Before we know it, Christmas will be upon us. For those of you hardcore frugal-ers, you might be already armed with coupons, a gift stash and a budget tailored down to the last penny for your holiday shopping. Some frugal folks don’t advocate for buying on a budget, they might not be buying at all! So, could you handle a gift-less Christmas?
To save money in the past, I have gifted homemade knitted wares, hand baked goodies and purchased pre-made edibles that are cost effective and cover more gift-giving ground. This year I wondered- what if we just don’t give gifts at all?
My problem is- I love giving gifts but as costs rise and travel eats up most of my budget, how can I afford to make the holiday special and give a meaningful gift to everyone I love without going into credit card debt?
Going gift-less doesn’t have to be horrible, but dedicate some brain space to whipping up creative ways on transforming your holiday season into “memories” not just “things.” The holiday season is notoriously an out of control spending orgy that leaves too many of us paying off credit cards well into springtime- don’t let that be you!
I’ve done some pondering and have come up with a way to make going gift-less suck-less!
For me, I typically don’t stress out about gifts or buy for anyone out of obligation. I like to put together thoughtful, personalized gifts that make the people in my life feel special and appreciated (since they are!) What do you do when you’re broke and surrounded by great people who all deserve a lil somethin’ somethin’ for being fabulous all year long? How far does the gift-giving circle extend? Coworkers? Neighbors? Roomies? The people who you dog sit for? It adds up quickly!
I’m on a tight budget this year and have toyed with the idea of going gift-less. Not giving and not receiving could really relieve tight finances for not only myself, but for those loved ones who are also tight on cash. By not worrying about gifts, wrapping, shipping and the expense, what will it *feel* like? As much as I’d love to say that getting back to the Christmas spirit and just “being together” would be enough, won’t it feel a little boring without the buildup of the gift exchange on Christmas day?
Also, how does one explain to relatives and friends that, “NO, really, I REALLY don’t find it necessary to exchange gifts this year” when you know not everyone is comfortable with a gift-less holiday season?
Get the word out EARLY. People shop for gifts super early, so send your Christmas cards out ASAP with a note about your plan, or simply shoot an email to those you normally buy gifts for around the holidays.
Don’t want to feel tacky? Say it like this: “This year we are focusing on the holiday spirit by giving back and instead of exchanging gifts we will be dedicating our time and energy to supporting local families in need. If you would like to contribute we ask that all “gifts” be in non-perishable food items or toys to be donated!”