Picking the right gift

It’s the second week of December, temperatures are dropping steadily and the lines in nearly every department store are longer than usual. That’s right, it’s the holiday season, and here are some things to keep in mind as you venture off on the mission to purchase gifts for everyone on your list.

As a child, celebrating Christmas was the best! You didn’t have school and you got one, some or all of the things you’d convinced yourself that you absolutely needed. What’s better than that?

The holidays are still a good time as an adult because you get to see family, you don’t have to work and sometimes you get gifts that you’ve also really wanted. But choosing what to buy others can get frustrating, quickly.

How do you know if you’re spending money on a gift that will either sit in the back of a closet or be celebrated and cherished? The world may never know, but there are some things you can buy someone to help decrease that risk.

For people who are on your list but with whom you may not be as close, the most underrated gift is a gift card. As long as you have a general sense of what someone enjoys or is interested in, there’s a gift card you can buy to make sure the person finds something to actually enjoy. It’s also widely more accepted than just giving money.

When thinking of what to buy a loved one, avoid splurging on something just because it’s expensive. As bizarre as it may sound to some, people actually do that. Think of what your loved ones enjoy and could make use of.

While the newest iPhone X is great, your younger brother who plays hockey may instead appreciate tickets to go see a game. Yes, your mother will love that 50-inch flat-screen as she watches her favorite shows, but giving her a break from her hectic schedule with a trip to the spa with you could mean that much more to her.

Replace that iPhone X or 50-inch flat-screen with whatever expensive gift you have been debating buying for any of your loved ones and consider whether there’s an alternative gift that they could potentially appreciate that much more, while possibly saving you money in the process.

This is not intended to encourage you to be “cheap” while shopping during the holidays, but to instead be more thoughtful about what you buy. Something to think about, considering we will all be doing this again next year.