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I'm thinking of the holidays already. Honestly, I normally begin shopping in the summer but with Covid-19 lingering and changes to the people I would give to I have not.

I want to set a limit this year with my family. No one is a millionaire, so I believe everyone would be okay with a reduced holiday in regards to gifts. But I know people have different views and think they can show love through purchases. One party wants to write a check, another is flat broke, etc. No one is close enough to do "experience gifts" or "coupon" type books for together time. The party who is flat broke repeatedly overspends on me even when I say not to.

How have you approached discussions and setting a family holiday budget plan?

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I think it depends on the family. What you said about some folks showing love by gifting others reminds me of the 5 Love Languages.

Some insist on gifting even if they go broke because that's how they show their love. Some show their love through acts of service. Some show their love by giving compliments / affirmation (though I don't think this'll fly for holiday gifts).

If I wanted to set a limit in order to save money (smart move), I'd probably just communicate that gifts aren't really that important to me for the holidays and I'd say that I'd be happiest with showing love through acts of service instead. This way, no one would feel obligated to gift me stuff because they'll know that my "love language" is non-monetary. Conversely, it'll set the tone to give gifts that are non-monetary in nature, so that if you *do* decide to gift, the conversation of setting a limit is much easier.

But for family that isn't close, we don't really gift each other at all since we don't really ever see each other. We'd just eat together for a holiday meal and that's it.


I start my shopping in January. I follow Hip2Save and she puts out the deals. If I see something that I can use for gifts I will order it. I also do surveys and use Amazon cash throughout the year to get gifts. I do not buy expensive gifts. Some come from thrift stores. One year I got a huge glass canister and I filled it full of the free samples and coupons for coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. This was back when they invented the Keurig etc so there was a lot of samples you could order online for free. I gave that to my boyfriend as he had bought one of those machines and he loved it. My brothers got a pyrex bowl set at Goodwill for me for 12.99 (they split the cost) and I was in heaven. I just see what speaks to me (not literally) throughout the year. I send off for free samples and put them in Christmas stockings. KrogerKrazy puts out the deals for Kroger and I have gotten cheap things there to.

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