We are going to talk all about gift-giving from a state of peace (and that won’t break your budget)!!
If you love shopping (like me), you will love some of the ideas and resources I have put together for you. If you don’t love shopping and the thought of gift-giving sends you into a panic each year, trust me, you will want to keep reading!
#1 Start with a plan
The key to a peaceful gift-giving experience is to start with a plan. A detailed plan. This does not mean that your Christmas list is somewhere in your head or scribbled on to the back of a napkin. You will always forget something or someone and find yourself making a last-minute gift buying trip (along with everyone else). Now is a great time to sit down with a cup of tea, coffee or drink of choice and think about everyone you purchase gifts for.
Organize your list by immediate family (children/spouse), extended family, co-workers, friends, teachers, etc…
I usually first make a list of everyone I must buy gifts for, I then make a second list of people I would like to buy gifts for, if the budget allows. This way if I’m able to squeeze in a few extra dollars into that list I know exactly whom to buy for.
#2 Set a budget
The easiest and quickest way to lose your peace this holiday season is to blow through your budget and start the year with holiday debt on your credit cards! I have struggled in this area. I LOVE giving gifts. It one of my love languages. However, I am also called to steward well the monies God has allowed us to earn.
Although I am not perfect, setting a strict budget helps keep me from buyer’s remorse by staying in tune with Holy Spirit’s conviction.
Since you made your list of everyone to purchase gifts for, now set a budget for EACH person and an overall budget for EACH category. For example, I may choose to set a budget of $20 per niece/nephew, and an overall budget of $100 for my nieces and nephews.
The reason I set a budget per category and not just an overall budget amount for everyone on my list is that it helps me break down my overall list and also keep each category as its own budget. This will helps me actually stick to my budget and also have the freedom to move monies from one category to the next if I find that I’m under-budget!!
#3 Keep a close eye on store sales
I never ever go shopping anymore without knowing exactly what I want to get. This means that I keep a close eye on the sales from all my favorite stores. Big departments stores will begin sending holiday sale emails, catalogs and circulars a couple weeks before Thanksgiving.
Even if you’re not ready to start shopping yet (more on this shortly), be sure to look through the sales. Hopefully you have some idea of items you want to get or items your kids want you to get. This way when you see an item on your list, you can determine if the price is a good deal or not.
For example, each day I hop on Amazon and check their daily deals (click on the link called Today’s Deals under the search bar). I only in the categories I’m interested in. It takes me less than five minutes; however, this is how I recently found out that all Lincoln Logs & K’nex sets for kids were on sale one day only for 50% off!
#4 Shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales
It may seem that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just a ploy from retail giants to get you to buy more and IT IS! However, if you have been following the three steps above, you can take some serious advantage of deep discounts instead of the retailers taking advantage of you!
Since I know exactly whom I’m shopping for, what I want to get them, and exactly what I can spend BEFORE Black Friday and Cyber Monday even roll around I can take advantage of some great deals! For example, last Christmas I got my sister a beautiful Vera Bradly travel bag at 50% off. It’s exactly what she wanted and since it was half off it perfectly fit into the budget I had set for her. Had I not taken advantage of their Black Friday sale, I would not have been able to afford the full retail price.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are also a great time to shop for the needs of yourself and your family. I do most of our clothing shopping for the entire year on these days! I assess what we are in need of and make a list and a budget. If you need large items such as electronics, appliances or lawn equipment be patient and wait until this day.
#5 Give the gift of an experience
By far my favorite type of gifts to give are experiences. One year I made a family movie night basket for my sister-in-law and her family. It had everything they needed to enjoy a movie night at home, and they LOVED it.
I try and stay away from the mall as much as possible and put together a gift that is more experience based than item based. Try tickets to a museum, theater, amusement park, zoo, or aquarium. Have a kid in your life that loves sharks? Make a quick basket with some tickets to a local aquarium and throw in this super cute blanket and an awesome shark book! It’s creative and its more about the experience than just another toy!
Another experience-type gift to consider is a subscription box! I just love the idea of a box chock full of a fun experience. Here are some of my favorite subscription boxes…
- For your hubby or that other cute couple on your list give them a date at home in a box, Datebox is so fun and includes everything you need for a date at home (like cooking lessons or making a gingerbread house together!)
- Do you have a kid that loves to cook? These KidStir boxes are so cute for those little budding chefs!
- Do you know a mom that hates to shop (or never has time for it)? StitchFix is my absolutely go-to gift for busy moms!
- Do you have someone ultra crafty on your list? DaySpring has these amazing artsy Bible journaling boxes called Illustrated Faith!
Remember, it’s all in the plan! Make some time this week (if you haven’t already) to make your list, set your budget and look through all those annoying emails you get from retailers. Then, only when you have your game plan in place, go shopping!
I hope these ideas encourage you to find the joy of gift-giving this holiday season from a state of peace.