There is every good reason to give gifts at Christmastime, but some people just carry it too far and find themselves in great financial trouble at the end of the holiday season. Subsequently, merchants find the "overspender" a problem too, when they aren't compensated for the merchandise they provided for the overgenerous gift giver.
If overspending is a problem, here are some tips to help curb the desire to go overboard:
--If you use credit to purchase Christmas and Hanukkah gifts, limit your purchases to one card for easier tracking.
--Ask yourself whether you can afford the monthly payments. Try to pay the balance in full rather than stringing out the payments over the year.
--Consider giving goods or services (a certificate for baby-sitting, walks with an elderly friend, etc.). --Try not to make up for the whole year at Christmas--spread out the giving.
--Consider drawing names to avoid having to purchase so many gifts.
--Set a mutually agreed-upon price to be spent on gifts to be exchanged, particularly among friends, to avoid the competitive aspect of gift-giving.