December 7, 2010

Inexpensive and Totally Awesome

Welcome to my gift-giving guide.

We all know that Christmas is a time when resources are tight. I am working on keeping my credit card bills down, and while I love to pride myself on how financially organized I am, my mother totally sent me the hey-have-you-paid-your-car-insurance email which I responded to with bewilderment and then called my agent only to find my mother had paid it. Yesterday. Total embarrassment.

Anyway, I have some tips on keeping your budget down and the excitement and gratitude levels high this year. Feel free to share your own in the comments.

Give the gift of experience: While this can be classy and pricey (spa-trip for two in romantic Tucson! scuba diving lesson! pole dancing classes!), it can also be an affordable solution. Buy a nice card, write out the details of a special day that you will theoretically make happen for the recipient, voucher for back rubs, future drinks purchased, etc. and then give. It's especially good to give when it's something that you will enjoy as well. There is a possibility that they will lose this card in the holiday gift-giving fray but this only works to your advantage. This puts the gift-receiving in their court and they have to acknowledge that the thought was there.

Socks!: While no one actually likes to receive socks, everyone needs them. Unless the socks are woefully too small, the recipient will end up wearing them at some point, and at that point they will think of you. Success! I like to put the socks in a really, really large box so it looks like you are giving something very exciting like a microwave.

DIY: Do-it-yourself is back with a vengeance and the possibilities are endless. Crochet a scarf, pickle something, brew your own Kahlua, paint a plate, infuse your own vodka, olive oil, or something else that can be infused. It helps to be somewhat good at what you're doing, but the thought counts thing applies here. I once received a hat with my initials and some weird buttons sewn on it. It was an oddly depressing hat but that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate it. That being said, I don't recommend distributing button-covered stocking caps this year.

Presentation Counts: If you are like me, no one really expects anything of you. In high school you were too self-centered for gift giving, in college you were too poor. Now that you maybe have a little disposable income it's not mandatory that you suddenly come through with lavish treats for everyone you know. In fact, it would probably seem out of character. Something thoughtful, personalized and well-wrapped is the way to go. As long as it's exciting to open, it's appreciated. In other words, don't give your best friend a candle swaddled in a plastic bag from Fred Meyer.


Kyle said...

Good advice, I have never been a present giver really but that may have to change with all my free time.

Rachel Wrong said...

I look forward to being a recipient. But no socks.

Kyle said...

You are going to get socks with buttons and you will like it!

Elizabeth said...

I love socks, how can you hate on socks?

Elizabeth said...

Also, I especially like the diagram.