Sunday, December 14, 2008

How to Manage Gift Giving This Season

The current economy poses a unique challenge to holiday gift giving this year. On one hand you want to be generous to beloved friends and family but on the other, you want to be sensible. Here are some gift-giving tips and ideas to keep your time and spending under control while you enjoy a fabulous holiday season.

• Plan your gift giving so you can get more creative and tailor the gift to your recipient.

• Budget what you are going to spend overall or even per person. (And stick to it!)

• Use a spreadsheet to keep track of what you’re getting for who and how much

• Avoid the malls to avoid impulse buying

• Don’t go into debt for gifts.

• Purchase online or from catalogs. You can shop any time and compare prices easily. My Favorite catalogs for selection, uniqueness and prices: Solutions, Restoration Hardware Gifts, Crate & Barrel, Harry & David.

Some examples of meaningful gift ideas:
  • Photo gifts! Maybe this year you had a family vacation, birthdays, milestone events or just some great snaps in general—photo gifts are one-of-a-kind and endearing.,,, are just a few places that can turn a digital photo into gift-giving gold.
  • If you don’t want to break the bank and can’t find that perfect gift, give the gift of time. In our busy lives, a special outing or a pledge to do an extra chore can be better than any physical gift. Make a special coupon or ticket to be redeemed at the receiver’s convenience.
  • Handmade or homemade gifts can be refreshingly unique and supportive to small and/or local businesses. Your area Farmers Market or sites like are great places to look.

(This is a piece was originally written for but was not published.)

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