Last Monday marked one month until Christmas day.
 
Christmas is a joyous time of year where we get to catch up with friends and family, and spend stupid amounts of money that we’re not prepared for, which will catch up to us come January.
 
That’s why the time is right to have a conversation with family and friends about the terms and conditions for buying each other gifts, so that you’re all on the same page.
 
In my view, there’s not a lot of point in adults buying other adults Christmas gifts that they don’t want, don’t need, and will probably never use. As a result, it might be an idea to save yourself some cash by suggesting a ‘kids only’ Christmas gift rule among your friends and family.
 
If you get major push-back on that, maybe suggest a Kris Kringle or Bad Santa type setup, where everyone buys one gift of a certain value, and everyone also receives just one.
 
If you get resistance to that idea as well, I’d suggest avoiding buying “stuff” and instead offer gifts in kind. For example, you might offer to babysit your sister’s kids for a night in January, or to mow your dad’s lawn.
 
And if even that doesn’t work, I like to give experiences as gifts. Buying someone something they don’t want or need is a waste of money, but buying them an experience can be enriching, enjoyable and educational. Anything from skydiving to a photography course is likely to be much better received and enjoyed than another useless candle holder.
 
The key to a financially savvy Christmas is communicating with your family and friends early, and cutting out the useless crap!