Holiday Shopping Season Comes Earlier and Earlier
I think by now we’re all resigned to the fact that the Christmas shopping season starts right after Labor Day. A visit to your local Costco or Sam’s warehouse on the way back from an end-of-summer vacation makes that fairly clear, especially when they put those huge snowman animatrons out on display.
A Procrastinator’s Holiday
Other than our melancholic reminiscence about the days when our Christmas spirit was kindled by Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree selection, the thing that makes us all want to bellow out a loud “Good grief!”, is the inevitable Christmas shopping challenges we face.
It can be a dangerous season for procrastinators, and will break the bank if you aren’t too careful. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of creative Christmas gift ideas to get you started this year, hopefully without dipping too far into your retirement savings (or even your rainy day fund!).
The Rules of Christmas
First, it helps to have some rules. Decades ago, my family agreed that only children under 30 would get presents, and that there would be a $50 (or less) limit per person.
I completely avoid physical Black Friday (or now is it Black Thursday-Monday?) events where I have to fight for a parking space and be elbowed by tons of people.
Since we’ve all been in a pandemic, online shopping has hit new peaks of convenience.
The truth is, sometimes it’s really hard to avoid all the gifting hype. So we wanted to share a few affordable Christmas gift ideas with you on how to give meaningful and thoughtful gifts to your family members, especially when budgets may be tighter this year.
- Instead of giving gifts, take up a collection and donate it on behalf of the entire family to your favorite charity. Operation Christmas Child, Habitat for Humanity, International Justice Mission, or the local ballet school’s scholarship fund (and make sure to go see their performance of the Nutcracker!) are just a few of our favorite ideas.
- Buy (or make!) affordable scarves and hats and then go caroling around your neighborhood. Not only will your family be thrilled with their new warm gear, your neighbors will benefit from the warm community gesture.
- Check out Etsy for great and affordable gift options. Not only will you be giving something that is unique, you will also be supporting small businesses, hardworking craftspeople, and artisans. You can even search for sellers in your geographical area as well as by price range.
- Handmade gifts are always an absolute favorite of mine. I love to make them, give them, and receive them. Check out Pinterest for ideas, or go to your local Jo-Ann’s, Michael’s, Home Depot, or the like and ask about their classes.
- Make a meal together. Have everyone in the family pick a recipe and plan the meal together. Cooking is a great way to bond as a family. If not everyone in the family is interested in cooking, break the cooks and bakers into two or three teams and then have a cook-off, the non-cooks can be the taste testers and judges. In the end, everyone is a winner because everyone gets to eat wonderful food and enjoy each other’s company.
Remember that Christmas is only a few short weeks away! If you are feeling uncertain about your finances in times of COVID-19, it may be a good idea to speak with a financial adviser.
Have a glorious holiday season and be safe!
At Medallion Financial Group, we believe financial planning is about Family. We have been helping families invest in the future since 1987 through a holistic planning approach. We recognize there are a variety of needs when it comes to retirement planning, plan rollovers, annuities, college planning, life insurance options, and investment management. It is easy to get lost in a sea of choices. Our financial advisors help with the basics and beyond to enable our clients to get the education, advice and management they need to retire with confidence.
Our focus is twofold: first and foremost, we are fiduciary advisors. We stand against any violation of laws, values, and ethics. Second, we treat our clients as part of our family, not only those who call Maryland and Georgia home, but clients across the US who have benefited from our reputation of personal service, integrity, and expertise.
We strive to exceed client’s expectations – because we have high expectations of ourselves.