Holiday Gifting During COVID-19

December 20, 2020

The holiday season is not only a season of gifting but also the season of stressful spending. 

It can be stressful to plan the holiday season, especially during a pandemic. Create and stick to a holiday budget to avoid shopping mistakes. Planning a holiday spending budget will help lessen your stress beyond this holiday season. 

1. Set a budget you can afford

Make a list of the people you want to send gifts to and the amount you can spend on each gift. Don’t forget to add in Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and shipping costs if you are shipping the gifts this year. Once you add up all your projected expenses, then you’ll have a close estimate of how much you will spend. 

2. Avoid buying to impress

Sometimes, it’s the thought that counts. It can be tempting to buy extravagant gifts for everyone on your list. Try not to go overboard on finding and buying expensive gifts that people may not need. Find thoughtful gifts that are reasonable and practical. 

3. Support locally-owned businesses and community during the holidays

During the pandemic, you can support locally-owned businesses that offer delivery to your recipients. It could be a bottle from your local vineyards or flower arrangements from your local florists. A great way to support local businesses is to make a purchase, no matter how small. Not only will this put money in the pocket of local businesses, but the process of searching for the store online you want will also likely teach you a lot about the range of shops and products in your local neighborhood.

4. Don’t get into debt over holidays spending 

The most common holiday shopping mistake is to put everything on the credit card. It’s tempting to use a credit card. Unless you stick to your budget, you can end up paying for your Christmas gifts for several months—or even years. People tend to overspend when it comes to using credit cards. Give yourself a Christmas gift by avoiding the headache of paying credit card debt beyond the holiday season. 

5. Include holidays spending in your yearly budget 

It’s never too late to start planning for any upcoming expenses, including next year’s holiday shopping expenses. A better way to plan the next Christmas budget is to start saving in an account where you cannot touch your money until you need it.

When you create a savings group with friends, you can select to pay bi-weekly/monthly contributions and withdraw the money right before the next holiday shopping season starts. Depending on your group position, you can get a short-term loan with a flat fee of 5-8% that doesn’t hurt your credit or earn cash up to 2% per group payout. Learn more at