Christmas Gifts: The Art of Giving Intelligently

Christmas and Chanukah and Kwanzaa are coming! That means that if you are a prudent shopper, you have been doing your holiday shopping for many months now. I am sure that all are doing a fine job of controlling their spending while they shop for holiday gifts but I wonder whether we are all spending prudently, regardless of how thrifty we might be.

When I was a child, Christmas was always the most wonderful time of the year. To this day, Christmas Eve remains my favorite 24 hours in the calendar. My childhood home in Massachusetts was always lit up with Christmas lights and decorations and our Christmas tree would have made Santa and his elves quite proud.

And then there were the presen


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8 Responses to Christmas Gifts: The Art of Giving Intelligently

  1. Wendy says:

    Great advice. The number of gifts never used is eye opening. If my kids don’t play with their gifts within 24 hours I take them back. Otherwise, I know they will sit for ever.

  2. Texas Girl says:

    Our kids get three gifts each for Christmas. They know this, and this forces them to ask for ONLY what they REALLY want. Of course Santa Claus isn’t obligated to buy them the three things they want, you know; he merely uses their list as a suggestion. We pick a kid from the angel tree to buy for, and take some time to go through our own toys before Christmas to donate the unused ones to “the poor kids who don’t have any toys” aka Goodwill, to help them think more about giving than getting. Like you said, Christmas is NOT about gift-receiving. I want my kids to grow up with a giving heart and not so into ‘things.’

  3. Jerry says:

    Great advice regardless of whether you are single with nephews and nieces or married with kids of your own. Particularly relevant for the upcoming holiday season in light of the current economic downturn…

  4. Lola says:

    I made the mistake of buying for his third birthday most everything the little fellow pointed at. The result, many things that are ready for the yard sale two years later that were never even played with. Lesson learned.


  5. Oasdg says:

    My mother was that way too. As children growing up, we were always very aware that we didn’t have enough money to go around, but every time Christmas morning rolled around there were more gifts, and gadgets, and gizmos than we had seen all year. And the same thing generally happened to us, a few months later we were taking all those things to be donated because we hadn’t even opened them. My mom was always so generous, but as a single parent-she spent the entire next year getting herself out of “Chirstmas Debt” just to do it again next year.
    As adults, my mother has had a hard time with this. Perhaps because of how we watched my mother suffer with debt for years, we’ve never been much into big gifts. My sister & I are both very crafty people, and really enjoy getting just the perfect gifts for people. Most of our gifts are useful things that have been hand made, or things that we have really thought out for someone.
    As far as the gifts for the whole family-I do it all the time-it’s actually usually my sister & brother-in-law’s favorite gift. I always like to get them a “family gift” instead of mountains of toys for the kids. I like to get them a family pass for places they enjoy with the kids. The first year I did it, I was a little nervous, now my sister, (and occasionally nephfew:-) ) begin dropping hints about places they like to go toghter as a family whenever they see the passes go on sale.:-)
    My mother is still the avid shopper though, only now her Christmas Sprees have spread from us to the Grandkids! She’s certainaly scaled back over the years, but each year we’re still overwhelmed by the amount of shopping one person can do for the holidays.

  6. Maureen says:

    This is good advice for anyone. One struggle I have, is that a young child often does not know how to articulate what he wants. You have to dig carefully. Also, I rely on the advice of my older nephews/nieces.

  7. K Gift says:

    Our kids really love to get their gifts and they like to see more presents. I agree that quality is better. We usually go with lots of silly gifts and then one of their wishes as they need to live the dream of Christmas. Well written post.

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