Christmas is a time of togetherness, fantastic eggnog, evenings by the fire and… gift-giving. But maybe you have a list of quality people that you had every intention of getting something, but they got lost in the shuffle. Or perhaps you delayed because of the dread of not knowing what to get because you feel you never get it quite right. Any of these scenarios sound like yours? If so, chances are you could use some help with picking out presents for your those special people in your life.
Gifts over $100
Occasionally, we have that one friend who goes above and beyond in buying us Christmas gifts. On such occasions, gifting a present that is equal in value to the one you received is the well-mannered thing to do. If you are going to shell out $100 for a gift, make sure that what you buy is a quality purchase and one that will be used. For example, parents of a newborn may love receiving a stroller. And for parents of twins or of children close in age, these double stroller reviews provide a great starting point in your search.
Essentially, what you want to give is a practical item that will be used over and over. A fancy coffee machine for parents who need coffee to make it through the day (that’s all of us, right?), or an eBook reader for the parents who love to read, are great gifts that will be used repeatedly. Sure, it may cost a bit more, but it will most likely be used beyond next year’s Christmas.
Gifts for $50
Gourmet food baskets are a particularly nice way of treating hard-working parents. This kind of gift is especially appreciated by couples with young children who no longer have time to hit up the specialty stores.
Other great purchases that provide a dose of relaxation to parents who could use some de-stressing time? Why not some coupons to a massage parlor? This idea can be taken even further. When kids are young, parents have their hands full with caring for the physical needs of their kids. And often don’t have time to research weekend activities, even if they are able to find babysitting help. Think of what other activities that can help the parents get out of the house. For example, a wine tasting tour of a local winery may be just what they need for a change of scenery and relaxation.
Gifts for $10
Some people shy away from buying gifts for $10 or less. But in this budget bracket, you are looking for gifts that can run the range of ornamental, sentimental, or simply decorative. Gifts at this price point are about the thought put into choosing something you know will speak to your friend. The value of the gift is in the effort you put into finding that one item that tells a story of your friendship. It’s for these reasons that gifts within this range can be even more challenging to pull off.
Ideas that may help trigger the winning selection? How about a coffee mug with a great slogan? A couch pillow with a snazzy one-liner? Ear plugs that work? A stash of emergency chocolate bars? You get the idea. These kinds of gifts may be just perfect for Mom and Dad, none of which are too pricey.
Gifts that are free
Perhaps you can’t afford to buy gifts for friends or family this year, and in addition, you are worried about how to reciprocate the gifts that might be coming your way. The good news is that there are ways to still give gifts to your parent friends, even when you have no money to spend. Parent friends are, in fact, very easy to please. Create a coupon that allows them to claim an evening of babysitting duties from you, in your own home or theirs. Another option is to invite them over for a Sunday dinner. Having someone else cook is a treat your friends with kids will thoroughly enjoy.
A final note on gift giving during the holidays
It can be disappointing to work hard at choosing a gift, only to find a gift not given in return. But this could happen for any number of reasons. Your parent friends might be undergoing financial difficulties. Or they simply were too frantic with other parenting duties to get around to gift-giving this year. Try to keep gift-giving during the holidays in perspective. Focus instead on celebrating Christmas by creating a kind moment or purchasing a thoughtful item for your friend.