A $25 Christmas Gift Limit Means a $25 Value

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Your family limit is $20/person and you find a $20 gift for $5.  You feel guilty for only spending $5, but should you?  This post explains Christmas gift limits are intended to work.

One trap we fall into at Christmas time is having a spending limit.  Don’t get me wrong, I think spending limits are great!  But for most of us, our understanding of these limits is warped.  We begin to feel that we must spend the limit, not matter what bargain we find. Pretty soon, the  spending limit has to be raised in order to keep up with everyone’s expectations.

Most of the time a spending limit really means a value limit, or an approximate value for the gift to be purchased/given. If the limit for exchanging gifts with your extended family members is $25, it would be inappropriate to give a $100 gift that you were able to find at 75% off.  Doing so would make others who spent $25 on a $25 gift feel like they didn’t give enough. The next year they’d spend more, fully expecting to receive another $100 gift from you! Stick to the limits and keep them realistic.

The only exception to this rule might be if your family (or people you are exchanging gifts with) are all very thrifty shoppers and the understanding is to shop below retail prices.  When my husband and I exchange gifts we always set ridiculously low limits because we’d never dare to buy a gift for each other at full retail price.  It’s actually rather fun to have a $2 or $5 gift limit for Valentine’s day because it forces you to be creative.

If you find an item that meets the spending limit on a super sale you can pocket the difference.  If it makes you feel better, stick a chocolate bar in the box. Almost everyone loves chocolate!


  1. Thanks for posting. I spent $3.96 on a $25 value item and was feeling guilty I spent soo little. :)

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