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Monday, September 10, 2012

Tip Tuesday--Gift Exchange

It's not quite Christmas in July anymore, but the next time you go into a large retailer you will no doubt be bombarded with any number of the upcoming holidays, including Christmas.  

Don't get me wrong I love Christmas and am very much looking forward to it this year because J, C & c will be visiting starting on the 26th.  

However as your list of who needs a gift or just a little something grows this might be the time of year to call that person and say, "Hey, let's agree to not exchange gifts this year."  Maybe you can still get together for a party or dinner, but just agree that neither of you needs more stuff.  

Or if you still want to exchange gifts, you can give a gift of service, whether it is you giving the service like three hours of house cleaning, washing mom's car, babysitting.  Or paying for a certificate for another person to provide a service to their favorite nail salon, hair salon, magazine subscription, or even guitar lessons. 

You can give a gift of experience like tickets to the ballet, a play, dinner certificate for a home cooked meal or at a restaurant, Netflix (one of our favorites that we received).  

Another idea is to draw names for larger families.  

Set a dollar limit of $xx per person and be creative within those parameters.

You can give a family gift, like everything for a pizza night, or game night.  

You could just agree to adopt a needy family and spend everything you would have spent on your friend or family member on them.  Even better if you can give anonymously. Did you know that you can anonymously pay someone's electric bill for them?  

If you are going to have a large family gathering you can make it a white elephant for the adults where no gift can exceed some specified dollar amount.  $5 makes the gifts have to be really creative or silly or a great thrift store find.  

When kids will be receiving gifts from multiple people all at once (birthday or large family Christmas), make a rule/suggestion that they all get cash equal to one dollar per year per of age.  Then when they combine it they can get something much bigger than the several lower priced items that might come from multiple people.  

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