Helpful Tips for a Successful Holiday Gift Exchange

By: Toni Cunningham | December 20, 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or, the most stress-inducing, as most of us are flustered over holiday shopping and party planning.

In order to aid the first problem, holding a gift exchange with your family, office and/or close group of friends is a great solution. If you’re going to participate in a Secret Santa-like ordeal, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Set a price point that is reasonable for all parties involved. While your rich Aunt Peggy might be able to give everyone a diamond-encrusted Cartier watch, your salary might not allow the same freedom. Also, once you’ve set said price point, don’t rummage through the bargain bin to meet it. Unless your group has committed to gag gifts, in which case this is perfectly acceptable.
  • Time to get crafty! Just because you set a price point doesn’t mean you need to BUY something. Homemade gifts can be incredibly thoughtful, and more useful than a photo snow globe. If you need some inspiration, please direct your attention to Pinterest.
  • Know your audience. This means, if you’re to buy something for a conservative family member or co-worker, don’t purchase him or her the “50 Shades of Grey” audiobook. Take the person’s interests into consideration. Someone who likes going to the bar might enjoy a membership to a beer of the month club. Use your imagination!
  • Be considerate and include a receipt. Just because you think your grandma would really enjoy a sweater with sequined cats on it doesn’t mean she will. She might want to exchange it for something else that is a tad less flashy.
  • Consider a theme. Maybe your family really likes gift cards. Or donating to charity. Or Bengal tigers. Whatever you choose, a theme can help narrow down the vast gift spectrum to a particular topic and make everyone’s job a little easier.

Setting up a gift exchange this season will keep your wallet happy and prevent you from sprinting through the mall for weeks.

Happy (stress-free) holidays!