How to Change Your Perspective This Christmas About Gift Giving
by Joanne Troppello
The amount of money that Americans have spent during the Christmas season has increased since 2008. According to Investopedia, consumer industry experts estimate that Americans will spend approximately $920 per person on gifts this season in 2019.
Spending that amount of money for each person on your Christmas list seems outrageous to me! I grew up in a large family and my parents didn’t have a lot of money to spend on Christmas gifts. That didn’t matter to us kids. We enjoyed spending time with family and celebrating the real reason for the season—Jesus.
Sure, I can remember the days when my brothers and sisters and I would try to find toys and gifts our mom had bought and hidden in her closet before she had a chance to wrap them. I enjoyed coming down early on Christmas Day to open presents. Most kids do.
However, as we grow into adulthood, it’s important to effectively manage our expectations during the Christmas season. I’m a Christian and grew up in a Christian home. I know not everyone reading this article believes the same way, but I would like to believe that most people can feel the hope, joy, and love that seems more prevalent during the holiday season.
Change Your Perspective
Regardless of what you believe, it would benefit you to take the time to think differently about Christmas this year. Consider the following ways to change your perspective this holiday season.
1. It’s Not About the Gifts
Don’t focus on the gifts this year. Sure, we all like to get gifts and give gifts. However, change your perspective and focus on the reason for the season. Share love and look for ways to demonstrate this new outlook to your family, friends, and people you’ll meet throughout your day this season.
2. Don’t Get into Debt
On average, the American household spends approximately $1,054 or more each holiday—and many of those people are paying for those Christmas gifts with credit cards. That can be difficult to pay off the next month. That means interest charges and additional debt.
Sure, I’ve gone down the rabbit hole and have bought Christmas gifts with credit cards. I’m not perfect. No one is. However, I’ve turned over a new leaf and so can you. Don’t go into debt simply to buy gifts for family and friends this year.
3. Plan Ahead
Now, if you haven’t planned ahead by the time you’re reading this article, make sure you start in January 2020 for the next holiday season. It’s important to set aside a little bit of money each month so that by the time November and December rolls around, you have money for holiday shopping.
4. Stick to a Budget
You can focus more easily on the real meaning of the holiday season if you make a decision to stick to a budget and don’t overspend. You’ll be less stressed during the Christmas shopping process and won’t experience buyer’s remorse in January—that you spent too much money or racked up more credit card debt.
Write out a list of all the people you plan to buy a gift for and then detail how much you budgeted for each gift. I do this when shopping for Christmas gifts and it helps me stay on track each year.
5. Make Homemade Gifts
Now before you shrug off this idea as silly, read on. There were some years that my husband and I couldn’t afford big Christmas gifts and our budget was very lean. So, I made homemade gifts.
However, if you are going this route, make sure you give yourself enough time to make gifts—especially if you haven’t tried to make homemade gifts before. Check out this great article from Southern Living about 20 DIY Gifts that are easy to make. Some ideas they share include hand warmers, homemade soup mixes, and peppermint sugar scrubs.
6. Regift Old Gift Cards
Usually regifting is not something that I’d suggest. However, I think regifting old gift cards is okay and can help you save money on Christmas gifts. Many people give gift cards as gifts and you likely have some unused cards lying around in one of your desk drawers or night tables at home.
7. Stop The “Guilted” Gift Giving
Don’t feel pressured that you need to give gifts to everyone at work or all the people that you know, including the UPS delivery person. Sure, if you have the money and want to give gifts to everyone you know, why not. However, if you are giving gifts solely due to social pressure, then that’s a sign you should not be giving the gift.
You need to have a strong resolve to not fold to social pressure if you plan to follow this step. Just keep reminding yourself of the reason for this season and stay focused.
What is your gift giving philosophy? Have you used any of these tips to refocus your perspective during the holidays?
You can significantly improve your physical, emotional, and mental health by renewing your mindset and getting back to the true meaning of Christmas. Sharing love and joy this season will reap longer lasting results than any gift you could ever buy someone.
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, SEO and social media, travel and lifestyle, website content, recommendations for apps, and content for blogs. Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect on Twitter. Read more about Mustard Seed Sentinel here.