“Gallup’s November update of Americans’ … holiday spending intentions finds U.S. adults planning to spend $830 on Christmas gifts this year, on average.”*
That number sounds high until you realize how many people you have on your holiday list. Let’s look at a typical family and see how it adds up. Because we love everything Vermont, we are going to restrict ourselves to Vermont-made gifts.
Our typical family is a married couple, Tom and Jill, with a high school aged son, Tommy, and an elementary school aged daughter, Elizabeth. Tom’s mother lives in Florida and will not be joining the family for the holidays, so a gift must be shipped to her. Jill’s parents live nearby and visit the family for the holidays. Plus Jill wants to thank her children’s teachers with a small gift also. Jill is doing the shopping and has eight people on her list.
Tom loves the outdoors, especially during their trips to Vermont. He’s mentioned that he would love to tramp through the woods in winter if he only had some snowshoes. If that was a hint, Jill thinks it’s a great idea. Dion Snowshoes are made right in Vermont and can be purchased through retailers or online. Because the snowshoes are modular to allow for just the right choice of frame, binding and cleat, Jill was happy to get advice from the company on what to purchase for Tom. Tom’s snowshoes cost $240.
Son Tommy has announced that now that he has his license, he plans on heading to Stratton as often as possible this winter to snowboard with friends. Jill decides it makes sense to get him a season pass as a holiday gift. Season passes at Stratton Mountain for age 7-17 cost $349 (purchased at the pre-season sale price).
Daughter Elizabeth is only 11 and is caught in that age between child and teen. Jill decides on something really special — a four foot tall teddy bear from Vermont Teddy Bear at $100.
Jill’s parents, Grandma and Grandpa, will be spending a few days during the holidays. Grandma is easy to buy for. Jill picks up the latest mystery by a favorite Vermont author, Archer Mayor at Northshire Bookstore for $26. Grandpa never seems quite ready for the winter cold, so Jill gets him a SKIDA Alpine Hat, fully-lined with fleece to keep him good and warm. The hat is a great buy at $36. Tom’s mother in Florida will not be visiting over the holidays. Jill sends her a real favorite, a box of holiday truffles from Lake Champlain Chocolates for $40.
Deciding on holiday gifts for the kids’ teachers is always a difficult decision. This year Jill chooses to make a charitable gift in the name of each teacher. For Tommy’s music teacher, Jill makes a donation in her name to the Vermont Symphony for $20. The symphony even sends a card to the teacher. For Elizabeth’s teacher, Jill chooses a donation to Circus Smirkus of $20. Running into her last summer at this youth circus was such a surprise. She said at the time that she tries to go every year. What could be more appropriate?!
Totaling up Jill’s purchases comes to $831, just a tiny bit over the average of $830. And this doesn’t even include the office swap, a gift for the dog walker, and the stocking stuffers!
* Americans Plan on Spending a Lot More This Christmas, Lydia Saad, Gallup.com