The Other Big C of Christmas: Credit

Newsweek offers a preview of the financial realities of shopping this holiday season entitled Bah Humbug.  If you’re used to flexible credit this time of year, you may need to rethink your shopping strategy.  Here are some suggestions that have worked for me; what would you add to the list?

  • Get your list together and pare it down to the “must haves”
  • Keep an eye on sales and free shipping with online and catalogue shopping
  • Does your family or office, your circle of friends do a name exchange?  Why not suggest one, or revisit whether or not you’ll do one this year?  Maybe you exchange time together, or a service, rather than a present.
  • Get creative with alternative gifts.  Not only home made gifts, but green gifts to charity or ecologically-minded causes.  Think in terms of giving in honor of the person instead of simply giving some-thing.
  • When I need “a little something” gift for teachers, mailman, neighbors, I’ve found great catalogues for these kinds of gifts:  Walter Drake, Terry’s Village, Miles Kimball and Oriental Trading Company (great craft kits for children’s gifts, too!).
  • Tame your spending:  Skipping Christmas by John Grisham is a great book that invites us to reflect on why we buy what we do at Christmastime.  Track down a copy, or if you only have time for a movie, Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis star in the movie Christmas with the Kranks,  based on the novel.

Dear Reader, what are your suggestions for creative shopping this year?


  1. alternative gifts are a great idea — i found a great place that hand-crafts unique and artistic gifts from recycled materials — Fresh Heirlooms, they’re called. a neat little shop with v. good prices:

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