1. We do the Secret Santa thing and it’s definitely the way to go. It frees up more time for you to consider 1 perfect gift instead of a billion mediocre gifts for everyone. And also the 1:1 gift exchange means you grow closer to the person who got your name. Like, my great aunt go my name one year. We usually don’t talk but when she got me a great gift, we definitely had something to talk about.

  2. Making sure you don’t get into debt during the holidays is crucial to staying on a good financial track and building a strong financial foundation. Christmas comes the same time every year; there’s no reason not to plan ahead for it.

  3. We have cut back A LOT on our holiday spending over the last few years and that was because we reached out to the family and suggested that everyone just buy gifts for the kids and that the adults don’t exchange. We were all only swapping gift cards which was just a waste. Hubby and I have also challenged ourselves to gift budgets. It’s fun to see who can find the best “stuff” for the least money.

    • We also decided to only get stuff for the kids, and only one gift for one specific person. It saves money and time.

      I like your gift budget idea. Challenge each other to find the best gift for the least amount of money.

  4. We’re planning on cutting back this Christmas. We still buy for all the immediate family adults, but this year we’ll be scaling back our gifts. Now that babies are around, it’ll be easier to just buy for the kids and not the parents. We still are fortunate to have 7 parents and grandparents to buy for though and it adds up.

  5. I try to keep my Christmas spending to a minimum so I look for more thoughtful gifts as opposed to ones that are pricey. I also have my Christmas funds on a separate card so that way I’m sure to stay within my budget.

  6. Last year I did gifts from my side business which is buying and reselling items on eBay, I was very worried nobody would like them, but I was surprised at the glowing response I received. All it cost me was part of my profits, not any money that came from a paycheck or credit card.

  7. I would love to spend lavishly on friends and family, but that hasn’t been the case for a long time. I buy one toy/gift for a needy family or adopt a family type situation, and I sent my nephews about $25 each. Nothing fancy but it gives them a little somethin’ somethin’. For my parents I just sent them cards. And that’s it!

    • It would be nice to be able to give our friends and family nice gifts, wouldn’t it?

      That’s nice that you give a gift to a needy family. I did that a few years back and it felt very good. I’m not sure why I haven’t done it more often.

  8. We usually have a pretty small Christmas. We spend about $100 on my husband’s family (they’re out of state so we pay for shipping), $100 on my family and $50 on our kids (they’re 2 and 1 so maybe not even that much haha!). We don’t normally buy gifts for each other unless we happen to have extra money that month. I think the average of $781 is totally unnecessary!!! Anyone spending that either needs to suggest a secret santa or not purchase extravagant items!

  9. I’m cutting down a lot on presents this year for my family, hopefully spending half than normal on presents. My friends and I do a secret santa with a max spend of £10, that is always a lot of fund.

  10. I enjoy the gathering together for the holidays idea but I refuse to spend a crazy amount of money to show people how much I love them. DH and I along with our families no longer exchange Christmas gifts. We’re all about the food 🙂

  11. Secret Santa is the way to go for sure. You’re never going to find great gifts for nine second cousins anyway. Luckily we don’t exchange at all with extended family. We buy for the niece and nephews and if my in-laws come for a visit, we take them out for a nice meal. That’s it – and I’m pretty sure everyone loves everyone else just the same.

  12. That’s simply a lot of money for the typical person to spend on the holidays. It reminds me of how the average person spends just short of $80 on a Halloween costume. Again, way out of line with what would “need” to be spent to participate in festivities.

    When it comes to the holiday season, and Christmas in particular (as that was the topic of the post), I think it’s important to keep in mind that while gifts are nice to give and receive, it’s not about the gifts and money to begin with anyway. Once we remember that, it can make it easier to make sensible decisions.

  13. One technique that I have found helpful is to shop for gifts all year around in preparation for Christmas. I know before hand how many people that I’m actually getting a gift for, and then spend the year with that in the back of my mind. If I find a killer deal somewhere, I buy it and save it until Christmas.

    I never wait until the Christmas season to do all of my shopping. So-called “deals” (especially on Black Friday) don’t actually save you any money, and people feel the pressure to get their shopping done as quickly as they can, which increases the tendency to over-spend on crap that people don’t need.

    Spend all year looking for the best deal, and I can almost guarantee you that you will save money.

Comments are closed.