Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Frugal gift giving at holiday time

Today's my mother's birthday (Happy XXth, Ma!), which brings me to the topic of gift giving at a difficult time. My mother, like many, has never asked me for a birthday gift but we all know that doesn't mean I don't have to send one. In years past I've gotten her luxuries like that Coach purse and matching wallet she always wanted in her favorite color, or just given her cash because, well, she likes cash.

This year though, the gift was practical: Moms is setting up a gambling counseling practice and needs a book to pass some test for her state certification; sonny boy knows how important that is to her. It's more important, in fact, than an extravagant birthday gift and at a time when things are tight, its a more frugal option for me, too.

All of which brings me to this point: perhaps this holiday season, focusing on more practical gifts -- the things that people actually need instead of big, flamboyant wants might save you a little money. In the comments section, I'd like everyone to post an example of something a loved-one needs that you could give them during the holidays that might save you vs. buying something more exciting or sentimental.

Thinking about it might save a little cash when you need it a lot.

6 comments:

Butterrfly said...

"an example of something a loved-one needs” … “needs” for Christmas? Ha! Can’t do that…what my love ones will claim they need lest I get requests for mortgage payments and IRA account backfills. So... need is not on the part of my equation.

I have a really strict spending Christmas shopping budget this year so the gifts will work themselves out in terms degrees of frugalness. :o) But for those who don’t make the cut for my Christmas list… they will receive homemade Christmas cookies baked by yours truly. For me, it equates to a net spend of less than 50 dollars and it allows me to create about “20 gifts” or $2.50 a person/household. Sheer genius if I do say so myself. :-D

Mary said...

Simple solution... Christmas is cancelled and all other gift giving seasons until further notice...

Monica said...

I plan to buy nothing this year. I decided that at the beginning of the downturn. I don't know anyone who "needs" anything.

If I were more creative, I'd make something.

Lynnette said...

Aside from my mom "needing" a watch, my loved ones need prayer, hugs, and me smiling and saying "Merry Christmas!" Times are tough! I may even throw in a christmas card, but I fear it may give them the impression that something's in it. Is it too late to take up crocheting? Hmmm...

Lylah M. Alphonse said...

When my little brother was in college and broke, I paid his Visa bill and all his utilities as a Christmas present.

Now that I'm broke, he give me time as a gift. Free babysitting is an amazing present!

Andy said...

I think it good to have goals. It's always nice to get a little surprise from someone that you care about. There are some new websites that make this fun and better than a normal wishlist.

Here are a few
http://www.lottay.com
http://www.chipin.com
http://www.fundable.com