Ask Yourself These Ten Questions Before You Go Holiday Shopping

by Katy on November 27, 2015 · 9 comments

10 questions to ask yourself before you go holiday shopping

Before you go shopping this consumer-crazed holiday season, ask yourself these ten questions:

  1. Is this product manufactured with planned obsolescence in mind? Is it doomed to fall apart or become obsolete sooner than it should?
  2. Was this product manufactured in an ethical work setting?
  3. Can this product be mended or repaired, or will it have to be thrown away?
  4. Will this product better the life of the gift recipient, or will it simply clutter up their life?
  5. Can I buy this same or similar item from a locally owned retailer?
  6. Is the packaging excessive?
  7. Can this gift be replaced by an edible treat?
  8. Is there something I already own that would make a good gift for this person?
  9. Will this gift be appreciated and valued, or simply set aside?
  10. Can I choose an experiential gift instead of this thing?

When we ask ourselves these questions, we increase the value of our gift exchanges. Not just monetarily, but as a way to better the lives of our loved ones and the people who manufacture our consumer goods.

Have a peaceful holiday season, and may all your purchases be thoughtful and deliberate.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer November 27, 2015 at 11:40 am

Very insightful things to think about. I got a great deal on a vacuum cleaner for a Christmas gift that was an online Black Friday deal for my newly married daughter. I got a better brand so, if she takes care of it, it will last. This is the first year that I am choosing to give a few second hand gifts. Perfect condition kids cartoon DVDs and some high end gloves NIB that just happen to have my daughters initials on them from a yardsale. I feel good about these gifts. My husband gave me a beautiful, very old,antique peice of vaseline glass as a gift. It is one of my favorite gifts! If you think about it, any precious antique is going to be a “used”gift. I certainly didn’t mind and fell in love with it instantly!


Charli November 27, 2015 at 12:13 pm

I bought my sisters family an evening of fun at the driving range for the older ones and putt putt for the littlies. I hope it goes down well. My kids really love 2 things they get in their Christmas stocking each year. They get their favourite sugary cereal that I never get them any other time of year and a mango or pineapple- their favourite fruit. We live in Australia so these fruits are around at Christmas. Us adults get to sleep in a bit as the kids get their breakfast delivered by santa.


Betsey November 27, 2015 at 2:16 pm

We do not buy presents any more as there are no children under the age of 21 (yet).
What we do is treat the holidays as a religious celebration, spend a little bit more on food, and donate the money we would have spent to either church, a charity of our choice, or give it to someone in need (last year a family that we know had mega medical bills from a sick child). Works for us!


Jennifer November 27, 2015 at 6:02 pm

I got a free 8×10 code for Walgreens so I am using that to make my hubby a gift with a nice goodwill frame for almost nothing. The code is 1FREE8X10 is anyone is interested and still good through tomorrow. These make meaningful gifts that don’t cost much.


Isabel November 27, 2015 at 8:36 pm

I am reminded of how much I enjoyed the birthday gift of being given an outing to a second hand place in another town! Another gift was a beautiful shopping list book ….. I wrote in it I adore this gift! I am going to work on giving those I care for such personal and thoughtful gifts this holiday season!


Bellen November 28, 2015 at 3:13 am

Last year, due to 3 major medical emergencies, we gave no gifts. This year we are giving just Christmas ornaments to our 2 sons and the grandkids – a total of 7. The ornaments are very nice, free shipping as they live 1200 miles away and will be used every Christmas from now on. I know the grandkids in particular will remember these gifts – a toy or other gift at Christmas among the tons of other gifts would not be remembered. I think we will continue to do this from now on.
Birthday gifts will be something consumable or an experience – much better all around.


Vickie November 28, 2015 at 7:39 am

We get the kids a quality gift that they want – which can be donated or sold at a later date. We’re taking them on the Christmas train this year too.
We don’t exchange gifts with my in-laws anymore, we decided to donate to a charity in their names. Heifer International is my favorite. You can buy livestock, fowl, or bee hive for a poor family in a 3rd world country which allows them to bring in income. Stocking stuffers are treats or 2nd hand gifts, such as DVDs, hats, gloves etc. that are bought at Goodwill.
My brother rides a bicycle that I bought him at a pawn shop last year. So this year I’m buying him a couple of replacement tire tubes and a tire pump, if he doesn’t already have one.
It has to be a useful gift, or I don’t bother anymore. I hate shopping this time of year, especially in chain stores. Most of mine is small businesses, pawn, thrift or online. It’s very low key, because I buy gifts for my daughter, grandkids and brother.
I bought tickets to a Philharmonic show for Hubby and we’re using my rewards points to stay in a hotel close to the venue that night.


Shevaun November 29, 2015 at 12:22 pm

My SIL is newly single with two little ones, so I made her a simple cookbook of all my favorite family recipes and baby variations… I make one family meal and then tweak it a bit and puree or mash it for Baby. The cookbook is just a three-ring binder, and I use those plastic page protectors in case things splash while cooking. Otherwise, it’s just me writing and then printing out the recipes. Also, I’ll give her some of my favorite grocery products (like a big jar of pre-cut garlic) that I use all the time in my recipes. I hope it makes her life a little easier.

Now let’s just hope this kids don’t spit out the pasta fagioli.


Peter July 19, 2016 at 6:10 am

I basically need all these tips. I cant deny of being an impulsive shopper. Maybe a shopping guide to weigh things out would help me save from being impulsive.


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