The holiday season is almost here. Now, what are you going to get your nieces, nephews, sibling-in-laws, parents and all other members of the extended family? With all the built in excitement of family gatherings comes the fun, yet sometimes stressful, component of gift-giving. A common set of thoughts on all of our minds revolve around how much we should spend on each family member’s gift. When it comes to selecting who to give gifts to, it is important to make sure you have a little something for everyone you will actually be celebrating the holidays with. So, what do you get a baby, teenager or adult and how much should you spend? According to recent studies and polls, the average amount of money spent on gifts varies by age, but generally the amounts tend to be around the $20 range.
Several parents submitted their thoughts about giving gifts to children in the 3-5 year old range and suggested the range of $10-15 as acceptable. These parents are all part of the Berkely Parent Network and the majority of contributing moms and dads stated that no more than $20 should be spent on such young children who will probably only use a particular toy once or twice before moving onto the next $20 item.
When it comes to purchasing presents for teenagers, $20-$25 is an acceptable range, however aside from gift cards, it can sometimes be difficult to find suitable presents in this range. According to one Web site’s findings, one of the top ten gift ideas for teenage girls this season is “Stickr Frames.” These frames are perfect for mounting pictures without the hassle of using nails, measuring or leveling; and they cost less than $20 for a set of eight. Other great ideas for teenage girls around the $20 range include bath and body product gift sets and perfumes. Teenage boys have been known to boggle the human mind for years; what is an appropriate gift for a boy who’s personality just can’t be read very easily? One interesting gift idea that has actually made the “Top Ten Gifts for Teen Guys” this season is a duct tape wallet. This gift is only $15 at some places and is definitely a creative idea. I’ve never seen one before, nor would I ever carry one, but I am sure my teenage brother would get a kick out of it, as would his friends.
Adults are fun to shop for because there are so many different routes you can take. If you are buying for a married couple, a smart idea is to buy a “couple gift” instead of singling out each individual and purchasing one present for both the man and woman. Giving singular gifts may lead to a silent comparing of each other’s gifts and the thoughtfulness behind them. I know my mom called me the other day to request what my husband and I wanted as a couple for Christmas because she would hate for either of us, more than likely my husband, to feel as if my family bought me a more sincere or valuable gift than they bought him. By giving a couple gift-one gift two people share-you have a larger budget to work with and you can still stick to the $20-$25 per person range. Some thoughtful ideas could be giving a “Dinner and a Movie Date Night” gift; this gift could consist of a $30 gift certificate for dinner and a $20 movie theatre gift card inside of a real popcorn bucket.
Giving gifts does not have to be stressful and you do not have to break the bank to make someone’s eyes light up this holiday season. And just remember, spending $20 is totally acceptable as it is the current national average for not only holiday gifts, but for birthday presents as well. Happy Holiday Shopping!