I shop for Christmas throughout the entire year. I have more fun this way as I don’t like crowds, I don’t like paying full price for anything, and I don’t like shopping. This year, I have only a few things to purchase by Christmas, but they are for the four hardest people to buy for. My mom and her husband, my dad and his wife. They have EVERYTHING. I mean really, what could I buy a doctor that he hasn’t already bought himself? I would really like to buy them Financial Peace University, but I don’t want my mom and step-father to be offended. I feel they really need help with their finances. That’s not true. I KNOW they really need help with their finances.
My father and his wife – it’s kind of the same thing. They have everything. My father is currently in college but they are living just fine on his unemployment and his wife’s income. They are real home-bodies, so I was thinking about possibly getting them a gift certificate to Netflix for a couple of months. It would be a “family gift” seeing as my step-sister and niece live with them. They have a Wii system, so they could get unlimited streaming video. I was thinking about getting my father a nice pen/pencil set for school, and a gift certificate or two from restaurant.com (when they go on sale for 75% off or more.) I also got them a DVD box set to learn how to salsa dance together in January of this year while on clearance. I’m not sure if they’ll ever use it, but they are getting it anyways. If nothing else, Natalie (my niece) can learn to salsa with her grandpa.
My budget is generally $50/person or $100/couple for our parents. Seeing as we have 3 sets of parents, our Christmas’ are pretty expensive. I try not to spend any more than $25/person on my brothers, sisters, nieces, grandma and Uncle Todd, and $15 on friends gifts.
Every year, I tell myself that I will make more homemade gifts (like the Gift in a Jar items that I posted last month or homemade wine,) but I never do.
If you don’t mind me asking, what is your general rule of thumb for Christmas gifts?