Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Shopping on a Budget Can Still Be Fun!


Tralalala! It's the holidays! What does that mean? It means family, home-cooked meals, and lots of celebration with so many people you love…. Uh, oh… how many people? SO MANY? Wow, that can be daunting to think of buying gifts for so many loved ones, especially in a tight economy. It's a difficult choice, because it's such a great feeling to give someone a gift that makes them light up, but at the same time, we have budget constraints. How do you manage the conflict? Some families do a secret Santa, so that each person only has to buy one gift. That definitely helps with the budget, but that robs of us the joy of giving to everyone else.

This year, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I wanted to give presents, good ones, and I also needed to keep my budget in a reasonable place. The first thing I did was allot a specific amount for Christmas presents, a limit I could not exceed. And then, I looked up "resale shops" on the Google, and I got shopping.

I hit three Goodwills and three other resale shops in two afternoons, and it was amazing. I found so many great gifts for those I love, and I am so excited for them to open their gifts. Yes, not everything is brand new (though some of them are), but everything I bought is perfect. Here's a snapshot of some of my awesome finds:

  1. Six Barbie movies for my five year old daughter, who is in a huge Barbie phase right now. I will save some of the movies for her birthday or other events, so now I have a stash. Cost: $.99 each.
  2. A tall gorgeous ceramic vase for my mother, who has a special fondness for that kind of pottery. It looks brand-new, and it absolutely perfect for her. Cost: $6.99
  3. A fairy and princess shower curtain which looks new. I will use it to make a canopy for my daughter's four poster bed (the bed I slept in when I was growing up). Cost: $.99
  4. A book from 2002 from the company that my bibliophile step-dad used to work for. His name is listed in the front for working on it. Cost: $.99
  5. A cookbook on grilling veggies for my vegetarian sister-in-law who just moved into her first house last week. Cost: $1.99
  6. A package of seven brand-new scrapbooking scissors (the 8th pair was missing), for my crafty daughter. Cost: $.99
  7. A book on living life without worry, for me, because I need it (I already starting reading it, and it is priceless in the value it is giving me). Cost: $1.99
  8. Hand-painted, brand-new wooden trivets for the kitchen for my mom. Cost: $.99 each.
  9. A "world's best grandpa" mug for my stepdad (picked out by my daughter). Cost: $.99
  10. A NBA regulation basketball for my ex (picked out by my daughter for Daddy). Cost: $3.99
  11. A brand new (tag still on) stuffed animal for my two year old niece. Cost: $1.99

The list goes on and on! I found so many perfect gifts for those I love, and I can't wait to see their faces when they open their gifts. They will be thrilled, and I will feel the joy of giving to those I love, and I won't have to lie awake stressing about having spent money I don't have. Everyone wins, and the spirit of Christmas is exactly what it should be: alive and well.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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