Christmas Gift-Giving: Dos and Doníts

Itís the Christmas rush and stores and malls are abuzz again with holiday shoppers hoping to finish off their Christmas list. Hereís a quick guide to consider when choosing gifts for those special people on your Christmas list:

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5 Dos on Christmas gifts

1. Do set a budget. This is important! Spend only what you can afford, and if possible, in cash! Avoid charging too much on your credit card- you donít want to be deep in debt when the new year starts! Shop wisely.

2. Do put thought in your choice of gift. Will the recipient like this? Is she into this sort of stuff? Maybe youíre the outdoorsy type and like travelling ruggedly but your officemate is a certified kikay, make-up-obssessed fashionista. Consider her tastes, not yours. And, as much as possible, avoid generic gifts.

3. Do consider gifts that are homemade. If youíre a whiz at baking, donít be shy to share your homebaked goodies! If youíre into photography, why not give your best snaps of family friends in picture frames? If youíre into crafting, you can give personalized home items to your loved ones.

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4. Do regift- just do it smartly. Regifting can be done but choose wisely. Bottles of generic wine and other spirits are a safe choice to regift. Just add a personal touch like a small gift card with a handwritten note. And make sure you donít give the gift back to the original gifter!

5. Do have the option to get a gift receipt. Itís a wise option to include a gift receipt in your gifts. If a gift youíve given doesnít suit your gifteeís taste, your money wonít go to waste and she can exchange it for something she likes better, and will use.

5 Doníts on Christmas Gifts

1. Donít be afraid of giving cash. Very busy? No time to shop? You can always give cash as Christmas gifts. If you feel uncertain about giving actual cash, big stores and department stores now sell gift cards and gift certificates. Your best bets are gift cards/certificates from big department stores so your recipient can shop to their heartís content.

2. Donít leave the price tag on! Itís not nice to have your recipient know how much you spent for his or her gift (or how little), and itís really not important for them to know. Itís the thought that counts, and not the amount you spent.

3. Donít give inappropriate gifts. Consider your relationship to the person when giving gifts. Donít give expensive jewelry to your officemate even if you have a big crush on her, and especially if sheís in a relationship. Things might get misinterpreted. As a rule, the closer you are to a person, the bigger the amount you can spend on him or her.

4. Donít spend too much on gift wrapping. Itís harmful to your budget and if itís non-recyclable, can also be harmful to the enviroment. Handlebags bought at the store can cost almost as much as the gift inside. Try to take note of these when shopping. Be creative with how you wrap your gifts. A friend I know saves supermarket catalogs and uses them as gift wrap. She just adds ribbons that came with cake purchases and a handmade gift card.

5. Donít feel obligated to reciprocate. Weíre not all in the same financial standing so donít feel guilty if you canít match the magnitude of your well-off friends. You can make up for it with creativity and resourcefulness. Even a simple USB stick full of your best friendís favorite songs will make a great gift! Wrap it creatively and youíre good to go!

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With gift-giving, itís the thought that counts, as they always say. But people misinterpret this all the time by thinking that ďthoughtĒ means giving just any gift. Thought is thinking about the person and taking time to choose what is most suitable for them as gifts. So, take more time in choosing your Christmas gifts! Youíll surely be remembered even after so many Christmases have come and gone.

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