How to Make Gift Giving Extremely Inexpensive (and Fun!)
One evening when I went to pick up my kid at the daycare, the teacher asked "Will you be able to make it to the pinata party tomorrow?". The what? Well, it turns out that there was a note posted on the board about the piniata party the entire week, I just hadn't read it. At the bottom of the note, it said "Parents are welcome to bring small toys for stuffing the pinata". And that's when I noticed the small bags on the top shelf with itty-bitty toys in them, obviously brought in by the parents of the other kids.
I did not want my kid to be the only one there whose parents had not brought in any gifts. But it was already late in the evening. Dinner had to be put on the table, a kid needed to be fed, played with, bathed, and put to sleep and in the night I had a long list of chores to attend to. There was just no time to go toy shopping. What I ended up doing was to haul my (already tired) kid to Walgreens on the way home and picking up some not-so-great toys for ouch-that-hurts prices. Time and again, I have been in these situations - some friends suddenly drop in and I would wish we had a small gift for their little one or we had to go someplace and would end up making a pit stop to pick up a gift card. And then I stumbled upon an article about the "gift closet". I had to knock myself on the head wondering why I hadn't thought of it.
The idea of gift closet is simple - you stash some goodies in a closet (a cardboard box, in our case) to be used as gifts when you need them. This probably does not work when you want to bedazzle your wife with a fancy gift on her birthday, but in most other cases, especially for a holiday gifts, if you follow the following tips, you should be able to save quite a bit - both in terms of time and money. Or if you already have a budget set aside, you could end up getting a whole lot more gifts than you originally had hoped for.Continued on the next page