The holidays can be a stressful time of year for many people. Often you are juggling shopping, traveling, visiting and entertaining. For many of you, the most stressful part of the holidays is family gift giving.

Here are some suggestions to ease your stress:

Key questions to ask yourself:

  • Who do I want to buy gifts for?
  • How much do I want to spend?
  • What do I want to give?

Make a list of all of the people you would like to buy gifts for. Set a budget of how much you’d like to spend and then jot down at least two gift ideas for each person on your list.

Tips to reduce the number of gifts you buy:

  • Make a list of all family members, write each person’s name on a slip of paper, each adult selects one slip of paper and only buys a gift for that family member. You only have to buy one gift and no one gets left out.
  • Agree among all the adult gift-givers on a dollar limit and do not exceed the agreed-to amount when purchasing your gift.
  • Only buy gifts for children under 17 and grandparents.
  • For more distant relatives or friends, send a nice holiday card with a family photo instead of a gift.

Tips to spend less money:

  • Buy gift certificates for movies, ice cream shops or coffee shops.
  • Bake cookies or banana bread and wrap in an inexpensive tin or basket. Use this as a hostess gift or give to your child’s teacher or school bus driver.
  • Take advantage of your arts and crafts skills: knit a sweater or scarf, build a bird feeder, make a bulletin board with fabric and ribbon, make a scrapbook of family photos or a personalized calendar.

Tips to save time:

  • Ask family members and friends to fill out “Wish Lists.” This is a great way to get an idea of what people want and need.
  • Shop online or in catalogs. Many stores offer free shipping.
  • Set a time to shop. Get a babysitter if necessary.
  • Create a detailed plan including which stores to visit and what items you are shopping for.
  • Don’t leave home without your list.

Get organized, be creative and resourceful and enjoy the holiday season!

Happy shopping everyone!

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC ~
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