Setting Expectation Boundaries for Gift Giving!


Updated: December 23, 2012

Most of us have a friend or relative who spends a lot of money on gifts.  No matter how much they tell you the price is irrelevant, you still feel the need to match their effort. Regardless of your (or her) financial situation, spending more than you want on a gift is a common dilemma during the holidays.   We feel pressure to give the perfect gift that expresses how much we care and because we feel it has to be great, nothing inexpensive will do.

Being thoughtful is so much more valuable than something expensive you see as soon as you walk into the department store.  Having a preemptive conversation with your friends and family is an important step in changing your gift-buying habits.  Set limits ahead of time and stick to it.  You can even challenge a few of your friends to make something for each other.

If you are making an effort to eat healthy, make or bake one of your favorite new recipes and include the printed recipe with the gift.  You can even support their weight management efforts by putting together a few of your healthy recipes into a nice folder or binder to add variety to their menu and keep them motivated.

Don’t forget about the hostess gift.  For each holiday gathering you attend substitute a healthy snack for the bottle of wine or champagne most of the other guests will bring.  You will have not only saved money but you also guaranteed yourself a healthy alternative to the traditional holiday fare.

Take the gift-giving pressure off yourself this holiday season. Be creative.  Be thoughtful.  Be proactive. Be mindful of your emotional and financial budget. It might surprise you how many of your friends and family will gladly make the shift with you.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave one here on the intuitive counseling blog


Many blessings,
Colette Baron-Reid
Intuitive Counselor


  • sandy

    I agree with what you say. However, if you give a gift and share the cost in the purchase, such as a groupon ticket to a performance and it is explained, is it good that the receiver
    return it or turn it down? After all, we did keep the price down… We were told she did not want to reciprocate or feel obligated. That to me is strange. Yet, she accepted other folks’
    gifts. How socially awkward!

    Confusing since she accepts tickets at other times. I truly don’t get it. I know it is a matter
    of $$, but I don’t want anything. But, why accept other gifts? Why accept tickets at
    other times. Maybe, it’s because she thinks those tickets are free! NOT!

    Confrused Sandy

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