Is there anything that's more depressing than looking at your holiday gift list and wondering: how am I going to pay for all of these? The older we get, the more people it seems clog up that list. Is it any wonder that 40 percent of Americans say they flat out won't be holiday shopping this year because they're terrified of going into debt? What a bummer!
Folks, you don't have to go all or nothing to have a good holiday, I promise. Just doing a little trim of the holiday gift list should do it ... and before you say, "But I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings," that's possible too. Just check out this list of perfectly plausible ways to kick people off your present list:
Go for the Group Gift: The easiest way to change things up this year doesn't actually change your list so much as combines certain people, but it still saves you cash. Say you've got a family of three on your list, and you allotted $50 per person? One nice $75 gift for them all just cut your costs in half!
Organize a Secret Santa: Big family gatherings are one of the best parts of the holidays and one of the most expensive. If you are buying a gift for every single person who will show up at Granny's this year, you could lose your shirt. So how about emailing the whole fam and suggesting everyone pick just ONE name this year? Offer to be in charge of doling out the names (there are randomizers online you can use to help you if you can't have people physically pick names out of a hat), and you could be the newest family darling. This works best if there's a spending limit set so that the one gift people receive is really nice. But think about it: isn't one $100 gift better than 28 useless tchotchkes?
Kids Only: I haven't met a parent yet who isn't happy to see their child's face light up with joy. Tell your friends/family with kids that you'll be buying something for their kiddos, and if you have kids, offer them the same opportunity ... and leave it at that.
Host a Get-Together: They say the greatest gift of all is being with friends and family, but how often do you really get to do it? Throw away the list this year and offer to host a gathering with your faves. It doesn't have to be fancy. Pizza and some wine with your besties on the couch work just as well as a sit-down meal. As host, you just cut out the need to give a gift, and you got to actually spend time with your favorite people.
Be Honest: Let's face it, the holiday season is tough on EVERYONE. There is no shame in telling the people you're close to that you're struggling -- they may be too. It's a lot kinder to say, "I'm sorry, I can't buy you a present this year" than to just show up on the holiday with empty hands.
Have you trimmed the fat on your holiday list this year?
Image via Mike_fleming/Flickr