The holidays are just around the corner, and they are the perfect opportunity to reconnect with the special people in our lives. However, without necessary precaution, this time of year can spiral out into a stressful season of overbooked schedules and excess spending. Who wants to celebrate a season like that?! Not me– and I’d bet not you either.
Today I wanted to share some of the infinite wisdom etiquette expert, Diane Gottsman shares about managing your holiday gifting. I especially love tip number three “think beyond material gifts”! I have started advocating for more “experience” type of gifts within my own family and it has been a hit!
1. Make a Gift List
Whether you want to use an app, or pen and paper, sit down (with your partner when appropriate) and make sure you are on the same page. By planning ahead, you can start watching for sales and special promotions. It will also relieve some stress knowing who is on the holiday gift list. Use this as an opportunity to cut back on those who are no longer a priority on your holiday gift list.
2. Decide How Much You Will Spend
Organize your list into categories: friends, family, clients, neighbors, teachers and unexpected drop-ins. Put a dollar amount next to each person on the list and stick to it. If you find a fabulous sale item and spend less, consider it a win-win. Should there be an unexpected “drop in,” have a small gift ready with a gift tag attached. Factor a couple of random gift items into your holiday budget for a “just in case” situation. Don’t forget to take advantage of store coupons which will potentially save you a great deal of holiday cash.
3. Think Beyond Material Gifts
Your grandmother probably would appreciate the gift of your time much more than another bottle of scented hand cream. Plan a visit and take her out to lunch, or bring a basket with her favorite foods to share. Spend quality time with people you love and emphasize memories over gifts. Let everyone know you plan to change up your gift giving habits this year and encourage others to do the same. And if you’re looking for some more ideas, we shared 10 here!
4. Gift the Kids
It’s easy to cut back on adults but the holiday is a magical time of year for young children. Send out an email and say, “John and I are taking a different gift-giving route this year and hope you might consider doing the same. We all have so much, and the best present of all is sharing time with family and friends. We will be gifting the children but making a donation in the adult’s name. Please join us by doing the same.” The same strategy can be used between friends.
If you don’t know what to give the kids, make a call to the parents and ask them for a little direction. You don’t want to buy something that will sit in the closet or get re-gifted at the next birthday party.
You can also grab our gift idea cheatsheet to have your loved ones fill out– and do one for yourself too!
5. Re-purpose Cautiously
You may have some beautiful items already sitting in your closet, but if you re-gift them to the same person that gave them to you last year, it will cause holiday havoc. It’s much safer to give the gift away in a non-holiday format and tell the receiver the truth. Say, “Susan, I received this cologne for my birthday and gardenia is not my favorite scent. I know you love it and I would like for you to enjoy it. I’ve been saving it for you.”
6. Avoid Pressure Gifting
There is no need to feel uncomfortable if someone drops by with a present and you don’t have one in return. Buy a few modestly priced gifts and have them ready in the event you are caught off guard. Place them in a pretty wicker basket and have them ready to go. Make sure the item is something anyone will enjoy. I purchased a few beautiful tins of cookies at my local grocer, and the box is part of the gift. Or, stock up on scented kitchen soap or a specialty olive oil.
With some thought and planning, you will be ready to tackle this year’s holiday gift list with joy and enthusiasm.
Looking for more ways to be intentional about gift-giving? Grab our FREE guide below!