Monday, November 5, 2007

Gift Giving for the Holiday Season

Some good ideas on avoiding stress this Christmas!

Gift Giving for the Holiday Season
By Lisa Moses

The holiday season is a time of laughter, friends, family and great joy. It can also be a time of tremendous stress - much of the stress resulting directly from the practice of gift giving. Are you buying the right thing? Does it fit your budget? Jam packed stores, cranky cashiers, and absolutely no parking, unless you want to hike a mile with your arms full of heavy bags, are enough to drive a person absolutely crazy. Don't stress!

Here are 10 Tips to make this holiday gift giving stress free!

#1 Avoid the Stores. Why would you join the throngs of stressed out people at the mall when you can shop online from the comfort of your home? The internet and online shopping is not only stress free it is very secure. The number one deterrent to shopping online may be the shipping costs, however with the cost of gas and the value of your time, you actually save money by shopping online. Plus it is easier to find gift items on sale and many online stores have free or discounted shipping offers during the holidays.

#2 If they offer gift wrap, take advantage of it. Gift-wrapping is a time consuming and frustrating process for many. If this is you, why would you subject yourself to it? Take advantage of gift wrapping services and you'll not only have gorgeous gifts to give to your friends and family, you don't have to spend tons of money or your valuable time on wrapping paper.

#3 Have a spending limit in mind. There's nothing worse than getting your credit card bill on January 15 and realizing that you can't afford it. You have overspent! This can be easily avoided - set a budget and stick to it. There are many amazing and wonderful gifts for every budget.

#4 Hitting the mall? If you do decide to brave the mall, by all means go with a list. Wandering aimlessly from store to store accomplishes nothing and chances are you'll overspend or come home with nothing, which means you've wasted your time and your money - and you'll have to go back again ugh! Before you hit the mall, research product ideas online that way you know exactly what you're looking for and what it should cost.

#5 Keep a running wish list or idea list for your recipients. Sometimes the best gift ideas come to us when we're driving, in the shower or surfing the web. Write them down! Your list will save you tons of time and effort wracking your brain for the perfect gift.

#6 Ask your family or friends to have a secret Santa rather than buying a gift for everyone. This saves money and takes the pressure off of your family or friends and it adds a little bit of excitement to the gift-giving season. Don't forget to set a spending limit!

#7 Items that make life easier are always appreciated. For example, the coffee lover would love a grinder or a full-blown coffee center. A gardener would enjoy an indoor garden like AeroGarden during the winter months especially. A person that loves BBQ would take great pleasure in grill accessories, smoking supplies, and even specialty sauces. And the entertainer would love a frozen drink maker like the Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker.

#8 Novelty luxury items are great too. For example, Children love hot chocolate, adults do too; consider purchasing a hot chocolate maker or a cookie gun.

#9 If they don't offer gift wrap have a 'gift storage and wrapping place' if you don't have a location where you can safely store and wrap all presents you'll end up hiding them in various locations around your home and eventually losing some. Trust me; I've lost presents this way only to find them during the spring cleaning effort in April or May. Not much use then.

#10 When in doubt, food always works! Everyone loves receiving baskets of gourmet foods. MySecretyPantry.com offers gourmet sauces, smoked salmon, spices and seasonings, gourmet cocoa and all the utensils to make cooking or grilling easy!

MySecretPantry.com can ease your gift giving fears! They even offer a special gift set page for those of us who can't decide what to buy. Some examples of gifts you might want to consider this year are; teas, coffees, grilling accessories or even kitchen utensils.

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1 comment:

Katherine said...

There is a beauitful gift idea I came across that does good in the world!

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has teamed up with Trickle Up, a poverty alleviation organization that gives people living on less than $1 a day seed capital to launch their own microenterprises, while providing business training and savings support to build assets.

This year give the gift that keeps giving by donating $100 to Trickle Up and Trickle Up will send a specially designed silver necklace (created by Maggie’s favorite jewelry designer TENTHOUSANDTHINGS) to a family member or friend. The $100 donation goes directly towards helping small entrepreneurs (many of them women) in Africa, Latin America and Asia take the first steps out of poverty and start their own small business.

Check out there website at http://www.trickleup.org/
You can order the necklace online and also read about the incredible work they are doing around the world!