The day after Halloween has replaced the day after Thanksgiving as the official start to the holiday shopping season. Sad, but true.
However, just because we’re into the holiday season, doesn’t mean we’re obligated to head to the mall and open a vein.
Non-Consumer Advocate reader Penny recently asked this question on our Facebook Group:
“We are living on one income this year, like so many. Can I please have some ideas on how to make my 17 and 10 year olds not feel deprived this Christmas when it comes to gifts. My ideas are so lame.”
I’m glad Peggy brought this question to light, as I doubt there are many of us who aren’t trying to figure out how to give our kids a great holiday without breaking the bank.
I’ve always thought that buying for older kids is at once both harder and easier than for little kids. Babies could care less about gift giving, toddlers are happy with hand-me-downs presented as gifts, school age kids are flexible and teens have the ability to see the big picture.
However, teens are also prone to wild mood swings from sweet to insane, so you just never know.
Here’s what I would suggest to Penny:
- Look around the house to see if you have unused stuff to sell. Remember, crap out, money in!
- If you’re wanting to give a big ticket item, ask family members if they’d be interested in chipping in. Better to get the one gift you want rather than a bunch of small stuff you don’t.
- Make or craft a gift by hand. One Non-Consumer Advocate reader responded by writing that she was sewing a quilt for her daughter made from her meaningful old T-shirts.
- And most importantly, have an honest conversation with the kids about your money situation. They might be less gift-centric than you think. They might even be a source for some great holiday ideas!
Now you, what ideas do you have for Penny? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
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