The end of the year is upon us, and with it comes the holiday season and its message of goodwill and giving. Of course, there are Christmas gifts to buy, and if you've dealt with a contractor, a babysitter or even your building's super all year long, it may also be the time to say thank you for the good work they've done in 2010.
But often times it can be hard to think of an appropriate present for people who aren't your family or close friends. So what do you buy for situations like your office Secret Santa party, or perhaps for the neighbor who takes in your mail when you're on vacation? Here are some creative ideas to help you bring a little cheer to everyone you know!
- Gift cards: If you want a real crowd-pleaser, buy gift cards from a general consumer goods retailer or department store where your recipient will be able to choose from a wide variety of items. It's the ideal way to budget and ensure that your person gets the ideal gift.
- Charity donation: Everybody likes supporting a good cause, so consider offering to donate to your acquaintance's charity of choice. This way, you'll be helping make the world a better place AND bringing a smile to your recipient's face.
- Homemade treats: There's nothing like freshly baked cookies to remind you of the warmth of the holidays! And at the very least, your person will appreciate the effort that goes into making the treats.
- Calendar: As it's the end of the year, it's for sure that your recipient will appreciate a calendar or planner to start off 2011 in an organized fashion, and these days there are lots of fun patterns and styles of calendars to suit different personalities.
- Cookware: If you have a slightly bigger budget, cooking gear is something that everyone needs, since we all have to eat! Even if you're buying a gift for someone a little younger, you can still start them off with something like a whisk or mixing bowl for preparing simple meals or making pancakes.
So if you've got a large list of people to shop for this Christmas, make everyone happy with these shopping tips. And keep your bank account happy too even if you have to buy Christmas presents for everyone you know, by remembering to pay in cash, as you'll avoid the high interest and annual fees associated with credit card debt. If you're shopping online, look out for secure cash payment options, especially those that don't ask you for your financial information and offer benefits like buyer protection.