Think outside of the gift box

I have received requests for a ‘top ten list of ways to save’ this holiday season, so here goes:

1. Make a list and cross yourself off the list.
2. Set spending limits. If your limit is $20 per gift, don’t buy $25 gifts.
3. Don’t try to buy holiday spirit. Instead try listening to music or baking cookies.
4. Start a new tradition. Draw names or give family gifts rather than individual gifts.
5. Regift. Some gifts are better the second time around.
6. Give time (i.e. yard work, babysitting). Free to give, but valuable to the recipient.
7. Shop second-hand. Everyone knows that reusing and recycling are smart things to do.
8. Get creative. Knit something, cook something, get crafty.
9. Know that setting a good financial example for your children is a priceless gift.
10. Finally, when you finish shopping—stop shopping!

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that this holiday season doesn’t have to be like the ghosts of Christmas’ past. Just because you’ve “always” done something a certain way doesn’t make it the right way.

I’d like to challenge you to think outside of the gift box. Please share your holiday spending tips through the comments section.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.