Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed by the amount of Christmas stuff that seems
to sneak up the minute Labor Day happens. Seriously?, I think as I look up at the
inflatable Peanuts characters, bedecked with red hats, This is a bit overkill. But for
the most part I am beyond thrilled about the upcoming season.
Christmas is my favorite holiday by a landslide. I love all the decorations, the food,
the forced family time, and, most importantly, the presents.
I love giving and receiving presents, but often find the hardest part is dealing with
how much to spend and on whom. See, I often equate the amount of money I
spend on a person to the amount that I value someone. My husband and family
receive bigger, more expensive gifts; everyone else gets cute smaller things. My
mom is the one I usually spend the most on. I’ll find myself surrounded by gifts all
for her and start to mentally add up how much I spent. Yikes.
And the funny thing is that none of these people care at all about how much I spent
I could’ve sent them a card with a rock I found on a hike and they would be thrilled.
You know why? The gift was thoughtful.
The key to spending within your limits this holiday season is not about setting
a budget (although that helps), but making sure you are creating a gift that is
thoughtful and well intentioned.
Your sister, who loves One Direction (who doesn’t?) could be happy with tickets to a
concert or a binder with a collage of pictures of the band. Both are thoughtful, one is
Or for your foodie best friend, you could get him a fancy copper cooking set or a
few small bottles of fancy oil and vinegar. Both are thoughtful, one is significantly
So, to fully engage with the thoughtfulness of your gift, you’ll actually have to put
some thought into it.
Try this process:
Sit down with a piece of paper and write down the names of everyone you need to
or want to buy gifts for.
Next to their name write a few words to describe that person and their interests. For
example, Julie I would describe as warm, sassy, loves good food, fashion, and kitties.
Then, brainstorm ideas for them. You can start big and get small or start small and
get big or start in the middle and go wherever. Just get a few ideas down. I like 7-10,
but there are no rules here so however many you feel like.
Then take a look at what you came up with, check out your budget and circle the gift
that seems most in line with what you want to give them and how much you have to
Ta-da! Thoughtful gift discovered.
Julie has a huge range of things that can easily become thoughtful and less expensive
gifts because they involve a degree of hand-crafting. Dig through her archives to find
some good ideas. My favorite this year will be making a chai tea blend that loved
ones can just throw into a pot with hot water and milk and have instant chai tea.
Hope this helps, and if you have any questions feel free to contact me through my
coaching business Whole Soul Lab at firstname.lastname@example.org.