I’ll admit that weeks leading up to the holidays are my least favourite of the year. The hustle to pack everything in is exhausting; work, school, parties, and shopping. Oh, the shopping! Our family is small and we don’t have many to buy for, all the same braving the crowds, cold weather, and the parking brings out the worst in me. So for the benefit of my sanity (and those around me), in recent years I’ve chosen to simplify the way we do things around the holidays. These small changes to our holiday shopping have not only made my life much easier, but has also given our families far greater gifts… time together, new experiences, and open hearts.
- Less stuff, more experiences.
- Sometimes the toughest part of holiday shopping is knowing just what to give. First of all there is very little that anyone I know really needs or for that matter even wants. It seems we’ve become accustom to getting what we want, when we want it – a fortunate crowd indeed.
- With this in mind a few gifts that are always well received are activities and adventures. Maybe this means passes to your local zoo, movie theatre, or amusement park – gifts that will keep on giving all year long. Or, perhaps it is giving the gift of a course to learn a new skill or membership to join a particular social circle. This kind of giving unplugs us from our fast paced, digital worlds for just a little while and brings people together. Best of all, many gift certificates such as these can be purchased and printed in the comfort of your home or delivered by mail. That’s a win in my books!
- Cash is king – make a wise investment.
- Maybe you won’t be handing freshly minted cash to everyone you know, but I’m betting there are a few on your list who could really benefit from a simple financial gift. Like those kids who have everything but an educational fund, that young couple saving for a house, or the relative whose hobby costs more than their day job can afford them – everyone knows one of these people.
- Don’t feel comfortable with a cash gift? Consider setting up a small investment or laying the groundwork for a recurring investment that you contribute to monthly or pass on for them to continue contributing to. This is also a great way to teach young people how save and invest wisely early on. Don’t know where to start? Send me a note here, I know a few great financial advisors.
- Give a hand up.
- Last but certainly not least, giving to those in need truly embraces the spirit of the season. Choose an organization or cause that the person on your list is passionate about and make a donation in their name. Decide collectively as a family or group of friends to forego gifts and make a bigger impact as a group, or give the gift of time and volunteer – there is always a need.
- And, if you need a little help figuring out just who to donate to and which organizations will make the most of your money, I like to visit Charity Navigator, they are pretty thorough when it comes to reviewing charitable organizations.
Have More Questions?
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Everyday Insurance With Allie
Working mom, lover of the great outdoors and self-professed know-it-all. Our resident blogger, Allie isn’t the insurance guru she claims to be – but she’s learning and we are happy to help guide her. All the while keeping you in the loop on the “insurancey” stuff you need to know. #AskAllie