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Christmas Gift Tips:
How Much Do Christmas Gifts Need To Cost?

Christmas is all about giving. And that presents, whether they are small or large, are a way for people to show their love and affection.

So it’s important to remember that when you are deciding on the cost of your Christmas shopping for everyone on your list, you need to be practical and make sure the gift is within your means. Read on for more Christmas gift tips.

Christmas is fast approaching, and while we’re two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, it can get financially overwhelming for most of us to go Christmas shopping.

Christmas gift-giving can be tough but take a look at some of our suggestions to help you find the perfect gift for the special people in your life, check out:

So how much do Christmas gifts for family and friends need to cost? And what is a reasonable budget goal for Christmas shopping based on your cost of living?

In this article, we will be answering those questions and more, so keep on reading.

Plan Ahead: Organize Your Christmas List

Christmas Gift Tips - Plan Ahead: Organize Your Christmas List

It’s best to make a list of all the people you are shopping for and note each individual’s personality, hobbies, or interests.

This way, you will match the gift with the person you are buying it for. When it’s time to go shopping, you can find something for each person on your list that’s related to their personality or hobbies.

For example, if you buy a gift for an active person, you can purchase something athletic-related.

And if you’re buying a gift for someone involved in their work or office environment, then go shopping for something related to that.

It’s vital to understand the people’s personalities on your Christmas list to make sure you find something suitable for everyone as a Christmas gift. You can even get a gender neutral Christmas gift to make things easier.

Going to a Christmas sale without a list is a recipe for excess, just like going grocery shopping on an empty stomach. So, before you go shopping, figure out who you’ll be shopping for.

Consider who you bought for last year as a starting point: Who purchased for you? And how much money did you spend in total?

Seeing a shopping list in black and white can assist us in developing realistic goals for getting through the holidays debt-free.

Make A ‘Budget List’

Christmas Gift Tips - Make A 'Budget List'

Now that you know what kind of things to look for and what gifts you think people might want, it’s time to put them in some order.

Once you’ve gone through your list, determine how much each Christmas gift will cost and make a list.

You can also make a list of other things that need to be done around the house or in your yard as part of your Christmas shopping.

Spend Your Money Wisely

As you go shopping, it’s important to remember that you need to make wise choices when spending your money.

This is especially true if you are shopping for big-ticket items like a big-screen television or even a new car!

Instead of buying one item for everyone on your list, it’s much better to purchase several more minor and less expensive things that cover the entire cost of one more expensive item.

For example, maybe you need to buy a gift for a vital boss or client. Instead of going out and spending 500 dollars on a gift, you can get her some nice gloves, a scarf, or some other type of accessory.

That way, you’re covering the cost of that expensive gift with other items, and it’s not all coming out of your pocket!

Use a Rewards Credit Card

Christmas Gift Tips - Use a Rewards Credit Card

Another approach to budgeting for gifts for a large family is to apply for a rewards credit card and use it for year-round purchases. Points will accumulate on the card, which you may use to purchase gifts for your children throughout the year.

Use a Money-Saving App

Christmas Gift Tips - Use a Money-Saving App

Consider signing up for a reputed money-saving app instead of (or in addition to) a separate bank account. Digit, for example, takes tiny, imperceptible amounts of money from your bank account and lets you set up specific savings goals. At the same time, Acorns rounds up all of your purchases to the nearest dollar and deposits the proceeds in a low-risk money-growing account.

Christmas Gift Alternatives: Get Creative

If you can’t afford any of the items you found online, there are Christmas gift alternatives you can consider. You need to get your creative juices flowing.

There are always alternatives to spending a lot of money on Christmas gifts. If you’re on a tight budget, there are many inexpensive Christmas gift ideas out there. 

For example, when buying Christmas gifts for your friends and relatives, you can go the homemade gift route and wrap their gifts yourself with some excellent wrapping paper and holiday-themed bows to give that extra personal touch.

This is an inexpensive way to give someone a gift that is personal and special. And the best part? It doesn’t cost much!

Choose Experiences Over Possessions 

Christmas Gift Tips - Choose Experiences Over Possessions 

One inexpensive gift that will almost certainly be valued more than an expensive one is time.

If you don’t have much wiggle room in your budget, throwing a picnic in the park or cooking a friend’s favorite home-cooked meal are both inexpensive and memorable ways to demonstrate your affection (maybe more).

Create Your Own Gifts

Christmas Gift Tips - Create Your Own Gifts

If you’re low on finances, making your own gifts is a terrific method to save money on gift-giving. Not only will this save money, but it will also ensure that you are giving a unique and personal present. For example, a hand-knit sweater, play dough, a quilt, or a Christmas gift basket that you put together yourself.

Keep in Mind That Second-hand Gifts Are Perfectly Acceptable

Secondhand presents that have been gently used are entirely acceptable. Many great bargains may be discovered at second-hand stores, eBay, and resale apps like Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp. Many of them are still wrapped, labeled, or otherwise appear to be brand new.

Don’t Buy Too Much

When you go shopping for Christmas gifts, it can be easy to buy too much. Instead, keep your eyes open.

Be aware of which sales are coming up, and make sure to catch them on your way into the store.

When it comes time to go shopping, you can pick up some great prices on great items that will make everyone happy!

To get the best bargains, shop at the right time. Black Friday isn’t the only day — or the only opportunity — to save money on gifts.

Other shopping holidays to look for deals on include Green Monday (akin to Cyber Monday, with stores providing significant discounts online) and Free Delivery Day, which is, predictably, a chance to get free shipping at participating businesses.

Purchase cheap gift cards (which you can then use to buy gifts or as the gift itself), redeem credit card rewards, or stack store coupons for even more discounts. 

Be Practical: Give Within Your Means

Christmas Gift Tips - Be Practical: Give Within Your Means

As we mentioned, the pandemic is in its third year, and it has made a lot of people struggle financially with job losses and businesses shutting down.

So be practical about how and where you are spending your hard-earned money on your holiday shopping season, and only spend a portion that you can afford.

While rules of thumb are helpful, the most crucial factor to consider when building a holiday gifts budget is our financial situation. 

Spending hundreds on holiday gifts for everyone generally doesn’t make sense if you’re fighting high-interest debt, getting back on your feet after unemployment, or genuinely devoted to a specific savings goal. (And your close friends and family should understand; perhaps you can arrange for smaller gifts to be exchanged.)

Start Early

Christmas Gift Tips - Start Early

Start saving up your holiday expenses in advance each month. It is easier to buy gifts for your loved ones if you start saving earlier.

One of the most common mistakes individuals make when it comes to buying gifts is buying everything at once, especially when it comes to Christmas gifts for a large family. This not only puts financial strain on you, but it can also be an emotional (and time-consuming) burden.

Buying gifts at different times of the year might make your life a lot easier. If you see something you believe would make an excellent Christmas gift for your kid, buy it and save it for their birthday or the holidays.

Always Go for Needs Instead of Wants

There’s only so far this notion can go — a box of toilet paper isn’t going to cut it, and socks are pushing it — but there are plenty of occasions when an everyday necessity may serve as a much-appreciated present.

Adorable mittens and hat sets, pajamas, apparel, or a new comforter for their bed, for example. 

Take Into Account The Relationship

Christmas Gift Tips - Take Into Account The Relationship

When considering how much to spend on holiday gifts, consider your relationship with the recipient. Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert, explains it this way:

  • $10-$20 for Friends, acquaintances, and coworkers
  • $30-$75 for close friends, siblings, or other family members.
  • $75+ for a significant other

Pros and Cons of Giving Christmas Gifts


  • You can pick out the right gift for your loved one. 
  • It feels good to give someone a gift and see them smiling.
  • Some gifts, like jewelry, will last forever and can be used during special occasions in the future. 
  • It’s a great way to express your love and gratitude to anyone you care about. 
  • It’s socially expected of us to exchange gifts during this time period.
  • You get something back when you give a Christmas gift.
  • The person receiving the gift is usually appreciative and appreciates your thoughtfulness.
  • You’ll save a ton of money if you get it at a discount or in a holiday sale.


  • Christmas presents are not for everyone, so you have to make sure it’s someone who celebrates the holiday spirit.
  • If you’re in debt up to your eyeballs, going into debt to buy Christmas gifts for everyone can be a problem.
  • Some gifts aren’t very practical. They can be pretty silly or inappropriate.
  • You have to be careful about giving presents you wouldn’t want yourself.

Final Thoughts

Ignore what the rest of the world is doing over the holidays. You make your own decisions. When buying Christmas gifts for everyone, you should not go overboard. If you have to explain it to others, they should understand.

Christmas is about spending time with family and friends and appreciating and being grateful for one another, and most importantly, ending the year happy and healthy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much should you spend on Christmas gifts?

Americans, on average, expect to spend over $900 on gifts, holiday items, and other expenses during the holiday season.

2. How can I save money on holidays?

5 Tips to stay in control of your spending over the holidays

  • Build a budget goal that’s right for you. Setting a budget can help you keep your spending in check during the holidays
  • Gift like a pro
  • Keep your spending habits on track
  • Communication is key
  • Have ‘the talk” with your kids

3. How can we save for Christmas?

Here are five tips to help you save money now for the upcoming Christmas season:

  • Set up a Christmas savings account.
  • Calculate how much money you need to keep.
  • Start earning gift cards and cashback for gifts.
  • Cut back on your monthly expenses.
  • Make saving money automatically.

4. What is the 4-gift rule?

The four-gift rule states that you should only purchase your children four gifts, one from each of the four categories: want, need, wear, and read. It’s a simple method to teach your kids that they can’t always get what they want.

5. Which Christmas gift is right for you?

When it comes to gifts, first figure out what type of gifting you want to do. Do you want to find Christmas gift ideas for coworkers, friends, moms, dads, or siblings? There are distinct differences between these types of people and their interests.

A child is always excited when they get a box filled with toys, whereas an adult will be more thoughtful and considerate and wants something practical yet affordable that they can use for a long time in their life.

 6. How much Christmas gifts to buy?

You can find gift ideas for any price range. You can get an affordable Christmas gift as cheap as $1 or a little expensive one around $100-$200.

Remember that the price tag isn’t what matters, but rather the quality and usefulness of the gift.

7. How to buy a Christmas gift?

This is easy. The first step is to identify the person or people you are giving a gift to. You need to know what they like and what their interests are.

One of the best ways of doing this is by talking to them and finding out about their hobbies, likes, and dislikes.

8. What are some cheap Christmas gift ideas?

For example, a great Christmas gift idea for a friend who loves coffee is you can purchase him or her a coffee mug with their name printed on it. An inexpensive gift can be meaningful. Handmade gifts give a feel-good vibe and are thoughtful.

Handmade presents make the recipient feel cherished. Furthermore, a handmade gift makes someone feel especially special rather than providing a store-bought gift because you took the time to make something yourself.

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