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The Present Conundrum

It’s that time of year.

Talk of presents are everywhere. Retailers are having as many deals as they can afford to because they want to appeal most to the consumer.  Holidays are stressful enough in solid times but when it comes to the middle of a recession, consumerism takes a big hit.

Of course we all want to give presents to ones we love to make them smile…By this, I mean personal presents that will actually be useful to them and prove that you are in tune with where they are in life, what they like and how they view presents.

Do you go for the extravagant presents or the low-key gift cards? Hand made? Can you afford presents for everyone you love? Do you have to buy presents for coworkers if you work at a small office? What about parties…can you afford to take a bottle of wine to every party you are invited to? And the shipping?

The Wall Street’s The Juggle blog addresses this issue and added that “For many families, there’s also the matter of tipping doorman, giving cash or other gifts for nannies and regular babysitters and even the annual check for the newspaper delivery man or the hairdresser.”

I’ll be honest: I will NOT be buying a present for anyone this year. Period. I don’t want to buy one present for my friend while I can’t afford one for another.  I may send out cards but this year, I’m opting out.

I’ve never been one to go crazy over presents and even on my birthday, I say “No thanks”…but I know that some people are the type to buy presents regardless…so I guess this is where I give you a link to my Amazon wishlist but I haven’t even taken the time to create one…So if you really want to make me smile and you love reading this blog, you can feel free to make a donation so I don’t have to shut down the blog. My blog is my baby and the present you can give me is to keep it going another year.

If you are doing a lot of holiday shopping this year, you should read this article on How to Manage Holiday Shopping from The Wall Street Journal:

Retailers this year didn’t fire all of their best shots on the traditional opening weekend after Thanksgiving. Electronics, apparel, department, warehouse and even grocery stores have a number of strategically planned promotions on tap from now until Christmas, retail companies and analysts say.

“Every weekend is going to be Black Friday weekend,” says Marshall Cohen, chief industry analyst for retail consultant NPD Group.

But last-minute shoppers should take heed: If you see something you like and the price sounds good, get it because it might not be there later. Retailers want to avoid the panic-induced sales they had to institute last year to clear holiday merchandise so they are keeping much tighter reins on inventory. As a result, consumers will see fewer sweaters and home goods on shelves and coats and pants on racks.

Last-Minute Shoppers Lose Out

“This is not the year to play chicken with retailers,” says Scott Krugman, vice president for the National Retail Federation. “If you’re a last-minute shopper, you’re going to be disappointed.”

How are you handling gift-giving this year?  Are presents really that important as we enter a new decade? As a 20-something, how do you prioritize your receiver list when the Holidays roll around?

Any tips/traditions you want to share for making presents?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jaime November 30, 2009, 2:24 pm

    I’ve bought something small for Walter. I can’t really send him anything big or nice because Iraq is not the place for lots of Christmas gifts. So I’ll go all out on him next year.

    I’m kind of broke this year in the Christmas budget department. Add into the mix that I’m getting laid off on Friday and I’ve got a recipe for Less Presents Than Usual. My nephew’s birthday is next week, and I give him $100 every year for his savings account. At my mom’s we do Secret Santa, so each person only has to buy for one other person. My sister and I bought my dad a big gift (we do it every year), and that’s it. I can’t afford to buy anyone else anything this year. But I’m OK with that. I’ll get to see my family, and that’s more than enough.
    .-= Jaime´s last blog ..Hello Life. =-.

  • tinyshrimp November 30, 2009, 2:51 pm

    This year my friends and I are also opting not to exchange gifts. I will buy for my sis that lives with me, mom and her husband, and my nieces and nephews(I normally wait until I get my taxes back and just send them money), but that is it. I did however buy stuff for myself. LMAO Yes, I am that selfish.

  • Cassie November 30, 2009, 4:00 pm

    Only the children in my family get gifts…..I don’t buy adults gifts!

  • shine November 30, 2009, 4:08 pm

    I don’t really dig the whole stressed-out-holiday-gift-giving extravaganza. I like shopping for others (and I never go for the ridiculously extravagant things ’cause I’m BROKE), but I don’t really like to receive presents.

    This year, I’m making home-made Chex mix and candies. Which will stress me the eff out. But hey, that’s what Christmas is all about, right?!

    (Ahem, I’m an atheist…)
    .-= shine´s last blog ..Okay, yes, I’ve talked about this before, but it’s my blog and I’m going to talk about it again. =-.

  • Liebchen November 30, 2009, 5:32 pm

    I love giving presents – especially when you know you’ve got that perfect one. So, I’ll still do it – I just might have to get a little more fiscally creative.
    .-= Liebchen´s last blog ..Maybe I’ll just put my name on the list now =-.

  • Patrick December 1, 2009, 1:46 am

    I’ve noticed the pinch in my own life this year- the list of people I’m buying presents for got cut in half compared to last year.

    However I’m still writing everybody cards!
    .-= Patrick´s last blog ..DC Metblogs Round-Up: 11-30-09 =-.

  • Just A Girl December 1, 2009, 10:02 am

    I’m sending cards (did I send you that form, btw?) for the majority of my friends, other than my best friend who is super broke. My mom just bought her a bunch of food and I’m buying her a new space heater cause her house gets super cold. But I would do that regardless of whether it was Christmas.

    I AM giving Courtni’s kids and my cousin’s 2 sons stuff because, well, they’re kids. And I love them. Other than that, I’m spending about $100 total on my immediate family and that’s it.
    .-= Just A Girl´s last blog ..Happy Thanksgiving And Whatnot. =-.

  • Walking on Sunshine December 1, 2009, 8:19 pm

    I always try to remember things that my friends or family may have mentioned throughout the year and get that for them!
    .-= Walking on Sunshine´s last blog ..Christmas Happiness =-.

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