Now’s a good opportunity to knock off a chunk of your holiday shopping. But before you start working through your gift list, see if you can shorten it.

First, remove anyone who doesn’t really need a present. I’m not trying to stifle your generosity; I’m just inviting you to consider if gifts are the best way to express it.

Does every service provider in your life need a gift, or would a generous tip be more helpful? Might some of your giftees feel awkward if they don’t have a gift for you?

Next, ask yourself:

How about a handwritten card instead of a gift? Teachers, especially, appreciate this.

How about a donation instead of a gift? Good for everyone who already has everything they need and may even be trying to declutter.

How about one special present instead of multiples? If Santa visits, one gift plus a full stocking is plenty. For kids, especially, the initial WOW of piles of wrapped boxes often turns into overwhelm or lack of interest (and possibly, down the road, greed and entitlement).

How about a small gift instead of a big one? Some people feel uncomfortable when presented with extravagant gifts. It’s fun to make a big splash every now and then, but usually, the best gifts are small treasures that demonstrate how well you know someone.

How about an experiential gift? Membership to a local museum, theater or performance tickets, a massage, a night in a hotel?

Paring down your gift list will save you money and time, and will help you feel calmer during the holidays. But, most importantly, it will help you express your love and gratitude to friends and family in ways everyone will appreciate.

How do you keep your gift list from getting too long?

Parent Hacks is an Amazon Associate, which means that we earn a small fee for anything purchased at Amazon through a link from Parent Hacks (you pay nothing; Amazon pays the fee). If you’re feeling the karmic pull to throw some change into our tip jar, consider starting all of your Amazon shopping at Parent Hacks. There’s a link in the sidebar straight to Amazon’s home page.

While Amazon Associate fees are one of the ways this site supports itself, we only point out things we think are actually useful or worthwhile, and the discount is good enough to warrant your attention.

RelatedUse Google Documents to share family gift lists

Ron Huxley Recommends: Anything that shortens my shopping list and lightens my expenses, is a must for me…hopefully, this helps you as well. How do you deal with holidays on a budget?

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