How to buy festive gifts for children, nephews, nieces, grandchildren and other little friends?

As a strategy to simplify my life, I designed a gift-buying-system with after I realized I spent a lot of time for Christmas gifts’ shopping. When I chose gifts, I felt like a little child again. Along Orchard St of Singapore, I felt excited seeing so many beautiful and lovely things. However, I had to exercise prudence not to buy things that I like but bring no/little use later and only waste our precious resources (space, $, time to organize them).

These are steps of gift-buying-system ala happygreenpanda who strives to be frugal and practices a minimalist lifestyle:

  1. Ask our little friends why must I give you a gift? All answers are acceptable, the idea is to make them think critically, instead of merely following the trend/tradition. Of course, the best answer would be because I love you.
  2. Identify toy shops or department stores that are having sales. Most do when the festive seasons (e.g. Eid al-Fitr, Christmas, Diwali) are approaching or have just ended e.g. Boxing Day.
  3. Set a budget for each child e.g. they can choose any gift up to USD 20/30/50. Lesson: financial management since early age. Hopefully, they can be frugal. This approach also enable our little friends to exercise independence and responsibility, for they are responsible for their own choice and decision.
  4. Set a time limit e.g. 30/45 minutes for them to choose a gift / a combination of things within budget. Lesson: time management. Note: if they are overwhelmed and could not make a decision within the deadline, they have no gift! Ha Ha Ha!
  5. If they love a particular toy, but it exceeds the budget or time limit, suggest them to note it down for future. This approach can train them patience and delayed gratification.
  6. If they end up not liking their own chosen gifts, in spite of advice to be grateful, suggest to them that they can donate / recycle their gifts for others. Be sustainable!

Good luck!

20151216 an idea refined while I bought USD.

20151224 I created a global shopping list for future reference and containing #pandaWantList

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