Did the quickly approaching Christmas season sneak up on you? Have you just learned that you should have been saving for Christmas gifts all year round? Did you simply forget to budget for Christmas gifts this year?
Now that you're panicked, you might be thinking about draining your savings to buy gifts. Or maybe you're going to get a credit card, just for Christmas purchases. You'll pay it off in January or February, right?
If you're feeling torn this year because you want to stay out of debt while still giving your loved ones gifts they're like, do not worry. Her are some fantastic tips:
- Make it special. Consider specialized gifts for your friends and family rather than a DVD, CD or gift card that can end up costing more and meaning less. If you're a writer, write a story or poem specifically for each person to which you'll give a gift. If you're a photographer or painter, give a picture you've taken or created. If you're into woodworking, make a jewelry box or a shelf. If you're an expert cook, make some killer goodies and include the recipe as your gift this year. You'll save big and end up giving something with your personal touch that will last for years to come .
- For kids only. If your extended family normally exchanges adult gifts as well as gifts for all the kids, consider just getting gifts for the kids this year. Or draw names for the adults and put a price limit of $ 20 or $ 30 on that gift. That way everyone can save by just buying for one adult in the family.
- Evaluable Coupons. Give your loved ones the gift of your time and service this year. Make a booklet with coupons for specific ways you can help them in the coming months. For example, make a laundry coupon and do the laundry one night so they can relax. Make a babysitting coupon and watch the kids free of charge so they can go out on the town. Make a dinner coupon and prepare a meal so they do not have to cook. There are dozens of ways you can help your loved ones. It will mean so much and will only cost you a little bit of time and energy.
- Give to a charity. If the adults in your family can agree, choose a charity to which your entire family will give. Rather than giving gifts to each other, you'll be touching the lives of people who are really in need. This will not only save you money, but will also keep you from getting cooked up in the spending flurry.
This season is about so much more than the latest gadgets, overpriced clothes and racking up gift cards. It's about giving … but not just giving. Giving something that matters. And sometimes that something can not be bought in a store. It's intangible. Priceless.
This Christmas, why not take a little extra time to think about your family and friends and give them something that will inspire and enrich their lives for years to come.