I have not yet started holiday shopping, in large part because I have no idea who I want to buy gifts for. I have 2 brothers, and they are always the top of my holiday shopping list. Each year I spend about the same amount of money on gifts for them. All other gifts vary, though. The older of my two brothers and I usually go in together on gifts for our mom and dad – 2 separate gifts, since they are divorced. Mom and Stepdad usually get a gift card for dinner somewhere, and sometimes a few extra things for Mom (candles, lotions, etc. – she loves that sort of stuff). Dad’s gift changes every year, but he has enough interests that it usually isn’t too hard for Brother and myself to find something we think he’ll like. The amount of money spent on Mom and Dad changes from year to year, depending on what we find that we think they’ll like (and our budgets, he’s still a “broke college kid”).
Last year was my first year coming “home” for the holidays. I moved out on my own years ago, but lived in town until last year, so I still saw my parents frequently. I haven’t lived at Mom’s since I was 14, because I decided to move in with Dad when I started high school. All of that considered, I really wasn’t expecting much in terms of presents from my parents. Well, Mom and Stepdad did a LOT more for me than I expected. So this year, I’d like to do something a little nicer for them, but I have no clue what yet.
I also have close to 20 people who I would consider really close friends. I don’t exchange gifts with most of them most years, and which ones I do exchange gifts with changes from year to year. (Ex. If we don’t see each other over the holidays, we usually don’t exchange gifts.) I try to get something for each person who I think will be getting something for me, and if I see something that I know someone would love, I buy it for them even if we don’t usually exchange gifts. Since I’ve been away from “home” for a year and a half now, but will be back in town for the holidays, I have no idea who I will see while I am at home or who would plan on buying me a gift.
I’d like to see how my experiences compare to everyone else’s. How much holiday shopping have you completed already? How do you decide who to include in your holiday shopping list? And does anyone have any suggestions for what to do for my mom and stepdad?