I love Christmas. I love all the festivities, the lights, and of course GIVING presents. I live and breathe for picking out the perfect gift for family and friends. I typically start brainstorming on December 26th for the next Christmas. It’s my favorite
I know not everyone agrees with my love of gift giving. It’s stressful. It’s expensive. And there is ALWAYS that person for whom you have NO idea what to get.
For those of you who find gift giving more stressful than fun, you are in luck! I have ten tips to help get you through the gift giving season:
1. Make a list of the people for whom you need to buy and write in what you have for that person or ideas of things to buy.
I love to do this to keep my shopping organized and to know what I have for each person. I enjoy seeing the list and thinking of each person’s interests and hobbies (for example, if Uncle Joe is into fitness, workout clothes and accessories are such an easy idea).
2. Set a budget.
This is great if you need to keep your purchases in check, however there are times that I find something on sale OR I find the PERFECT gift that is above my set limit. I always aim for “around” x amount, but I don’t get fixated on that amount. If I find the perfect gift on sale for $10, but my budget is $50 — SCORE!
3. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.
This is the most important piece of my gift giving skill set. Did you know that you DON’T have to do all your shopping at the local mall? It’s crazy, I know. Check out local craft and vendor fairs. You may be surprised by the local talent AND you are supporting a local family instead of a large corporation. Check out Etsy for more handmade goodies. I love to browse local shops to find unique gifts — even TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning, and Marshalls offer a neat variety for different gifts!
4. The best gifts are those which they wouldn’t buy for themselves.
For example, I purchased a $25 Yeti Can Cooler as a gift — a koozie for $25 when you have a drawer of koozies that you got for free (can you say SWAG!)? Most people aren’t buying that for themselves. I have a brother-in-law who is rather difficult to buy for, but who has a great sense of humor. Last year, his gift consisted of items from a Buzzfeed list of ridiculous items on Amazon. Who doesn’t need a mug in the shape of a toilet? Have fun with it.
5. Personalize it!
Monograms are hot right now and people want their name on everything. You can even buy an item off the shelf at Walmart and have it personalized with embroidery, vinyl, or paint.
6. Start early!
If you want to buy handmade gifts, be sure to start shopping early. If you wait until the last minute, your gift may not arrive in time.
7. Shop sales.
This is possible if you start early. The person receiving the gift won’t know that you scored that fleece jacket for $5 or $50!
8. Shop used.
Not everyone will agree with this one, but if you are buying for kids, I highly recommend browsing consignment sales, garage sales, and resale pages on Facebook. You can score some great used toys that have barely been played with for so cheap! Check out this post for a used Christmas!
9. Put together a themed basket.
This is a neat idea if you are buying for a family or couple or someone who is tricky is to buy for. Some neat “basket” theme ideas include:
Movies: a movie theater gift card, popcorn, and cute popcorn holder.
Fire pit: buy a fire pit and fill with items to make s’mores, hot dog cooking sticks, and fire starter logs.
Crafts: buy paints, paintbrushes, canvas/large paper notebook, etc.
Search “Unique Gift Baskets” on Pinterest or Google for a TON of other ideas!
10. Don’t buy an item — buy an experience.
Buy a pass to the aquarium, a zoo membership, concert tickets, or even a Netflix subscription (Netflix is totally an experience, right?). For the last few years, my mother-in-law has given us Dollywood passes and we LOVE them. Do some research for local options — I am sure this will be a hit…and one less toy to step over! Check out this list of great non-toy gift ideas!