’Tis the season to be thoughtful, loving, caring….many things…though not extravagant. When it comes to gift giving for parents, siblings, and the like, you have just brought into the world the most priceless gift of all — your baby. Spend a Saturday snapping photos of your tiny bundle, printing them at home, and popping them into (inexpensive) picture frames. That’s a gift no grandparent can resist.
If you typically buy gifts for your friends, get together and decide that this is the year you’ll spend time together, not money. Either have a party at one person’s house or, if you can’t resist the tradition of gift giving, designate a spending limit together and buy one gift each, sit in a circle, and instruct everyone to pass their present to the right.
When shopping, look out for words such as “summer,” “discontinued,” “clearance,” and “past season” — they’ll lead you to valuable treasure. Monogrammed beach towels and bathrobes make excellent gifts. In your card, include that you’re wishing the family well on their upcoming vacation, and you’ll look clever, not cheap. The thought actually will count! Even toys and games go on sale. Steer clear of the classic markups on sweaters or things produced especially for this season. Online retailers usually have a better selection of sale items, mostly because they can stock items in big warehouses instead of at expensive real estate at the mall. Plus, while you’ll have to pay for shipping, shopping around town means paying for the price of gas.