Hanukkah starts tonight and many people will be scrambling to buy gifts for everyone in the family. Many parents will be rushing to get the best-of-the-best gifts for their children, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and just about everyone in their families. Eight days of gift giving can really wear someone down. However, there are a few ways that you can cut down on stress (and cost) during the eight festival days.
Give to the Young
A good way to save money during the eight days of Hanukkah is to only give to the young people in the family. Instead of trying to give gifts to everyone, give to the little kids. Some people give $1 the first night, $2 the second night and continue to increase the amount by $1 each night. This adds up to $36 per child. Then you can bring the kids to the store to pick out a new toy. It is also a good way to teach kids the value of money at a young age.
Often referred to as “gelt,” chocolate coins is a cheap gift for the young (and not so young) on your Hanukkah list. The gold-wrapped coins are a traditional (and tasty) gift that won’t hurt your budget.
Making Their Own Wish Lists
If you ask a child to make a list of something they would buy if they had $10 to spend, you can get a good idea of what to buy them. Be sure to keep the money low when asking what they would like to buy (this keeps your price down). It is also a good way for kids to learn the value of money.
Look at your budget and decide how much money you can spend. Giving money or “gelt” as a present cuts down on stress significantly and you can effectively stick to your budget. For instance, if you have budgeted $100 for a day of Hanukkah and you have ten recipients, each recipient will receive $10 from you.
Plants, chia pets, seed-starters kits and even small pets can all be inexpensive and special gifts. Plants and pets can teach kids the fragile nature of life, and if they live for a while, they can be a very special (and maybe their favorite) gift. For example, a goldfish is fairly inexpensive. They don’t require a tank with a filter (just a bowl) and children often enjoy having a pet to call their own.
Gifts that people can actually use are always great. While they aren’t the most exciting gifts, things like pencils, socks, scarves and notebooks can be useful to the person you are giving them to. Also, finding a gift that pertains to a person’s hobby or career is also helpful.
Give Parts of a Gift
If you have one bigger gift in mind, give parts of it the other days. For instance, if you got someone an outfit, you may wrap the shirt separate from the pants, separate from the shoes, the jacket in a separate package, earrings or accessories wrapped separately. You can also do this with other gifts as well (most easily done with things that have accessories).
Give a Donation
Giving a donation in a recipients name is always a great way to give a gift and also help those who need it. You can allow the kid to pick a charity that they like or they care about, and donate to that charity. You can also collaborate as a family to give to a charity.
There are many ways you can cut down costs during the holidays. Giving eight gifts during Hanukkah can seem overwhelming and costly, but there are ways that you can save yourself and your budget the hassle and allow yourself to simply enjoy the festival days.