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.