When thinking about holiday shopping one thing to consider is taking your family and friends on trips and other experiences instead of toys and other “stuff” they may not need.
I have some friends who have started doing this. Taking their kids on trips, ball games and other things. Last Christmas, my parents took our whole family on a trip to Florida. So there were’nt as many gifts but we have memories from that trip. My nieces and nephews still bring up memories of the trip every once in awhile.
Another idea is “consumable” gifts such as gift cards for coffee shop, restaurants and other places they visit regularly. If you don’t want to give them just a gift card, you could make up a basket of items relating to the theme of the gift card, such as a coffee basket, book basket, cooking, gardening and others.
With the state of the economy, some families may not be able to purchase gifts like they used to. It is difficult to change your spending but it is important to take steps on cutting your expenses as soon as your situation changes. Some may start using credit cards to keep up their usual spending but it can catch up with you.
If you do find yourself in a situation that you need to cut your spending it may be helpful to explain the situation to your children. If you keep spending, handling what happens at the end may be more difficult to deal with than explaining it to them now.
It is important to remember your “presence” is more important than the “presents”.