In a few weeks, we will be busy coming up with a Christmas menu plan, buying gifts, decorating the house, and spending most of the weekends in malls for Christmas shopping. After all, it is still the most wonderful time of the year.
Oh yes, gift giving. Apart from coming with a menu for Noche Buena, giving gifts can be challenging. There are tons of options available and you want to make sure that your gift is something they will appreciate.
Here are my six tips when it comes to gift-giving during the holidays:
Tip No. 1: Plan ahead.
One of our Christmas traditions in the family is to make our wish list by November. We just write what we want for Christmas and we can choose what we want to give from the list. Having a wish list also allows us to plan ahead in buying gifts and avoid the frenzy.
When it comes to gift-giving, plan ahead – from what to give and where to buy it. This will reduce the stress that comes with the holiday season too.
Tip No. 2: Buy something they can use.
This is my cardinal rule when buying gifts. Filipinos are innovative and can come up with tons of things, some useful while others are not. In buying gifts, I always make sure that it is something a person can use. It feels good to know thatI gave is something to someone and that s/he will appreciate and not just forget about it.
My favorite gift: The Spa gift cards. After all, who doesn’t want a great massage after a long, stressful day?
Tip No. 3: Give something meaningful.
How many of you got a picture frame or a nice keychain on Christmas? Surely, it’s the thought that counts. but giving gifts must be meaningful and not just for the sake of giving one.
What does “meaningful” means in gift-giving?
Meaningful gift-giving is about giving value on something, no matter how simple it is. It can also be something personalized, which shows thoughtfulness and familiarity with the person. For me, I consider several factors to make the gift more meaningful such as the age of the receiver, personality, and interest or hobbies. This helps me narrow down my choices as well.
Tip No. 4: Try making your own gifts.
Apart from buying meaningful gifts, I also try making my own, although mine is usually baked goodies. I am not an artistic person, so I stick to something I love and good at, which is baking. Last year, I also gave out baked brownies to the teachers in my daughter’s school since buying something for all them (except the adviser) can be costly too.
In giving gifts, use that special talent you are good at and share it with others. This can also make the gift more mindful and thoughtful because of the time and effort put into it.
Tip No. 5: Always check the price.
I always believed in the saying, “Quality over quantity.” When it comes to gift giving, this phrase is applicable too.
Giving a gift doesn’t always have to be expensive. On the other hand, an affordable one doesn’t always mean that you don’t really value the person. The meaningfulness of the gift comes into play, which means give something to another person that is both mindful and not too heavy on the pocket. Expensive gifts could create an impression, but at the end of the day, your thoughtfulness matters even without a hefty price tag.
This leads you to the next tip.
Tip No. 6: Set a budget.
More importantly, always, always, and always set a budget.
It is easy to get overwhelmed with what stores are selling during the Christmas season. Countless sales and promos will also entice you to buy something even if you don’t need. At times, we forget what we need and go overboard with our spending (yes, I am guilty of it too!).
What I do now is to withdraw the money I need (I don’t like using credit card), set a budget, and stick to it. This will make it easier for me to track my spending and prevent me from going overboard.
At the end of the day, Christmas is more than just decorations, lights, and gifts. It’s all about being together as one family, establishing our own traditions, and making memories that will last a lifetime.
Ayi is a stay-at-home mom of two. When her kids are in their best state, she keeps up with chores, work, and ensuring that her sanity is intact. Join her as she navigates through this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.