Christmas is a time for giving. But is there a chance we’re going a bit overboard with the gifting these days?
The average American will spend $805 this holiday season. And let’s face it, for the most part, we’re spending that $800 buying stuff we don’t really need.
I mean, look around your home, you already have everything. If you did need something, you already went to Amazon and bought it. You weren’t going to wait for someone else to wrap it and put it under a tree.
In other words, the stuff we’re buying for each other isn’t necessary. It’s fun, sure. But at some point, enough is enough.
To help you decide if you’ve reached that point, here are 7 signs you shouldn’t buy another Christmas gift:
1. You are still paying off last year’s gifts.
According to a recent study by Credit Insider, 22% of respondents who bought Christmas gifts with credit last year, are still paying it off. If that’s you, don’t continue the trend by purchasing more. It’s no fun if your interest payments last longer than the gift you gave.
2. The person you are shopping for already has “everything.”
I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I just don’t know what to get so-and-so, he’s already ‘got everything’.” Crazy idea here, folks. If somebody already has so much stuff that you need to wander the aisles of a department store just to find something to buy them, your money can probably be spent in better ways.
3. The person you are shopping for has requested no gifts.
You’d be surprised how many times I’ve been asked, “How do I tell people to stop buying me gifts?” There is a growing number of people who honestly mean it when they say, “I don’t want anything for Christmas this year.” Respect their wishes. Before buying a whole bunch of new stuff this Christmas for people in your life, you might want to ask if they even want a whole bunch of new stuff.
4. The person you are buying a gift for already has a clutter-problem.
The average American home now contains 300,000 items. Possessions are a burden on our lives. They drain money, time, and energy. And they add stress. If the person you are shopping for has a clutter problem in their home (you know who they are), maybe the best gift you can give them this year is not a physical gift.
5. You’ve already bought gifts for everyone on your list… except for one.
One of the most significant holiday trends over recent years is the increase in “self-gifting”—people treating themselves to presents when they are out shopping for others. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, nearly 60% of us will give ourselves gifts this holiday season. If everyone on your list is crossed off, resist the urge to add one more name at the bottom—yours.
6. You are digging into savings.
Before entering the holiday season, it’s wise to set a budget to keep from overspending. Additionally, it’s wise to keep your savings in savings… not blow it all during the last month of the year. Unfortunately, 38.5% of us will take money from our savings/emergency fund for holiday shopping. If that’s you, don’t do it. Don’t buy another gift. Instead, explain to your family and friends the decision you made this year. They’ll understand—and just might change their budgeting for next year as a result of your example.
7. You think one more gift will make the perfect holiday.
Marketers work hard to convince us that consumer products will create that perfect holiday season. If we buy the right lights… and the biggest tree… and the perfect gifts… and the ideal stocking stuffers, Christmas will be perfect! This is their claim. But it’s not true. You don’t need any of those things for the perfect holiday. If you think your next purchase will bring about the perfect holiday, you are looking in all the wrong places and it’s time to stop.
Just to be clear, I’m not against giving gifts at Christmas. But I am against the way our society has begun to make gifts the centerpiece of Christmas and the shopping never ends.
There are numerous signs that it’s time to be done shopping… if we’d only begin to notice them.