Use cash. Don’t spend what you don’t got. If you use a credit card, make a spending budget before you start and pay the balance of your card in full every month. If you can’t do that right now, don’t shop with your card for gifts, consider some of the options below until you can pay your credit card in full each month.
- Re-gift! Take a look around, you may have some treasures at home, in the garage that would be very much loved by someone you know. You may also have some things that, well, you just don’t love that much, maybe never did, but there is someone who might cherish it. Consider yourself to be an agent of Divine Re-circulation during the holiday season. It takes as much thoughtfulness as mindful shopping. I love previously cherished items!
- Hand-make a gift or cook something. So what if you’re not that good at it. I received so much appreciation for (and had so much fun making) what I thought were going to be holiday treats but didn’t turn out that well. The point was the effort and expression of love. And that worked really well. And a hand made scarf? I just love those. If you are a gardener, and you have fruit trees, or other produce that can be preserved – that is a great way to hand-make a beautiful gift.
- Make a coupon for a service that you can perform yourself, like shopping, driving, yard work, car wash, dish wash, floor mop. And as with all gift giving, you might want to practice being ok with however the gift is received. If it is received and placed on a shelf and never used, that is just fine, the joy, I think, is in the giving. Stay clear of services offered as coupons that are too personal or intimate. Offer coupons that you know the receiver will want to say a hearty YES to.
- Shop at a thrift store. Treasures, treasures, treasures can be found in gently previously owned items.
- Gift certificates or services at locally-owned businesses. One of my favorite gifts I received the last two years is a gift certificate for a locally owned small art store. And the luxurious feeling of being able to go in to the store and shop for items I would not normally think about. Fancy pencils, and oh, my obsession with fountain pens. In the store, it was a challenge to stay with US Made products. Once I received a coupon for a paint-your-pottery type store. It took me a while to use it because doing so wasn’t on my radar. But when I did, what a great time I had.
- Gift a membership to a local gym or a season pass to a movie theatre (especially if you have a small non-chain, art Movie Theater in your town.)
- Gift a meal at a locally-owned restaurant, or a coupon to cover a portion of a meal at a locally-owned restaurant. Small, non-chain restaurants often have gift certificates, you just have to ask about them. Similarly, gift a class! There are all kinds of classes happening in your neighborhood. Check with the local faith communities for example to find a bunch of classes you can purchase for someone else.
Not Caught Up In The Holiday Spirit?
Remember this Thanksgiving with the Obamas?