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Holiday Guide

Giving and receiving: 15 Tips for Holiday Shopping & Budgeting

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Gift giving during the holidays can be so stressful.  Get 15 tips that will help you with holiday shopping, gift giving and budgeting during the holidays.  Make sure to check out our two great interviews with money coach, Emily Zillig, and life coach, Sue Elliot that offer their advice for the holidays.  Plus, a whole holiday survival guide to get inspired for the holidays.

Emily Zillig, Money coach offers 5 tips below for holiday giving and receiving.

  1. It’s all values. Everything we do is an expression of our values. Even gift giving is an expression of what we hold dear. Instead of being hypnotized by holiday messages from retailers, think about what values you hold dear and how you can express them with your brand of giving.  For example, if you value personal connection, then offer a gift that is about connecting. Try a special card with an experience that includes home-made scones and a hike up your friend’s favorite mountain. Not all gifts have to be wrapped.
  2. Everyone has a different love language. Recognize that each person has a different expectation and reason for gift giving. Some people express their love through gifts.  While giving gifts may not be your primary way of expressing love (your love language), respect that it may be another person’s love language.  If you suspect a mismatch in expectations, it may help in having a conversation to prevent hurt feelings.
  3. Give from love. Give a gift from the heart, because giving out of love feels way better than giving out of obligation.
  4. It’s all about flow. The universe is about flow.  Gift giving is about keeping the flow of energy going.  If you receive a gift that you may not like, then continue the follow by passing the gift to someone that will treasure it. You can still receive the intention of love, and pass along the item you received.
  5. Receive with Grace: Just because someone has given you a present, you may not have the budget to return a gift for that person.  Instead of focusing on the guilt, just gracefully receive and appreciate someone’s generosity.

Sue Elliott, Editor-in-Chief of Law of Attraction Magazine. Get more tips from Sue

  1. Keeping score in gift giving: Are you monitoring what gifts were given to whom and if it was of equal value? Were you wondering if you gave enough? It’s important to remember that it’s not the spirit of judging, but the spirit of giving. Let go of the obligation.
  2. Don’t Buy to Impress: It’s easy to equate a price tag and how much you spent as a way to prove your generosity and love.  Remember, your loved ones would rather see you thrive than be knee deep in debt or financially stretched. 
  3. It’s the thought that counts: Gift giving is not about the cost of an item but rather the thought behind it. There are many creative ways to show your love and appreciation. Homemade food is certainly a yummy option you can offer your loved ones. Another option is good old Arts & Crafts. Handmade gifts are not just heartfelt but are one of the most thoughtful gifts that can be given. The gift of your time and an act of service (massage, house cleaning, making a knit scarf, etc.) is always appreciated. Are you crafty? Opt into something more your style like painting a really nice piece of artwork or putting together a video or a nice poem.
  4. Stick to a budget. Work out a budget before plunging into your shopping list. Be realistic with what you can spend comfortably without going beyond your means. Stick to your budget or risk having a holiday hang over. Remember that old saying that happiness cannot be bought? Believe it or not, it can’t. So, all those end caps full of fluff may not do more than just break your pockets.
  5. Set expectations with kids– It’s ok to set limits and be frugal, even with children. Determine, in advance, the type and number of gifts your children will receive. It’s very easy to go overboard but keeping, and following, a budget will keep you on track. Find an alternative gift that is equally pleasing, but less expensive. Use the extra funds to go on a nice family vacation.
  6. Place limits on gift giving: Consider having a gift exchange where each person is assigned one person to buy a gift for. If you are worried about how much to spend on a gift, set a limit for everyone to follow.
  7. Trim your list.Does everyone in your family need a gift?  Consider cutting back your list, or give a group gift versus individual ones.
  8. Check online coupons: Always check to see if there is a coupon or discount code you can use for your items. Most sites have free shipping or some kind of special offer when you buy online. Be sure to search around for the best offer and take advantage of the sales. Also, try not to wait until the last minute. Expedited shipping can be very costly. Also, always check the return policy. You don’t want to get stuck with something you changed your mind on.
  9. Get charitable. If you think Christmas has gotten too commercial, then consider making a charitable contribution in a loved one’s name. You can present the gift in a nice card.
  10. Treat yourself. It’s okay to do something for yourself around the Holiday season. After a long day of shopping or cleaning and running errands make sure to treat yourself to some down time.