We are going to India in a few weeks, and I am so excited! It has been a while since I went back, and this will be the first time the three of us are going together.
Because I have been, very dutifully, working hard with my kid and my house and my family, I deserve a longer break, does everyone agree? So, while Mr.Luckytohaveme is not so lucky and doesn’t get to stay longer than three weeks, TheLittleMiss and I are going to stay a few extra months. Oh, how I am looking forward to just sit back, relax, and not worry about housework and cooking for a while. And while I shop and eat lots of street food, TheLittleMiss will have a lot more space to run around than she usually does, and a lot of people to entertain her, and won’t need me as much. Bad mom? I don’t think so. Well-deserved? Oh, yes.
Going back home after such a long time does mean quite a bit of preparation too. There are things to do, and things to buy. No one goes without gifts, and no one should! Gifts are a great way of making people happy and showing them you care. Yes, us going back should be enough to make everyone happy, and it is, but a small token goes a long way.
In the process of buying gifts for family and friends, however, it is highly possible that one may go overboard. But hey, I just finished all my shopping and didn’t let it burn a hole in my pocket, so it is possible, and here’s me being nice and sharing a few tips with you.
- Make a list: Sit down, both of you husband and wife, and/or whoever else is generally involved in the decision-making process. List down the names of all the people you need to take special gifts for. Parents, siblings, super close friends, nieces, and nephews, grandparents. Ideally, this shouldn’t be a very long list.
- Set a budget for each person: Decide how much you’re willing to spend per person. Within each person’s set budget you could decide on whether to buy one big gift for them or a few little gifts. This would depend on the kinds of things they like and you know they would appreciate, or maybe even need.
- Start shopping early and don’t rush: I have observed that the more you delay your gift shopping, the more money you end up spending because you feel like there just isn’t enough time to do it all. If there’s a sale on, go check it out, pick a few things you like, take pictures, look around for other options, go home, and take a day if you need to think about it. You can always go back the next day to buy what you liked and feel like you should definitely get.
- Don’t try to fill gaps in your budget: If you feel like you’ve bought the perfect gift/gifts for a particular person and still have room left in the budget, don’t try to fill it up. Think about it. Do you need to? Is what you’ve already bought enough for them?
- Buy gift-boxes and undo them: This is for people you know you will meet but don’t need to take special gifts for- people besides the ones on your first list. You could go to stores like Bath and Body Works or Body Shop for these. Instead of four tubes of lotion and 2 small perfume bottles, you could give two along with some chocolates each (put into a nice little gift bag) to people who you’re not taking big/major gifts for but wouldn’t like to meet empty-handed either.
- Never underestimate the power of chocolate: Always take chocolates. Buy big bags of chocolates, and whoever’s house you may go to, or kids you may meet, you can put a little more than a handful of chocolates in a zip lock bag or a little gift bag and give it to them. Again, I hate meeting people empty handed after so long. Chocolates make a good token and every household enjoys them.
- Start packing: Once you’ve bought the gifts, pull out a suitcase, start packing your shopping in and crossing things off your list. This way everything will be in one place and your house wouldn’t be messy, and the possibility of misplacing something will go down greatly. When it’s time for final packing, you’ll know where all the shopping is and you can start your final packing.
- Don’t try to impress: Always remember that the aim of gift-giving is not to impress, but to bring happiness and make others feel like you thought about them. Whoever you may be buying gifts for will appreciate the thought. The price of the gift won’t matter to them, so don’t go overboard trying to make an impression. A good thought never goes to waste and that is what this is about.
- Keep your last two weekends free: Shopping is generally something that’s done over the weekends, so I would strongly suggest that you keep the last couple of weekends free. Make sure all your shopping is done, especially gift shopping. Personal errands need time too. Focus on anything that may be left out of your personal list during these last two weekends. Spend time on yourself, get your grooming done- hair trims/cuts, waxing, facial, whatever you might enjoy, and start looking forward to the break without bothering about last minute shopping tasks!
Have a great break!