By Amanda Nguyen
Sophomore Jeremy Weprich has a dilemma that many others this holiday season are experiencing. He wants to buy presents for his family, but with a limited budget, he can’t buy something for everyone. “Because I don’t have a job, I have to rely on my parents to help purchase gifts for my family,” Weprich said.
So to solve the problem Weprich said his family, consisting of a total of six people including his two parents and three other siblings, participate in a “Secret Santa,” which is an anonymous gift-exchange usually with a big group of people.
“Every year we draw names out of a hat and buy gifts for that one person. It’s difficult to buy gifts for everyone, so it’s easier just to focus on one person,” Weprich said. “I think it’s better to focus on getting one good gift for someone rather than feeling obligated to buy a gift for everyone.”
According to betterbudgeting.com, there are many ways, like Weprich’s Secret Santa approach, to save money during the holiday season. Some ideas include making gifts by hand, using magazines as wrapping paper, doing a gift-exchange, looking for sales or discounts and stocking up on decorations after the holidays.
Business teacher Debbie Lesjak said via e-mail, “I think that teens feel the stress of finding the perfect gift just like adults. Their stress is multiplied by their budget constraints. This year many parents will be cutting the amount budgeted for gift-giving for the entire family. This year everyone needs to get creative. The highest costing gift will be out of place. Unemployed teens can shop for less expensive ‘fun’ gifts. A game for the family, a favorite book or even homemade items can be a great gift for friends and families.”
Weprich said he usually spends around $50 on his gift for a family member. “Because of the recent economic downfall, our family is probably going to spend less this year. We’ll get smaller gifts and not focus on the big, expensive gifts,” Weprich said.
And credit cards aren’t the answer. According to consumeraffairs.com, people that use credit cards usually end up paying twice as much paying with cash.
Instead, Lesjak said teens should take a different approach. “Teens should realistically look at their budgets,” Lesjak said. “Credit cards should not be used to buy gifts. It also looks like a lot of stores will be having sales after the holidays. Maybe get a nice Valentine’s Day gift instead.”
Weprich said, “When it comes to giving gifts, it shouldn’t be about the money you spend on the gift. In fact, some of the best gifts are inexpensive and personal. With the pressure from the state of the economy, hopefully people will choose to spend less money and give a gift that counts.”
DIY: A HOLIDAY GIFT TO SAVOR
Save some money and show you care
1. Dip top (head end) into melted white chocolate and sprinkle with red sugar/sprinkles but leave a band of white at the bottom
2. Place mini marshmallow on right end of white band
3. Let dry on wax paper
4. When dry, dip bottom (beard end) into white chocolate
5. Use mini semi sweet morsels for eyes and M&M for nose, use melted white chocolate as “glue”
• Nutter Butter cookies
• White chocolate (melted)
• Red sugar or sprinkles
• Mini marshmallow
• Mini semi sweet morsels
• Red M&Ms
THRIFTYFUN.COM / SOURCE
Sweet and Salty Dreidel
1 bag Hershey’s Kisses (any kind: Hugs, plain milk chocolate, coconut-filled)
1 bag mini marshmallows (Note: The bottom circumference of marshmallow should be a similar size to bottom of Hershey’s Kiss)
1 can of vanilla or chocolate frosting or peanut butter
Skinny pretzel sticks
1. Use a small amount of frosting (or peanut butter) as “glue” to attach the marshmallow to an unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss.
2. Poke a piece of pretzel stick into the other end of the marshmallow.