The thought, rather than the price-tag, defines the gift. If you gave someone the most beautiful and rare painting in the world, it would mean nothing to them if they didn’t have the ability to see. What you need to do is think about who people are, what they like, what they will like, and what they won’t like.
Also, a gift need not necessarily be some fulfillment of a long-time desire. A gift could just bring temporary levity for a little while. Something that brings a laugh owing to its silliness can be just as meaningful as something which reminds someone of a childhood long ago and far away.
You should remember that there’s a cultural push toward spending exorbitantly, and resist that push. It’s definitely true that, at Christmas time, we tend to overspend on gifts. In the United States, people spend $700 a year, on average, on presents. That’s a monthly mortgage or rent payment for many people. Those living paycheck-to-paycheck will have trouble “keeping up with the Joneses”, as it were.
This means several things. One, those who you’re buying for will have an in-built expectation of what you’re about to give. Two, they’re likely not going to expect you to give “outside the box”, as the saying goes. This means specialized, thoughtful gifts could save you money, and be more satisfactory at the same time.
Related: The Best Last Minute Christmas Gifts They’ll Love
Christmas Gifts On A Budget That Are Big Hearted
What Can You Do?
It truly is the thought that counts. Now let’s think outside the box a little bit. If putting “heart” into gifts can make them better while saving you money, it’s worth a shot! One thing you might do is make your own gift. What are you talented at? Even if you’re only talented at music, you could give a gift of time to someone you love.
Record a track for somebody and give them a burned CD that they can unwrap and put into a computer. This gives the gift mystery, and it’s something they can listen to again and again. You could also paint a picture, if drawing is your strong-suit. You might write a poem, or make a craft out of household materials.
You could additionally frame a favorite picture, or you might book a trip to a location that holds some special significance to someone in your house. If you’re a mature son or daughter of aging parents, you might take them on vacation to the town where they were married.
Buying challenge coins of appreciation for your colleagues can be a great way to save money, and additionally impart meaning to the gifts you give. You give them something they can cherish and remember.
Togetherness And Time Are Some Of The Best Gifts
Something else that could be fun is consolidating all gift giving into one massive celebration or vacation. If you and a spouse are the head of a house, instead of spending an average of $1,400 between you on gifts, you might book a weekend cruise, or a vacation somewhere special. For $1,400, you can have a pretty good vacation! The key to all of these suggestions is thinking outside the box.
There are no shortage of gift-giving solutions that you can pursue for your family. By using your mind and heart in conjunction with a frugal attitude, you’ll be able to surprise and bless those closest to you while simultaneously conserving resources. Lastly, remember the value of time. Gifts age faster than people. The human interactions between one another at Christmastime may just be the best gift of all.
About This Guest Contributor:
Stephanie is the founder of Military Travel Mama; she is the wife of a military professional and mother to two children. Follow her blog for more about military life, military discounts, family trips, healthy eating, and parenthood.