My in-laws always ask us to write-up a Christmas “Wish List” and while it’s awesome I always feel a little lost when it’s time to write it.
Here are a couple of reasons why…
Reason 1: Since I’m going to be making all of the gifts I give I don’t want to receive something disproportionately more expensive then what I’ll be giving. Thinking about the cost of things is not very “in the spirit of the season” but still, you know people are thinking about that… even if it’s just a little. One year I gave every member of my then-boyfriends family a coffee mug (decorated thoughtfully and picked out with each person in mind) and I felt like a little bit of a chump when we exchanged gifts and they opened their mugs while I opened the more expensive gifts they had given me. Still, not the “spirit of the season” but you know what I mean…
Reason 2: Since doing the Spending Fast and subsequent Spending Diet my wants (on a whole) have really diminished in contrast to what they used to be. This is the complete opposite of what I thought would happen. Maybe Newton’s law of motion applies here in a round-about kind of way. I think not consuming as much daily encourages non-consumption generally. I found myself thinking, “I don’t really want anything”. That’s a strange new thing.
When writing your wish list think about these things:
- What do I REALLY need? These are usually not very glamorous items – at least not for me. Things included on my list for this question are things like: a medium size pot with a handle, a bath mat, a spatula, stationary, a new eye mask to replace my ratty one. These are things I can definitely do with out because I’m making do with what we have already (but still they’d be nice).
- What would help with my outfits? Having style and dressing fashionably sometimes seem like a struggle. Dressing without a lot of money can be easy if you have some solid staples that you LOVE. Seriously, get rid of that crap in your closet that you’re only keeping because you spent a lot on it. Keep the items you actually FEEL GOOD IN. Then, change up your look with different accessories. So here I included things like: tights (they can completely change the look of an outfit), gift certificate to my favorite store (because asking for clothes can end badly), and a statement accessory like a fancy headband that can be added to any hum- drum outfit to instantly make it look festive, fun, and finished.
- What would help make life fun? Being on a Spending Fast or Spending Diet often means that entertainment goes by the wayside. Things like movie gift-certificates are a major treat when you haven’t been for a long time.
- Include some things you just want Eliminating debt is hard to do. It’s okay to include some things you’ll enjoy for no reason at all. Things I included here are: sewing machine (imagine the possibilities!), a flat iron (to replace this), a food processor, gold Sigg water bottle, Peg and Awl zipper pouch.
**These are definitely “luxury” problems to have and I know we’re fortunate to just have a roof over our heads when some people are out in the cold. Remember to help others this season too (it doesn’t have to be a lot to make a difference). I’ll be donating.**
What is on your “Wish List” this year? How do you deal with the gift-giving/gift-receiving reciprocation issue?