Help With Your Gift List

A new Consumer Reports survey offers helpful tips on what holiday gifts to buy and what to avoid. Gift cards are a common choice, and they still head the list of items people want (tied this year with electronics). However, since 25 percent of last year’s gift card recipients still haven’t used the cards, the article suggested that it might not be the best gift. Clothing is another gift-giving staple, but it’s also the gift most likely to disappoint. If you’re going that route, people say they would prefer not to receive socks, shirts, sweaters, slippers, or ties. What would they like? Pajamas.

On a related note, Consumer Reports also found that 36 percent of us plan to do some regifting this year – up from 31 percent last year and 24 percent in 2007. If you’re planning to give away something you previously received as a gift, here are some good ground rules.

It’s very hard to resist the call of the mall this time of year, but keep in mind that the gifts people tend to remember and value the most are items made for them (it doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming), the gift of time (know someone who wants to start a vegetable garden? Give them an inexpensive book on the subject and a homemade gift card good for two hours of digging time next spring), and gifts that bring back fond memories (an inexpensively framed photo of something you did together this past year will likely be a hit).

Of course, some other excellent choices include the gift of a guide to using money as an expression of one’s life purpose or a roadmap out of financial trouble.


One Response to Help With Your Gift List

  1. Mary Ellen November 20, 2009 at 11:44 PM #

    Beginning in 2009, I have opted out of birthday and Christmas gift giving receiving. My small home cannot hold anymore gifts that I received over the years and don’t always return to the store. For Christmas, I tried to convince my family to have a grab bag where we would pull a name and buy one gift for one person; however, no one is interested in that idea and I fear they are looking at me as the Grinch Who Stole “Their” Christmas.

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