The biggest issue with the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries or any other event that requires buying gifts, is peer pressure. The constant stream of stress and brainwashing from ads and commercials that tell us what’s hot and what’s not this season.
Ask This First:
Before going into debt for gifts, or giving into peer pressure ask yourself these questions:
- How often will I see these people again?
Unless they’re family or close friends, you probably won’t see them till next year, at this same time.
- Will they even remember what my gift was, with all the others they get?
Probably not, and they definitely won’t remember it years later.
Here’s the Reality
It’s hard to fight the pressure to buy expensive items and gifts, because the media and our peers are constantly telling us we have to.
People won’t like you more because you spend an outrageous amount of money and go into debt for them (and if they do, they aren’t your real friends).
The holidays are supposed to be about giving, spending time with loved ones, and being thankful for all the wonderful memories. It’s not about spending money, going into more debt, or feeling obligated to purchase gifts for people you barely know.
Put on the Brakes
So take a deep breath and relax, because there are really only two reasons to buy gifts.
- You WANT to show that person you care
- You can reasonably AFFORD the gift
If you are buying gifts for any other reasons, then you should stop and think if it’s a good decision. Focusing too much on the price tag can stifle your creativity and affect your feelings toward the person you’re supposed to be “blessing”.
There are lots of ways to save money while still giving thoughtful gifts. The gifts that mean the most to me, are the ones that only cost a few bucks (hello chapstick!). The thoughts and intentions behind the gift are the ones that count, not how big the numbers are on the price tag.
Once January rolls around and you get stuck with a debt hangover, none of the people you bought gifts for will be around to help. And it doesn’t mean they will like you more because of it.