Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gift Guidelines

I am a total gift giver. I love, love, love gifts. However, sometimes I have the feeling that I have to spend a lot of money on a gift for it to be special. I will sometimes get a gift on a great sale, but then, because I only spent $5 on it, I feel like it can't be that person's "main present" then I end up getting something else to go with it. After all that, of course I end up going over budget. It's so silly.

The only thing that has helped me with all of this, besides my ever-gentle and money-mindful hubby, is making my own set of gift guidelines. This is the basic process:

First, we decide on the total amount that we have for gifts.

Then, we write down all the people we want to give gifts to (including our kids).

Next, we go down the list and put the amount of money in each spot, to make sure we have enough for each person's gift.

Then, we try to decide what gift we're giving to each person/family. We try to think of things that will be good for that person, and not just random stuff to give.

Finally, no matter how hard it is, I stick to it! It ends blessing my family (especially my relationship with my hubby), and my wallet.

I will say, that I use to want to give actual gifts to everyone I knew and interacted with on a regular basis. As much as I love giving gifts, I have had to pull back severely from this mindset. Instead of giving presents to people like neighbors and Sunday School teachers, we choose to bake yummy goodies...or Pioneer Woman's amazing cinnamon rolls (which bake 7 pans). Honestly, I think they appreciate these types of gifts more than things that end up adding clutter to their homes.

Do you have any gift guidelines that you use in deciding how to shop at Christmas? I look forward to seeing you in the days to come, especially with it being the "most wonderful time of the year".

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