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Shop Locally for White Elephant Holiday Gifts For Family

Even if you aren’t gifting locally, you can still shop locally for holiday gifts.

Every year, I head back to Minnesota to spend Christmas with my family. I have four sisters, two of whom are married. And there are five grandkids in the mix. As you can imagine, the prospect of buying gifts for everyone is rather overwhelming and not really in anyone’s budget.

Furthermore, most of us travel home by airplane, so we are already spending a good bit of money on travel expenses, and we have to transport gifts to and from Minnesota to open on Christmas morning.

It didn’t take long for us to all agree that a massive gift exchange was not in the cards for us.

Over the last few years, we’ve tried some alternative gifting strategies. We’ve shared a nice dinner instead of gifts. We did a white elephant gift exchange, and the gifts had to be a board game and a book. We’ve drawn names to each purchase a gift for one person. They’ve all been alright, but none of them really stuck for a variety of reasons.

This year, however, we decided to do another white elephant gift exchange but require that all the gifts be purchased from local small businesses and cost less than $25. It’s no surprise that this suggestion from my brother-in-law to support local businesses is right up my alley!

I really like guardrails around gifting. When options are endless, I think it can feel paralyzing because there are just too many choices available. (Hello toothpaste aisle, right? Do we really need that many toothpaste options from which to choose?)

With the guidelines established, I could narrow down my gift choices to things I could buy in my community and that would work well for guys and girls. Within 24 hours, I had gift ideas locked in, and my holiday shopping stress dropped ten-fold.

I won’t share yet what I decided to buy. A couple of my sisters read the blog, so that would spoil the white elephant exchange for them. But I’ve finished shopping for my boys, and only have a few things left to decide and execute before holiday shopping is complete.

Do you exchange gifts with your adult siblings? If so, how do you make it work to keep it reasonable and affordable?

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