’t know those people well enough to do so. And if I don’t know them that well, they don’t go on my gift-giving list.
So the real keys are to know the person well, and pay attention to how they live their life. Then I ask questions and spend some time thinking about what would (hopefully) make a good gift for them. (See Finding Meaningful Gifts for details.)