Is It Time For You To Rethink Your Christmas Giving?

Is It Time For You To Rethink Your Christmas Giving?


4 ways to look at Christmas a bit differently.

Christmas is the season where Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Savior for mankind. It is also a time when everyone else gets in on the action, whether they have a particular religious motive or simply want to partake in a season of giving and receiving. Yes, Christmastide makes for an odd blend of religious and secular celebrating, but it also unifies people in some unexpected ways including examining their own reasons for giving.

Christmas Giving

Christmas presentYes, the new austerity is here which means that although many people still plan to shop, they aren’t giving like they did just a few years ago. The 2008 financial collapse followed by long term economic have caused a lot of people to examine Christmas giving. Perhaps you’ve already made some changes or maybe you’re still weighing your options. No matter, the following are some seasonal tips to help you celebrate the season with joy instead of dread:

Budget It – This is the year when you’re going to live within your budget, right? I know, it is so tempting to overspend especially when you consider all of the people you will see this season. But a few moments of pleasure seeing a friend or family member open up your gift can be soon overshadowed by months of paying off high interest credit card bills if you spend beyond your means. Stick with your budget and begin to set aside money now for next year’s Christmas shopping.

Kids Only – For large families with parents, numerous siblings, cousins and other relatives, buying gifts for everyone is sheer lunacy. There are two ways you can wisely handle this situation besides not giving gifts at all: purchase presents for children only or have a gift exchange where everyone chooses one or more names out of a hat to determine who buys what for whom. Immediately following Thanksgiving dinner is when some families make their selections, heading out on Black Friday to make their purchases.

Gift Cards – One way to ensure that you stay within budget it to simply give people on your list gift cards. This means if you’re planning to spend $25 for each of your nieces and nephews, you can get a gift card to their favorite store to allow them to make post Christmas season purchases themselves. A few things to keep in mind: avoid those cards with expiration dates as well gift cards which rack up fees if not used within a certain period of time. Importantly, do not buy a gift card or gift certificate from a retailer who is having financial problems as that card may be deemed worthless if they file for bankruptcy.

Helping Others – What do you buy for the person who has everything? Perhaps nothing. Or, at least a donation to a favorite nonprofit organization in their name. If your aunt insists on “no gifts” this Christmas, ask her if she would appreciate a donation to a charity instead? Some people simply do not want gifts, but a contribution to those who need assistance might still be appreciated.

Christmas Joy

We’ve lost sight of what Christmas is all about as the holiday has become a retailing feeding frenzy. We need not return to the days when our Puritan ascendants banned the celebration out of disgust over worldliness, but we may want to rethink what Christmas is all about and a good place to begin is with our Christmas shopping list.

Photo Credit: Kym McLeod

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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".