The Do’s and Don’ts of Christmas Giving

presentChristmas is around the corner, and some of you may still be working on your gift list… or maybe just starting it. Presents can be a big headache during the holidays, and finding the perfect gift isn’t always as affordable as one would hope. So to help keep things cheery and cheap this holiday season, keep these dos and don’ts in mind as you head out to shop.

Do’s:

Do set a budget. Christmas isn’t a time to go wild and spend money on presents you can’t afford. Sure, it’s a time to be generous, but remember to be kind to yourself first and don’t empty out your wallet. Start making a list of people you’re giving gifts to and set a cap on how much you’re going to spend on them.

Do consider giving homemade gifts. Personally, I tend to appreciate the gift more when it’s homemade because it shows a lot of thought and effort on the gift-giver’s part.

Do be smart about regifting. If you’re planning on regifting, remember to be mindful of where the gift came from. Don’t give the gift to a friend of original person who gave it to you. Regifting a bottle of wine is always your safest bet, but do remember to do it with a personal touch like a small card.

Do get a gift receipt. If you’re purchasing something for your friend, make sure you ask the salesperson to include a gift receipt. It’s just a polite gesture, and you know your money won’t go to waste because if your friend doesn’t like the gift, she can just exchange it.

Don’ts:

Don’t leave the price tag on. Make sure you don’t leave the price tag on the item and that you’re giving a gift receipt and not the original bill. It’s the season of giving, but no one needs to know exactly how much.

Don’t be afraid of giving cash. Don’t avoid giving cash because you think it’s tacky. Money is a very practical gift that people need more than presents, so don’t shy away from it! Here are some unique ways to dress up your gift of cash:

  • Money tree- Attach money to the branches of a small tree you can purchase at any local Wal Mart or Home Depot.Use twist ties to secure the bills.
  • Umbrella- Tape cash on the underside of the umbrella, with a note that says, “A Little Something for a Rainy Day.”
  • Phone Book- A good way to gift money and keep your loved one busy is to put the cash (we suggest just one bill) in the page of a phone book. Tape it somewhere in the middle, close to the bind. Now they have to work for their money!
  • Don’t feel obligated. And lastly, don’t feel obligated when you’re giving a gift to someone. Don’t try to give a gift that financially matches the gift they’re giving you if you can’t afford it. Instead, take some time to get them a homemade or thoughtful gift. It may not be as flashy as theirs, but if they are someone who knows you well, they’ll appreciated it all the same.

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