By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Adlen Robinson: A guideline for holiday gift giving
Christmas gifts

Now that Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, it’s time to turn our attention to all things red, green and sparkly. 

Have you decorated your house yet? We decorated early this year. In my mind, the sooner the better. 

Some people I know dread decorating and even opt for “less” now that their children are grown and out of the house. Not me. I haul out everything and play Christmas music beginning Thanksgiving Day and don’t stop until Dec. 25 is completely over. 

What about gift giving? Are you the type of person who “shops until you drop” spending lots of money on as many gifts as you can afford — or possibly more than you can afford? 

Did you know a lot of people dread giving gifts? I recently read a study that said 69 percent of the people polled said they would spend more time with their family during the holidays if they didn’t have to give gifts. 

Coming from a fairly big family with a lot of little ones to buy for, I well remember when the children were young and my list to buy for others was quite long. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to buy all of those gifts, it was just hard for us to afford it. 

I was so happy when the adults decided everybody should draw names. It was truly a financial relief. If you have a big family and a lot of nieces, nephews and cousins you have to buy gifts for, I strongly recommend you bring up this idea. After all, family gatherings should be all about getting together and not about getting more stuff. 

For the gifts you are going to purchase, make sure you put some thought into it. There is nothing worse than spending your hard-earned money on something the recipient will never use and doesn’t want. The best gift givers are the ones who choose gifts for others based on the recipients’ interests and hobbies. 

If you know someone is a sports enthusiast, items with their favorite team’s logo are well received. 

Gardeners always appreciate new gloves, planting tools and seeds for planting in the spring. 

Cooks love all things having to do with their craft or a gift card to a specialty kitchen store. People who love to eat out appreciate restaurant gift cards. 

When it comes to buying gifts for children, consider asking them to prioritize three or four things they want most. This is helpful because hopefully you can get them what they truly want, or you can let them know that a dirt bike or expensive computer is too expensive for Santa this year.

For older children and teenagers, perhaps give them a monetary limit. I know that can take some of the element of surprise out of it, but it’s better than going into debt and having disappointed children on Christmas morning. 

Don’t forget to plan now to include children on giving to the numerous charitable organizations we have in our county. There are families you can adopt, terrific organizations you can donate toys and clothes to and many other things. Even young children love picking out toys for families in need.

And don’t forget the elderly. Nothing brightens the day of an elderly person more than when children stop by to sing Christmas carols. We have so many assisted living facilities in our county to choose from. Don’t forget to bring some cookies. 

Does your family have a special way you share gifts with each other? What are some of your traditions you practice in the coming month? 

Please email me. I love hearing from all of you. 

South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at