It’s two weeks until Christmas. It’s easy at this point to throw in the towel and begin the requisite, expensive shopping shuffle that occurs the days leading up to Christmas.
But you can still make a plan TODAY and avoid overspending. Here’s how:
Make Your Own Beautiful, Inexpensive Wrapping Paper
Right now in Eugene, The Dollar Tree has brown Postal wrap paper for $1. Buy a couple of rolls and pair it with nice ribbon from Costco or JoAnn’s (make sure to sign up for JoAnn’s coupons, JoAnn2Go, via text which will score you some ribbon for 50% off). You can also pull out the finger paints or ink and have your kids decorate the brown postal wrap.
There are 16 people in my extended family that we usually buy/make gifts for (this is just siblings and their spouses, cousins, grandparents, parents and stepparents – not even aunts/uncles, etc.). And I know for a lot of you, there are SO many more! Thus, I have been encouraging both sides of our extended family to think differently about holiday gifts and to avoid purchasing obligatory things for one another.
This year, every member of our extended family happens to have a significant other; so each couple drew the name of another couple, which means everyone is responsible to buy just one gift for one couple to enjoy together. This really cuts down on holiday spending! And honestly, it makes gift-giving fun again as we strategize the best way to meaningfully gift our couple. It’s just so much more joyous than begrudgingly shelling out dollars for quickly forgotten items we collect in the aisles of Target, attempting to stretch our budgeted dollars across an endless list of names.
We will also all put a certain amount of money together and contribute one big donation to a collectively chosen charity/cause.
* Oh, also, in my extended family we currently have just three little kids among all of us grown adults, so we haven’t run into a problem yet with cousin gifts. But I imagine in some of our families there are dozens of cousins! So a cousin name drawing can work great in that situation as well.
Gift Giving for Spouse/Significant Other
This is so personal to each of us, so I won’t say much here but will offer one small suggestion. Rather than making the attempt to find the perfect gift for each other, jointly pick an excursion/restaurant deal on Groupon or Living Social and enjoy a date after the holidays!
Gift Giving for Our Children
In my perfect world, all the toys I’d buy for my kids would be purely educational and devoid of action figures, batteries, and anything that promotes a movie. But after five plus years of parenting, I’ve learned that kids have totally impractical wants just as I do (Hunter boots, anyone?).
Anyway, this year we are adopting a gift policy for our kids. I’ve seen this done as, “Something they need, something they want, something they read, and something they wear.” I decided to tweak this just a bit to fit our present reality (please do the same). Because our kids are age five and age two, they don’t yet care about what they wear, and truly have no clue what they need...so we will do:
Something they want, something they read, something they learn, and something they share.
For something they share, it’s a gift that siblings or all family members enjoy together – those Wildlife Safari tickets that are forever on Groupon, a board game, a Netflix subscription, or a toy that can easily be shared (a play kitchen, dress up clothes, etc.)
- For Stocking Stuffers (which add up quickly!), check out local consignment stores such as My Little Children or second-hand stores.
- If you celebrate Advent or are looking for ways to integrate your faith into the holiday season, click here for ideas of how to celebrate all throughout December.
- Order your Amazon items from GoMomGo’s Amazon link –it's no extra charge & it helps keep the moms at GoMomGo in business!
- Consider using credit card miles/points to buy the gift for kids to “share.” For 5000 points, I got my kids a dancing robot that values at $50 retail.
Christy Rice is a mom to two great boys. They love to explore all that Lane County has to offer. Christy is a superstar at researching & finding awesome picks & deals for GoMomGo!