experience gifts http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12760/all en-US 5 Steps to Stress-Free Holiday Gift Giving http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-stress-free-holiday-gift-giving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-steps-to-stress-free-holiday-gift-giving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gifts-78718164.jpg" alt="gifts" title="gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What do you get when you mix a media-saturated society with easy credit and the biggest holiday of the year? Pure chaos. We talk a good game in this country about simplifying the holidays, returning to a less material-focused celebration, and reducing our holiday-induced stress and consumption habits. But around October of each year the same thing happens &mdash; advertisers ramp up their messaging, expectations slowly grow, the familiar frenzy builds, and before it&rsquo;s all over we&rsquo;re left with empty wallets, full closets, and a nervous twitch that lasts til June. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-that-save-money?ref=seealso">25 Gifts That Save Money</a>)</p> <p>There must be a better way. Maybe this year it&rsquo;s time to draw a line in the sand and embrace a simpler idea of holiday gift-giving. Instead of racing to buy bigger, better, and more, we could reset our expectations, recalibrate our standards, and enjoy what we have more completely. If you&rsquo;re ready to re-script your holiday, here are five steps to saner gift-giving. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spend-almost-nothing-on-gifts-this-year?ref=seealso">10 Gift Ideas That Cost Almost Nothing</a>)</p> <h2>1. Set Limits</h2> <p>Without real or self-imposed limits, it&rsquo;s much easier to fall victim to the pull of advertising and marketing. The lights, the music, the sales, the legions of shoppers spending like a Kardashian &mdash; it&rsquo;s enough to loosen the wallets of even the most frugal among us. Set reasonable quantity and price limits per person, and stick to them.</p> <h2>2. Promote the Idea of Primary and Secondary Gifts</h2> <p>Some kids have an amazing knack for choosing the priciest toys and gadgetry without understanding the six-figure salaries and second mortgages such annual levels of gift-giving would require. Set expectations with kids about price and allow for one primary gift and a few secondary (i.e., lower cost) gifts or stocking-stuffers.</p> <h2>3. Choose a Charity</h2> <p>Few things in life can take the wind out of our consumerist sails like seeing true need. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-to-charity-is-great-but-how-do-you-pick-one">Choose a charity</a> and donate your time and money (or both) throughout the year. It will help make every gift seem precious and inoculate you against the worst of the holiday shopping madness. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving?ref=seealso">31 Gifts That Keep On Giving</a>)</p> <h2>4. Finish Early</h2> <p>To avoid the most stressful holiday logistics, finish shopping early. Pledge to enter a mall in December only if George Clooney is manning a kissing booth or you&rsquo;ve won a sweepstakes and have to pick up your prize in person. Spend your mall-free time organizing, wrapping, or doing something completely off-the-wall (like taking a nap).</p> <h2>5. Do Things Instead of Buying Things</h2> <p>In our hectic lives, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-money-really-can-buy-happiness">time is the most valuable gift we can give</a> and one that, delivered without expectations, can make the biggest impact. Break out the board games, play charades, build a snowman, or take a weekend trip with the whole family. Time together (with the advertisers muted and mall nowhere in sight) can calm frazzled nerves and help busy families reconnect. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-coupons-20-great-free-gift-ideas?ref=seealso">20 Great, Free Gift Ideas</a>)</p> <p>Holidays don&rsquo;t have to be the most stressful time of year &mdash; and we don&rsquo;t have to let December be open season on our wallets and our savings accounts. This year, maybe it&rsquo;s time to choose <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-beat-holiday-shopping-stress">simplicity over stress</a>, moderation over excess, and cash over credit. This holiday season there&rsquo;s still time to scale back and take a big step away from the mall&hellip;I mean, unless George Clooney is doing that kissing booth thing.</p> <p><em>Have you scaled back your holiday shopping this year? What strategies do you use to keep holiday gift-giving in-check?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-stress-free-holiday-gift-giving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/early-holiday-shopping-why-i-finish-by-thanksgiving">Early Holiday Shopping: Why I Finish by Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-ready-for-christmas-7-things-you-should-do-today">Get Ready for Christmas: 7 Things You Should Do Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-that-arent">8 &quot;Free&quot; Things That Aren&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-everyday-things-you-shouldnt-be-paying-for">16 Everyday Things You Shouldn&#039;t Be Paying For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping experience gifts holiday sanity holiday shopping Wed, 28 Nov 2012 11:36:43 +0000 Kentin Waits 957727 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Gifts for the Guy Who Has Everything http://www.wisebread.com/20-gifts-for-the-guy-who-has-everything <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-gifts-for-the-guy-who-has-everything" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift-187890055.jpg" alt="man holding gift bags" title="man holding gift bags" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some guys are notoriously difficult to shop for. I&rsquo;m sure you have one of these guys in your life. He almost never WANTS anything. And when he does want something, he is so picky that you&rsquo;re afraid you&rsquo;ll buy the wrong thing. Or he&rsquo;s already got so many gadgets and toys that finding something new that he&rsquo;ll like is a challenge to your creativity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-great-diy-gifts-for-geeks?ref=seealso">25 DIY Gifts for Geeks</a>)</p> <p>So what do you get for the guy who has everything? Good bets are things that allow him to DO something, such as have a unique experience or work on a new project, rather than things that are passively enjoyed. That way, you won&rsquo;t feel like you&rsquo;re just giving him more stuff to accumulate, but he'll still enjoy your gift for months to come. Here are some ideas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-gifts-the-man-in-your-life-really-wants?ref=seealso">8 Gifts the Man in Your Life Really Wants</a>)</p> <h2>1. Gift Cards</h2> <p>Gift cards are almost always appreciated; especially ones that help him work on a pet project (such as building garden furniture or starting his new DJ business). Try ones from <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10823628">Home Depot</a>, Harbor Freight, iTunes, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gift-cards/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=2238192011&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Amazon</a>, or <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10759737">REI</a>.</p> <h2>2. Booze</h2> <p>He&rsquo;ll definitely appreciate a bottle of PatrĂ³n, Jack Daniels, or his favorite spirit with a set of monogrammed shot glasses. He may even share. Artisan beers are a nice gift too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">10 Homemade Liqueurs for Tasty Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>3. Board Games</h2> <p>Board games are increasingly popular, and it&rsquo;s not hard to find one he doesn&rsquo;t have yet. Special editions make an especially nice gift. Try fan favorites like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008URUT/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00008URUT&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Puerto Rico</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008ULAMSG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008ULAMSG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Carcassonne</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JQY6K4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001JQY6K4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Dominion</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0975277324/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0975277324&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Ticket to Ride</a><em>,</em> which are sure to be hits with board game lovers.</p> <h2>4. A DIY Kit</h2> <p>Give him a project to work on with a DIY kit for a model plane, guitar, or beer brewing.</p> <h2>5. Chocolate</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s not just women who appreciate a good quality chocolate; men do too. Even if you don&rsquo;t go for the fancy stuff, some Ritter Sport or a giant Toblerone bar might hit the spot.</p> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holguy-108518645-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>6. Swiss Army Knife</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;pageMinusResults=1&amp;suo=1385264302737&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps#/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=swiss%20army%20knife&amp;sprefix=swiss+%2Caps&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aswiss%20army%20knife&amp;sepatfbtf=true&amp;tc=1385264306413">Swiss Army Knife</a> engraved with his initials is a classic gift, especially when accompanied with a promise to go camping someday.</p> <h2>7. Compact HD Video Camera</h2> <p>He may already have the latest digital camera, but does he have a compact HD video camera yet? The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VA56I8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002VA56I8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Go Pro HD Helmet Hero</a> allows him to attach the video camera to almost any surface, from his surfboard to his bike helmet to his parachute, enabling him to build fun memories in HD. This gift is perfect for adventurers and travelers.</p> <h2>8. Anything Wireless</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UT42UI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002UT42UI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">EyeFi Pro X2 SDHC Memory Card</a> allows you to transfer photos from portable devices to your computer wirelessly. Or maybe he&rsquo;d like a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=bluetooth%20headset&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Delectronics">wireless Bluetooth headset</a>, a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=bluetooth%20headset&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Delectronics">wireless keyboard</a> and mouse, or other gadgets that keep his desk clean and clutter-free.</p> <h2>9. Beer Steins</h2> <p>Come on, you can never have too many of those, and they&rsquo;ll come in handy at his next party.</p> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holguy-177196412-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>10. A Donation</h2> <p>A donation in his name to a favorite charity might please him more than a gift for himself. Try <a href="http://www.donorschoose.org/">DonorsChoose.org</a>, <a href="http://www.livestrong.org/">LIVESTRONG.org</a>, or <a href="http://heifer.org/">Heifer International</a>; or donate to a local organization. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving?ref=seealso">31 Gifts That Keep On Giving</a>)</p> <h2>11. A Universal Remote</h2> <p>A remote to end all remotes will help him streamline his entertainment system. Plus <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;pageMinusResults=1&amp;suo=1385264470420&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Delectronics#/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&amp;field-keywords=universal%20remote&amp;sprefix=unive%2Celectronics&amp;rh=i%3Aelectronics%2Ck%3Auniversal%20remote&amp;sepatfbtf=true&amp;tc=1385264472233">universal remotes</a> are just cool gadgets.</p> <h2>12. Subscriptions</h2> <p>A subscription to something he might not buy for himself will be a gift he can enjoy all year. Some good ideas include <a href="http://www.hulu.com/plus">Hulu Plus</a>, <a href="https://www.netflix.com/">Netflix</a>, <a href="http://www.pandora.com/p1_gift/gift_about.vm">Pandora One</a>, or a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/magazines/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=599858&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">good old-fashioned magazine</a>!</p> <h2>13. Classes</h2> <p>Give him a certificate for a rock climbing class, amateur pilot training, yoga, or a cooking lesson.</p> <h2>14. Grown-Up Toys</h2> <p>Give him a professional-weight Yo-Yo, a regulation Ultimate Frisbee, a collector&rsquo;s edition action figurine, or a remote-controlled helicopter to satisfy his inner child.</p> <h2>15. A Man Bag</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-items-city-dwelling-dudes-should-keep-in-their-bags">messenger bag</a>, backpack, or man purse might be just what he needs for work or play. Check out the stylish options from <a href="http://www.jackspade.com/">Jack Spade</a>.</p> <h2>16. DVD Sets</h2> <p>Get him a season DVD set of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=mad%20men&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=node%3D2901953011"><em>Mad Men</em></a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=mad%20men&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=node%3D2901953011"><em>LOST</em></a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=mad%20men&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=node%3D2901953011"><em>24</em></a>, or another of his favorite shows, and he&rsquo;ll be sure to enjoy many hours of couch surfing.</p> <h2>17. Luxury</h2> <p>Buy him luxurious items he might not get for himself. Cashmere sweaters, leather jackets, silk ties, alpaca slippers, and silver cufflinks are all luxury items he'll appreciate. After all, guys need pampering too.</p> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holguy-156219008-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>18. Art</h2> <p>Spruce up his digs with a limited-edition art print from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/">Etsy</a> or a signed poster of his favorite musician. Or you could paint something yourself for a more personal touch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fine-art-makes-fine-gifts?ref=seealso">How to Buy Art as Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>19. Gift Memberships</h2> <p>A membership to the local gym, art gallery, or aquarium, or to Costco, Sam&rsquo;s Club, AAA, and other members-only clubs is a practical and useful gift.</p> <h2>20. A Book</h2> <p>Somehow this option doesn&rsquo;t seem to be as popular as it used to be, but books can be a great gift for the right person. Try classics like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=mad%20men&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=node%3D2901953011"><em>The Christmas Carol</em></a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=mad%20men&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=node%3D2901953011"><em>Catcher in the Rye</em></a>, or bestsellers that might interest him such as <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=mad%20men&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=node%3D2901953011">Freakonomics</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=mad%20men&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=node%3D2901953011">Guns Germs and Steel</a>,</em> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=mad%20men&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=node%3D2901953011"><em>The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People</em></a>. For hobbyists, a book on photography, birdwatching, or graphic design might do the trick.</p> <p><em>What are you planning to get for the guy who seems to have everything?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-gifts-for-the-guy-who-has-everything">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-holiday-gifts-to-give-the-neighbor-you-like">9 Gifts to Give the Neighbor You Like</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-last-minute-gift-ideas-for-under-15">10 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Under $15</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-christmas-gifts-youre-better-off-returning">10 Christmas Gifts You&#039;re Better Off Returning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-makeup-brush-cleaners">The 5 Best Makeup Brush Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mouthwashes">The 5 Best Mouthwashes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping experience gifts gifts for guys holiday gifts product reviews Thu, 08 Dec 2011 11:24:33 +0000 Camilla Cheung 806219 at http://www.wisebread.com Retail Therapy: The Benefits of Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/retail-therapy-the-benefits-of-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/retail-therapy-the-benefits-of-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping_2.jpg" alt="shopping crowd" title="shopping crowd" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Oddly enough, the relationship between money and happiness might best be summed up in the Hitchcock classic <em>Psycho</em>, when minor character Tom Cassidy explains why he's buying a house for his daughter's wedding gift:&nbsp;&ldquo;Forty thousand dollars, cash! Now, that&rsquo;s not buying happiness. That&rsquo;s just buying off unhappiness.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Retail therapy embraces a similar logic, namely that consumers can curb or ward off their unhappiness through impulse purchases. The concept often brings a sense of frivolity and sometimes even shame. But the reality is there's increasing evidence that spending money can make you feel better.&nbsp;The key is how and what you purchase. And, of course, for whom.</p> <p>A trio of psychology professors, led by Elizabeth Dunn of the University of British Columbia, recently published a paper titled, &quot;If Money Doesn't Make You Happy Then You Probably Aren't Spending it Right.&quot; Their research examines the relationship between money and happiness and seizes on an intuitive yet elusive notion: Money can and should make you happier, and if it doesn't, well, you're doing it wrong.</p> <p>&quot;Our money provides us with satisfaction when we think about it, but not when we use it,&quot; the scholars note in their conclusion. &quot;That shouldn&rsquo;t happen. &nbsp;Money can buy many, if not most, if not all of the things that make people happy, and if it doesn't, then the fault is ours.&quot;</p> <p>The scholars carve out a path for consumers to feel better through buying. Here are a few major veins:</p> <h2>Buy Experiences</h2> <p>When it comes to shopping for ourselves, research suggests that humans are bad at guessing what will make them happy. So shoppers in search of a boost should aim to purchase something that provides an experience.</p> <p>Experiences &mdash; trips, a day at the spa, camping &mdash; provide us with sensory pleasures and keep our minds focused on the present. Tangible items and merchandise, in contrast, send us into a whirlwind of thought: Will that new polo shirt fit well after Thanksgiving? Could a popped collar look any more stupid?</p> <h2>Purchase &quot;Small Pleasures&quot;</h2> <p>Another tip is to buy small pleasures instead of big-ticket items that are one-and-done transactions. It&rsquo;s similar to the idea of buying an experience because small things are likely to go hand-in-hand with social interaction: a drink after work, a round of putt-putt golf, or a coffee at the bookstore. These scenarios provide change and inject excitement into our lives.</p> <h2>Be a Do-Gooder</h2> <p>The general gist is this: Folks who spend on their friends are happier than those who don't. This helps move the idea of retail therapy beyond merely self-serving concerns and into the broader community.</p> <p>Other studies and surveys over the last few years have hinted at some other potential benefits associated with consumerism. For example, bargain hunting tends to produce a thrill greater than kissing a partner, earning a promotion at work, and even eating chocolate, <a href="http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/lifestyle-fashion/stylebeauty/shopping-4633.html">according to a study by Chevrolet</a>.</p> <p>Shopping may shrink more than your wallet, too. Walking around, carrying bags, and dodging foot traffic is undoubtedly one way to burn calories. In Britain a study of 4,500 women found that shoppers stay out longer &mdash; thus walking more &mdash; when they go with friends. About 57 percent of the women said they felt physically healthier after a good shopping spree.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Find Balance</h2> <p>It probably goes without saying that splurging on a home theater system or dropping $5,000 for a week-long spa trip is not the best way to deal with a bad breakup. There are better coping mechanisms.</p> <p>But there are clearly some emotional and even physical benefits associated with shopping. In fact, sometimes carefully considered self-spending can do some real good. The key is moderation and a clear understanding that transactions aren't a substitute for true emotional nourishment.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retail-therapy-the-benefits-of-shopping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-buy-one-get-one-free-is-usually-a-bad-deal">Why &quot;Buy One Get One Free&quot; Is Usually A Bad Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-for-your-co-workers">20 Gift Ideas for Your Co-Workers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Shopping emotional spending experience gifts gifts retail therapy Wed, 01 Dec 2010 23:42:09 +0000 Chris Birk 352179 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons to Change Traditional Holiday Gift-Giving http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-change-traditional-holiday-gift-giving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-to-change-traditional-holiday-gift-giving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift giving.jpg" alt="boy opening a holiday gift" title="boy opening a holiday gift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some traditions are worth keeping. Others almost beg for you to stomp all over them, perhaps none so much as traditional American holiday gifting.&nbsp;If the recession has taught us anything (and this is a big &quot;IF&quot;), it's that many of us are spending way more than we should be. If it's taught us anything else, it's that maybe all of that stuff didn't really matter in the first place.</p> <p>So why the heck do we continue to mindlessly head out among the chaos and spend a few hundred or thousand dollars on impersonal stuff that we don't even know the receiver will need or even want, while they do the same for us?</p> <p>I'm not advocating that you ban gift-giving altogether. But I would enourage you to reconsider how you approach holiday gift-giving this year. Here are five reasons why.</p> <h3>1. Nobody Knows What You Need More Than You</h3> <p>How many times have you had to fake liking a gift? It's painful, but we do it. That piece-of-junk kitchen appliance or ugly sweater ends up never getting used. Then you have to live with the guilt knowing that your loved one spent $50 on it for you, and you never used it. When they come over, you leave it out in the open so it appears that you have been using it after all. Kind of sad. You have a chance to end that painful cycle.</p> <h3>2. Nobody Knows What Your Loved Ones Need More Than Them</h3> <p>This is #1 flipped around. Why spend all of the time running around the herd looking for something that you're not even sure someone will like? You're wasting your time and your money, and when your loved one opens up that gift, you know they are faking their joy. Again: painful.</p> <h3>3. Mother Earth Will Thank You</h3> <p>All of this junk eventually ends up in a landfill. The human race cannot continue to exist if our current consume-and-dump ways continue. In giving up the purchase of junk, you're doing the world and the human race a great service. Change has to start somewhere, and why not with the biggest consumer-purchasing event of the year?</p> <h3>4. Stuff is Impersonal</h3> <p>Do you remember what you gave your mother five years ago? Does she?</p> <h3>5. You Don't Have to Give up Giving and Receiving</h3> <p>Just because you are actively choosing to give up the mindless purchasing of stuff does not mean you have to entirely give up the joy of giving. Have a discussion with your loved ones about how you want to handle holiday gift-giving this year. You may just find that they are relieved at your suggestion to try something new.</p> <p>Here are a few experience gift ideas that you can discuss with your loved ones:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Events:</strong><em>&nbsp;</em>Buy tickets to a play, an athletic event, a concert, movies, or a musical.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Night on the town:</strong>&nbsp;Treat someone to a nice dinner and a movie.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Food and drink:</strong>&nbsp;There are few things that people love as much as food and drink. Bake a pie, cook a really nice dinner, or buy wine.</li> </ul> <p>These are just a handful of ideas that you might like (with a good chance that your gift receivers will really appreciate them as well). And they all have one thing in common: bringing people closer together through a shared experience.</p> <p>Doesn't that sound like a tradition worth starting?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">G.E. Miller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-change-traditional-holiday-gift-giving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-ready-for-christmas-7-things-you-should-do-today">Get Ready for Christmas: 7 Things You Should Do Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-gifts-for-the-guy-who-has-everything">20 Gifts for the Guy Who Has Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-good-sleep-makes-you-wealthier">3 Ways Good Sleep Makes You Wealthier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle alternative gifts Christmas Christmas gift ideas experience gifts gift giving holiday gifts Mon, 29 Nov 2010 13:00:08 +0000 G.E. Miller 334867 at http://www.wisebread.com