Practical Gift Giving on a Practical Budget

I’ve seen so many blog posts about how to gift during the holiday season… but none of them really appeal to my sense of efficiency and generosity. I️ want to spoil everyone! At the same time, I’m paying off debt, saving for a house, and getting ready for a tight budget (January through March are very tight for those of us in the service industry).

That being said, I️ don’t want to gift anything to someone they may or may not use. I️ recently moved and found a bag of Christmas presents that remained untouched since last year. Many of them were white elephant gifts or parts of gift baskets—don’t get me wrong, they were all items I could have found a use for but didn’t somehow. So this got me thinking… this year I️ only want to gift things that I️ know will be used!

Usually I’d go for a big extravagant gift basket that includes those items from above. And I️ love nothing more than watching people I️ love opening something they really enjoy! However, this year I’m taking a different approach.

I’m one of 6 children and my siblings are my best friends. This year with a new niece or nephew on the way and the first grandchild turning one as well as everyone moving and new adventures beginning, we’ve talked about a gift exchange that works for all of us. It’s simple: drawing names. This way we could each only buy one present that suits the person we are buying it for and is something we actually want. Just an idea so that we don’t end up overspending.

Now, what I really want to get into are gifts that I’m very excited to give this year!

  1. Buy services that you know someone will love. My close friends and I️ are doing the name drawing process I mentioned. We did this last year and it was an absolute success! Now, what I️ love to do is buy a handful of massage certificates. It’s that time of year where everyone is thinking of everyone else and staying up longer or working longer hours to make they’re holidays the most special. People tend to put themselves on the back burner and what better than a massage to bring them back to life with the new year! My massage place does a two day special where they do hour massage certificates at an extremely discounted rate! I️ LOVE THIS OPPORTUNITY! I️ get to spoil my friends without breaking the bank. Other things exchanged for services were nail certificates for a manicure/pedicure, waxing certificates, lash services, and facials/spa days. Now the massage is still my favorite because it’s great for any gender, but I can tell you that all of those services were absolutely used!
  2. Wine and gift card pairs! Obviously, know your audience. If a friend or family member wouldn’t drink wine, no need to worry! I’ve done a bottle of Cabernet with a Starbucks gift card or a bottle of Breckenridge Bourbon with a Ted’s gift certificate. You can pair these in nice creative ways and easily tie them together with a bow. It’s so fun and the better you know the person and get them something specific to what they love, the better use it is to them! Obviously, it depends on how much each item costs but this gift pairing will usually cost between $50 to $100.
  3. Amazon electronics! Now these are easier to buy when Amazon has their amazing promotions, but a fire stick, echo dot, speakers, or head phones are all extremely useful things that I’ve found to have used in my life! Not to mention I’ve found all of these on Amazon for under $40! I️n today’s techie era, these gifts are received well and are a practical luxury item your friends and family might want but not actually buy for themselves!
  4. Over useful gag gifts! I️ have a close friend who always asks for ChapStick so I️ went and bought and absurd amount of ChapStick and wrapped it up nicely to make her laugh, but she still is never without ChapStick currently! So it was a perfect gift!
  5. Something sentimental! This is my favorite kind of gift to give because it’s something that says, “you are worth my time AND my effort.” I️ took one of my moms book titles two years ago and made it into a painting that I based on a picture of her on the beach the year she survived a freak health issue. I️ get it, not everyone is artsy or has a background as specific to go off nor the actual time to do something like that, but that same year I️ gifted my dad a blown up and framed picture that is the only picture of my parents and the whole Six Pack (we love Kenny Rodgers). He loved it and hung it up on his wall at his shop. Again, something that he could do himself but now doesn’t have to AND he gets to see all of our faces everyday he walks into work!
If you try any of these out, comment how it turned out! What are your favorite gifting ideas? And who are you struggling to buy for this year?
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
XO,
Sonja

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