In my post from earlier this week I shared some thoughtful ideas for affordable holiday gifting. To view that post please click here. Following are some additional thoughts on how to celebrate the holidays with loved ones without breaking the bank.
Class for a Hobby, Sport, or Activity
The holidays are a perfect time to give your loved ones the gift of a new experience. Why not put a gift certificate for yoga class, karate, or gymnastics under the tree? If ice skates and ice skating lessons would give your daughter a thrill, give them an experience they can truly enjoy. Amount may vary depending on the activity or place, but many businesses offer deals especially if you buy in bulk. For example, my local gym offer a $50 punch card for 10 classes at the gym, or one class is $8.
This is something I wanted to do for my significant other this tear. He has 3 old jerseys from high school that he keeps in his shirt drawer, but he never wears them so I thought I would frame them into a display so we can hang them on the walls in our apartment. Something we can enjoy looking at and he can reminisce on from his glory days. Frames you can find at any local craft store (hobby lobby, Michael’s etc.)
Memorabilia from the Old Alma Matter
Something else I decided to do for my parents this year. My dad went to RPI College in NY, so I’m getting him a T-shirt and Mug which I was able to purchase on the schools store website. For my mom, I was able to find a sweatshirt from her old high school. A gift that will surely surprise them and is something they can use.
This gift is great because it’s cute and it’s FREE! If you plan to back them up, you can give anyone a book of intentions (coupons) for the future! Walking their dog, babysitting for a night out, dinner for 2, a night of doing the dishes (if you’re like me and hate doing the dishes). Not creative? No problem- You can purchase them on Etsy (hand-made and unique), or at Walmart. (Average Price between $5.00- 7.00).
Check for deals of the week
Don’t like the hustle and bustle of going into stores to shop? Check out Amazon & other online retailers who usually offer different weekly deals, discounts and coupons. You’re bound to find a good deal and if you an avid online shopper, Amazon also offers 2-day shipping when you sign up with them as a Prime member ($50 for the whole year).
Gift Certificate to Breakfast/Lunch Spot
For those friends and family who love to eat out. Breakfast and lunch gift cards are great and you can purchase a smaller amount (say even $20- $25) which can cover at least half, if not all of their food since breakfast and lunch items are usually cheaper than dinner.
Day Pass for an Experience
Have young kids who enjoy local museums, zoos, going to the movies, theme parks, ice skating, pottery studio, theaters? A day pass or tickets to an event would be perfect for them. Have a kid who’s really into skiing and snowboarding- get them a lift ticket for a day. Prices may vary depending on experience, but typically week day passes are less expensive then weekend passes.
Adopt a Pet
Looking to add another member of the family? You can adopt a pet at your local humane society! We have adopted cats from ours in the past at the cost of $100, which is really going to the humane society to help take care of the animals there. Looking for a more low maintenance animal that your kids or a family member will still love? Look for Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Geckos, or Fish.
Great for that family member who loves a certain subject (fashion, cars, trains etc.) For only $12.95 you can get 12 magazines for your loved one just by subscribing and paying up front. Much more worthwhile than just purchasing one magazine for $4.99.
For those young kids in your life- Try buying an adorable book bag and placing it with a gift card for a book store, or pair a stuffed animal with them. Not looking to purchase brand new? There are tons of books you can find second hand at thrift stores that are still in excellent quality and you can get from $.25- $1.00!
Plan an event to do as a family!
Have a relative who just loves when everyone is together? Plan a family outing with them in mind. Go Christmas caroling, make gifts and take them to a nursing home, tie-dying shirts together, planting a Christmas tree to be enjoyed in the future, or visit an outdoor Christmas light displays.
A gift with them in mind
What if you have parents that are hard to shop for? This presents the perfect opportunity to recruit your relatives for some extra help! Reach out to your aunts, uncles, grandparents and ask them what your parent’s favorite movie was when they were growing up? Favorite magazine, or band/ artists? Maybe what their favorite toy was or a toy they always wanted, but never got? I’m sure they would be extremely surprised and overwhelmed with joy to see that you did the research to find them such a thoughtful gift.
Ultimately, a gifts value is not based on how much you spend, but the consideration you put into making sure the gift is meaningful and is something that will bring that person true happiness. For example, I know my mom LOVES Black Licorice, so I make a point to always get her that every year no matter what. It’s something simple, inexpensive and never has to be fancy, but she is always appreciative because it’s one of her favorite things.
By Kathleen Thompson. Kathleen is an Associate Accountant at Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs.
Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs has been assisting Vermont individuals and business owners with tax consulting and retirement planning for more than 25 years. Call our office in Williston 802.878.1963 or Rutland 802. 775-7132 to schedule a tax planning strategy session today.