Monday, January 10, 2011

Gift Receiving

As I have just experienced another Christmas overloaded with the acquisition of stuff, I am constantly looking for ways to graciously ask for less "stuff."  On one hand I would simply like to forgo conventional gift-giving altogether.  It is awkward for me to receive more than I often give, and many of the gifts people give me I have little use for or desire to acquire.  Because family members often insist on giving gifts, but do request ideas for what to give, I am still searching for a way to answer this question.

This last Christmas my husband and I asked for gift certificates in order to get some things that we need/want.   As a result, we received a large quantity of Target gift cards.  Most of which are to be used for a new rug and vacuum to clean the rug.  Over and above these items we purchased laundry detergent, toilet paper, and other household stockpile items.  At the end of the day, it still felt vulgar to ask for gifts that were received in monetary amounts--maybe that's just me.  I'm not sure how we're going to deal with this situation next year, but I would like to suggest some gifts you can ask for that will in effect save you money.

1. An Entertainment Book: So far this year (it's only mid January) I have probably saved over $40 by using this book.  Luckily I was able to combine a few $10 off coupons with some gift cards I received.  Other notable discounts included a two for one ticket to a local second-run theater in addition to a a restaurant and haircut coupon. 

2. Books: As someone who loves reading, I appreciate receiving books as a gift.  I also appreciate the fact that books are some of the easiest items to resell on the internet. and make it very easy to resell books, and if you are not in the habit of collecting books in your home, it is simple enough to list your unwanted books on the internet. Another money saving aspect of acquiring books as that many are how-to, and therefore are a valuable addition to one's ability to keep costs down in different areas (cooking and home repair come to mind).

3. Consumable Goods: The trick with things such as toilet paper and detergent is convincing people to give them to you in the first place.  Other more conventional standbys includes things such as socks, food (dried fruit or candy), and gift cards that are easiest to convince others that you want for the holidays or a birthday. 

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