BMO expects average Canadians to spend $582 on gifts this year. ARG expects Americans to spend $646. I don’t normally see my relatives during Christmas, and I don’t have many close friends, so I’ll be spending lots of time with my parents this holiday.
|image from 9gag.com
They are not materialistic people so for most years we don’t buy each other anything for birthdays or Christmas. I realized from a young age that time is the most valuable commodity. Presents don’t last, unless it’s an experience worthy of being remembered, which can be achieved without using lots of money. I spent about $100 total this holiday on gifts and entertainment. Most of that was for myself :0) My family and some of my friends spent similar amounts. We still maintain our relationships by hanging out once in awhile, but since we don’t buy each other presents we are effectively giving each other savings. Several hundreds dollars worth of savings each. That’s a pretty good gift right there. Plus, no headaches trying to figure out what to get for others. I want blu-ray movies just like anyone else, but the more we receive the more we’re pressured to reciprocate and give back. So I’ll just buy the movies myself. But giving and receiving time is priceless, and can’t be compared or measured.
At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts. Here are some gift ideas that require more time than money.
-Burn a CD with their favorite tunes
-Bake Christmas cookies
-Knit a pair of mittens for the cold weather
-Print, frame, and give them a picture of themselves
-Make custom greeting cards, bookmarks, etc