This year has been interesting because I'm not only buying for my family this year, but also for my husband's family. In one sense it has been helpful because every made lists (THANK YOU!) but in the other sense, I'm torn between buying something superfluous and buying something a bit more expensive but far more useful and lovely.
My Christmas list has been a bit spotty myself. What do I need? Nothing. Where would we put item X? Ummmm. I really like Item X but there is no space for it ANYWHERE in the house. Sigh. As I've been purging portions of the house I've become colder towards bringing in more STUFF we don't need and won't be able to take with us to Scotland.
No, not really!
I have analyzed Christmas lists for the most practical, and most useful item on there. And gotten it. Perhaps, it wasn't exactly my taste, but I'm not buying for myself. I also did all my shopping online! I asked myself several questions before I bought anything.
1. Is this practical?
2. Is this useful?
3. Will it last for more than 3 uses or will it be used once and then returned to the closet, never to see the light of day?
4. Is this within my budget?
5. Do they really want/need it or is it just a "fluffed" item?
If the item fell into the gray area, then I put it aside and mulled it over. If the answers were "Yes", then I bought that item as quickly as I could type in the numbers to my credit card. If the answer was no, I moved on.
While pretty basic, I found that those questions helped me keep the right attitude at Christmas. By shopping online I was able to research buy products from brands that I trusted. I would much rather buy clothing from Everlane than from most other cheap online clothing stores. I looked for small, local businesses instead of large retailers. Etsy once again proved it's worth for reasonable, lovely items.
While opening gifts is VERY fun and exciting and truly something I look forward to, I wish to impress upon others the importance of giving wisely and not wastefully. So, next time you are unsure about what to give a friend or relative, ask yourself those questions to better gift intentionally.