The Christmas Gift Dilemma

December 18th, 2012By Category: Arts & Entertainment, Shopping

There’s only a few days left before Christmas. Have you bought gifts for your loved ones or still going back and forth to that particular shop and not really deciding on getting something because of a tight budget? Well, the only comfort in there is that you’re not alone, but the Christmas Gift Dilemma has a solution.

Thrifty doesn’t always mean cheap. Giving gifts is a way to express your thoughtfulness and care for your loved ones and it doesn’t always have to be so extravagant. “It’s the thought that counts,” as the saying goes. So here are a few tips on buying the prefect Christmas gift without punching holes on your wallets and pockets.

The Christmas List

Write the names of those you want to give resents to and how much you’re willing to spend for a particular person. It helps writing down ideas or stuff that reminds you of that person so it would be a bit easier to go shopping. Plus, it really cuts your shopping time in half. Neighbors and officemates that you are not close with don’t necessarily have to be given gifts–unless you have extra budget to give them simple tokens.

Homemade is where the heart is

If you’re a DIY person and you think you’re creative enough to pull off the perfect Christmas gift, then it’s actually much better and less expensive. Also, the more personal and creative your gift is, the more heartfelt it is. However, if you’re already behind schedule, it’s best to just go with plan A (which is last-minute shopping) keep it simple, yet thoughtful.

Photo by K.G.Photos via Flickr Creative Commons

Something Similar, Something to Share

Another way to spend less and give more is giving one similar gift to each person. If you’re planning to give something hand made or personalized, be sure that there’s still a touch of the receiver’s personality on the item you’re going to give. Make use of your talent and create something that can be shared like photographs, art and especially, food. Cookies and cakes are good choices, as everyone can appreciate this and gain a few calories from it too.

GCs and Vouchers are good but…

It would be nice if the gift would be hassle-free, as simple as unwrap, open, enjoy. Besides, you can be more creative than that. Don’t force responsibility on people. You may think that yoga would fit her, but there’s also a good chance that it won’t be her thing and social norm dictates that they will then have to take up the hobby and appear to like it. Make sure you’re giving someone a present, not an obligatory timesink. This goes for things like sports gear and mattress-thick novels.

Photo by Julep67 via Flickr Creative Commons

Sale Season

Although there are a lot of stores going on sale a month or a few weeks before Christmas, it’s also good to be in-the-know about sales and discounts every now and then. It will save you from the hassle of standing for hours on queue and arguing with someone over a last piece of shirt you both want. Online shopping is also a convenient way to buy gifts.

There are plenty of ways to be thrifty this season and it all boils down to being creative and being patient. A meaningful and fun Christmas does not mean spending a lot of money on grand gifts. It’s possible to celebrate the season without going overboard so don’t stress yourself too much.

How about you? What other tips can you give to help others avoid overspending on gifts this Christmas? You can share them below.

Author of this article


GaijinPot is an online community for foreigners living in Japan, providing information on everything you need to know about enjoying life here, from finding a job and accommodation to having fun.

Related articles that may interest you


  • leslie nguyen says:

    For gift cards and vouchers it is good to get to the point of what one actually wants, in my opinion. As a result, forced responsibility on people can be prevented.