Sunday, November 7, 2010

Christmas Gift Advice

By Jeanine Byers Hoag

Are you planning to get your holiday gifts out of the way early this year? If you have been reading along in my article series, you will know, already, that I do that every year and it basically saves Christmas for me. Because I am almost always finished with all of my Christmas holiday shopping by November, I get to enjoy the entire holiday season!

So my advice is to start early, break the shopping up into manageable chunks to avoid that Dec. 24th day-long shopping-but-mostly-standing-in-long-lines experience. Read on for more Christmas gift advice!

Christmas Budget

But then, what should you get for your family and friends? I just wrote out my list last night and I am still considering going back to it to lower the cost.

Start with the budget in mind. Consider how many people you have to buy for and how much you want to spend. If you have ten people and want to spend $400, then think of $40 per person. But twenty people means only $20 per person.

Keep the limitations in mind and add everything up as you go along.

The Forgotten Gift

Remember to add a unisex gift for the person you have forgotten. There's one every year, isn't there?

They show up with a gift for you and the panic begins. Well, that happened one too many times to me and now, I am almost never caught empty-handed! I excuse myself, head back to my gift closet and choose something already wrapped with a blank name card on it.

Holiday Gift Advice

But once you are clear on the budget per person, then you can get creative about what to pick for each loved one.

Your first decision is whether to buy one big Christmas gift basket, spending all of your money for that person on one thing, or you might decide to buy several small gifts.

Wish Lists

If you decide on one big gift, you may want to consult with the gift recipient, to make sure your money is spent wisely. I will never forget what happened with my sister, more than 20 years ago now. I knew she liked gold jewelry but did not realize how specific her tastes were. So I bought her several gold bracelets and wrapped them in a gift box.

When I came home from college six months later they were still lying in the wrapping paper in that box in her room. Hadn't moved an inch since Christmas.

With smaller or less expensive gifts, you may not have quite the same concern. Food gifts or Christmas decorations make good small add-on gifts. I know of one person who buys ornaments as gifts and gives one to each person.

The most important criteria is to give from the heart! Just don't let your heart give so generously that you are broke and miserable in January.

Get more tips for making the entire process stress-free by going to holiday shopping tips.

There you will find a link for a free holiday shopping guide from the gift therapist, videos with holiday gift advice for shopping on a budget, and lots of other Christmas gift advice.

Jeanine Byers Hoag is a certified holistic health practitioner, a design consultant, a hand analyst, a tea enthusiast and a homeschooling mom determined to get Christmas shopping done early this year! Read about her forthcoming book, The Life That's Waiting for You: Four Simple Steps to Identifying & Living Your Life Purpose by visiting her life purpose website at

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