It's easy to get caught up in all the ads retailers post with deals and discounts on items you might like to have. It's okay, it's their job to catch your attention.
It's easy to think about what you want for Christmas and start compiling a 20 page list full of both cheap and expensive items. However, are you really going to hand that list to grandma when she asks what you want for Christmas? Of course not, because you'll get a lecture about how all she had to play with was a stick when she was your age.
Here are a few tips for crafting the perfect Christmas list, guaranteed to please both you and the gift-giver.
1. Be realistic.
My first tip comes from childhood full of disappointments over not getting 500 presents under the tree. My family has never been a 500 present family. We're more of a 1-5 thoughtful present family.
Unfortunately, a 2015 Mercedes isn't going to happen unless you're Richie Rich. Believe me, I've tried. When thinking up a Christmas or birthday list to give others as an idea, be realistic about what others can afford and what you can afford.
2. Be practical.
This one is more my style as I get a little older. Last Christmas, I used money I saved up to buy myself a new laptop because I desperately needed a computer for college. My brother bought
me a laptop case to protect it in my backpack. I still use it on a daily basis.
Yes, that shiny new iPhone does look nice, but what's wrong with your phone? Being a generation behind isn't the end of the world. However, running around with a backpack that has a hole could be.
When thinking about what you want for Christmas, think about things you need that you can get others to buy for you. It may sound a little selfish, and maybe it is, but it's a win-win situation. You get what you need, and they have a gift idea they know you'll use.
Some suggestions are a new backpack, walking shoes, a reusable water bottle, a new lanyard, some funky pencils and other items you'll use on a regular basis.
3. Gift cards and cash are always great ideas.
This one is usually the go-to when someone doesn't know enough about another to buy them a real gift. However, it's never a bad situation to end up with yet another gift card for Dunkin'.
Don't know what you want? Are the things you want better bought by yourself? That doesn't leave you out of receiving Christmas gifts. In fact, it makes everything much less stressful for anyone buying you gifts.
Just tell them you want cash or gift cards. Maybe give them a list of places you like to go so they buy appropriate cards. For example, if you love Dunkin', you might not appreciate a Starbucks gift card.
Not sure where you would want a gift card to? Take a look at this website. It shows a ton of places that offer gift cards to places you'll love to spend your friend's or relative's money.
4. After a certain age, clothes are a good thing.
No kid wants to open a brightly wrapped package to find socks or a new shirt. But when you get older (and broker), opening a brightly wrapped package covered in Santa Clause's to discover new socks in all different colors is the best thing in the world, because most of yours are holy and you're too broke or cheap to buy new ones.
Personally, I love getting clothes for Christmas. The only person who buys them for me is my mom, but it proves that she knows my style when she can shop for me without me being there. If your friends know you well enough to buy you clothes, take it!
Maybe guys won't appreciate their "bro" buying them socks, but hey, they just saved some money!
5. Don't be greedy.
When making your list, again, be realistic. You're probably not getting a car, an Xbox One with Fallout 4 and an extra controller, a new laptop and $500 in gift cards.
Last Christmas I only asked for an Xbox 360 and I got it, along with a few, much cheaper, presents. It pays to only ask for one expensive item, because you may be more likely to get it when not seeming greedy.
It's okay to want all those things, but in my experience you're more likely to get them if you spread out your requests over a few holidays.