It’s getting a bit obvious that retailers are worried about low consumer spending for this year’s holiday season. I know that Christmas always seems to start early, but I think this is the first year I saw Christmas decorations appearing in the store as early as August. That’s even early for Halloween items, in my opinion. (Though it’s never too early for Halloween candy – that stuff should be available all year.)
Are you planning to scale back your holiday giving this year? Going with more handmade gifts instead of purchased gifts? Not giving gifts at all?
I haven’t yet decided what I’m doing about the holiday season. I feel that I have a bit more money to spend, as I bought my plane ticket home for miles ($10) rather than spending the normal $300-$400. Additionally, this is the first Christmas season where I spent the entire year working as opposed to going to school part of the year. So I should have more money to spend.
I never feel obligated to spend money, of course. My family is very much all about gifts that a person will enjoy rather than gifts that cost a lot of money. My siblings and I usually do the “Hey, what do you want for Christmas” thing or pass around Amazon wishlists. My sister loves movies and I often find myself buying her movies that I love after being appalled by the fact she does not own them already. Nothing super expensive. This year, my dad may get a collection of comics from the local comic book store, which means I get to give a fun gift and support a local business. I also plan to check out a few indie crafters that I love to see what sorts of items they’re selling. (I like to be able to support small businesses whenever possible, and it often means getting to give unique gifts.)
But I don’t know that I’ll be going all out this year. Even if I have the money, it just doesn’t seem prudent to be spending a lot of money unnecessarily. Of course, I’ve always been a big fan of gifts with meaning, so maybe it’s easier for me to say that I won’t spend a lot.
Will the current state of the economy affect your gifting this holiday season? Are you always a frugal gifter or do you like to splurge on your family and friends every year?