by Alana Spraque
You know how some people say that Christmas is more about the giving than the receiving, well I will admit I am one of those people. There is nothing I love better than heading out for an afternoon of buying gifts for the people in my life that I care about. My ultimate goal is to make someone cry. I know that sounds a little foolish but when you see tears well up in the eyes of your mother or your sister because of something you took the time to pick out, something that you knew they would love the minute you laid your eyes on it, well that for me is a great feeling.
There are always those people in life that are just hard to buy for. You can’t possibly think of something that would be just right and you run for store to store like a person gone mad just trying to find the right thing. Here are some tips for surviving the holiday gift buying season and not being burnt out and broke come the New Year.
First: Make a list. Make the list as accurate as possible including the people you need to buy gifts for and some ideas of what you would like to get. Really think about this, you can reduce the number of stops by having an idea what you’re looking for and the stores that might carry them.
Second: Set a limit. One good way to keep to your budget is to set a cash limit with those people you exchange gifts with. Talk to friends that you exchange with and suggest $20 being the limit or in lieu of gifts plan a dinner and buy a great bottle of wine. Who wants to be still paying for Christmas in February?
Third: Buy a few extra gifts. There is nothing more embarrassing than being handed a gift from someone and not having anything to offer in return. I’m not saying that everyone that gives you a gift expects one as well but how great would it be to have something tucked away that you could present to that person that though about you. It doesn’t have to be something big and extravagant for it to mean something.
Fourth: Watch for sales. There are some great holiday bargains leading up to Christmas and you all know how much I love a bargain. Most of us get flyers on Sundays, even if you don’t read them any other time of year this is the time to bite the bullet. This will also aid you in the making of your list and help you decide where you want to shop for those perfect gifts.
Fifth: Don’t over do it. Everyone is in a mad dash in the month of December leading up to the big day. Weekends become a fight over that last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle your child’s been asking for every day for the last three months. When you feel yourself being bogged down by the hustle and bustle of the season, stop, grab a cup of coffee and regain your strength. Meet an old friend, have a conversation, and remember what this time of year is all about.
Tip of the Month: Enjoy this time. There really is something magical about it. People smile brighter, they laugh louder, and who couldn’t use a little bit of that in their life? Merry Christmas everyone!