Holiday Gift Giving & Price Guide
If money were no object, I would buy a thoughtful gift that perfectly matched the personality of each friend, family member and acquaintance in my circle...even those I barely know. In reality, money is an object. So where to draw the line? Is it with my boyfriend’s brother? What about the mailman? If you are anything like me, your list of gift recipients can pile up quickly, and if you’re not careful you can find yourself financially overextended just as quick. No worries. Over the years I have developed a helpful guide to keep my gift-giving in check.
Mail Carriers / UPS & FedEx Drivers ($5-$10) I always think about how much less complicated these folks make my life. They save me multiple trips to the post office, and in my book, that’s worth a gift card. If you have a lot of scheduled pick-ups or drop-offs, and you talk with your mail carrier or UPS driver daily, a small $5-10 gift card is appropriate. However, if you never see the same mail carrier from one day to the next, go ahead and skip this gift.
Teachers ($5-$20 and up) I believe that if you have a personal relationship with your child’s teacher it is acceptable to give a gift card, but cap the cost at no more than $20. I have many teachers in my family and have discovered that they love simple, thoughtful gifts. A nice handwritten card is sure to do the trick. NOTE: There are always, exceptions to this rule. Teachers who do double duty as coaches are likely to spend a lot of their extra time with your child. If this person is an absolute rock star and you have a close personal relationship, or they have taught some of your other children then absolutely, treat them as if they are a family member.
Coworkers ($0-$5) Coworkers are tricky. Consider giving everyone in your department something very small but thoughtful. A heartfelt note goes a long way. I often buy candy canes, tape them to cards and wrap ribbons around them. This is a sure-fire way to let your coworkers know you appreciate them without breaking the bank.
Boss ($10-$25) Real gratitude (not sucking up) goes a long way. I usually spend a lot of time thinking about what my manager enjoys outside of work, and buy a gift that fits his/her interests. While your line of work and salary make a huge difference here, think about how this person has helped further your career.
Where to Shop? There are a tons of stores out there that have really beautiful, high end merchandise that cost a fraction of the retail value. T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls are great sources for gifts under $10, and most of their inventory I have found to be far superior to anything you will find at a big box store. As always, set yourself a budget prior to shopping and you will be surprised at how far your money can stretch.
Lastly, scour the internet for coupon codes and promo codes. It’s the day after #CyberMonday, and many stores are still running promos. You will be surprised what you can find if you Google hard enough!