Charlene Rolls | Should you be buying gifts this year? Maybe it’s time for some honest family talk

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Charlene Rolls is YOU's editorial director.
Charlene Rolls is YOU's editorial director.

So many people are unsure whether they should be spending money on gifts this year considering everything that’s happened.

I mean, gift buying is already tricky as it is and thanks to 2020 it’s even harder than usual to tackle the challenge of present purchasing. 

It feels like a minefield. 

From a financial point of view alone, it’s fraught. What if you really just can’t afford it? 

Or what if you want to get gifts for others but they can’t afford to reciprocate? Do you insist they don’t need to give one back, potentially hurting their feelings, or risk having their pride take a knock? Or do you say nothing, knowing it’s going to break their budget? 

Then there’s the psychological and emotional toll buying a gift takes. Do you really have the headspace for it?


Anyone who’s serious about finding the right one knows how hard it can be. 

For many, the perfect present shows how well you know the person. It can be an indication that you know who they are and what they like – and in many ways a testament to your love and affection. 

That is a lot of pressure by any standards, don’t you think? 

And after the year we’ve had, how many of us have emotional energy for it? 

But there is a way to tackle it: just have an honest conversation with all the people in your life about the issue.

Talk about whether you’re going to exchange gifts at all this year or if you’ll opt for a scaled-down version with a maximum spend limit. 

Maybe you decide to get only small ones for the kids that won’t cost a fortune or occupy too much space in your thoughts.

Seeing as we’ve barely seen one another this year, maybe consider giving the gift of time. Create a “voucher” that can be cashed in next year with a number of minutes or hours allocated on it. 

It could be enough to have a coffee or a leisurely lunch or a movie binge on your couch. Maybe it’s to go stroll on the beach or a park or to have a picnic in a place that will bring you both joy. 

Whatever it is, make it something that doesn’t add more stress to this year. Heaven knows we have enough of that going around.

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