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We think there are five archetypes for modern Christmas gift giving approaches. These impact how you plan and budget for the festive season. Which are you? And what does it say about your broader approach to money and personal wealth?
From the enthusiast or Santa-fanatics (lovers of this time of year) through to the Santaphobe (those who perceive it all to be a commercial farce) and in between: the dead-liner, thinker and delegator. Which are you?
Santa-fanatic (the ‘December is my domain’ gifter)
- Final touches: This person is prepared for Christmas by now. These last few weeks are really just the final sprint. Christmas is a marathon that has been run for months.
- Organised: The Santa-fanatic purchases and collects little gift ideas and trinkets throughout the year because an object or present reminded them of a loved one, not because the big day is just around the corner and the tree looks bare.
- Presentation counts: The gift-wrapping is on point. It’s neat. The sticky tape is minimal. The bow perfectly compliments the paper.
- Meaning: The gifts themselves don’t need to be over-the-top, but they’re always relevant and heartfelt.
- No one misses out: This gifter has even gone to the trouble to get a gift organised for that weird distant uncle Brian who has been unknowingly brought along with the cousins.
- When it comes to your finances, you’re what we call an Enthusiast.
Santaphobe (the 'Christmas is commercial' non-gifter)
- Christmas cringe: This person thinks the emphasis on material goods at Christmas is wasteful and meaningless. It’s become so commercialised that all meaning has been lost and they’ve long since decided to give up the charade.
- No-gift declaration: This gifter is the one who does a quick, polite ring-around in November to announce “we’re not doing gifts this year” in the hope that their friends and family will see reason and follow suit.
- Commercial hoopla: This gifter is acutely aware of the commercial imperative to buy gifts, and they’re having none of it. They are sometimes referred to as Santaphobes despite not fearing Santa, rather they fear overt commercial puppetry.
- Source of conflict: Problem is that in any one family exists the whole gamut of giver-types: gregarious gifters, delegators, thoughtful crafty types and last-minuters. And they all like to give gifts. The other gifters will butt heads with this type of non-gifter, for they don't appreciate the simplicity and logic in removing gift-giving from the festive season.
- Click here to find out your money personality.
Delegator (the ‘I’m as surprised as you are’ non-gifter)
- Hail the other half: This category is dominated by one half of a couple who has happily relinquished the gift choosing, gift purchasing and gift wrapping to their other half (likely a ‘December is my domain’ type, see above).
- Not lazy: It's a mistake to assume that the Delegator is driven nonchalance or laziness. On the contrary, they are acutely aware of their strengths (acknowledging that gift giving is not one of them) and thus they lean on their in-house expert.
- Ignorance is bliss: They have literally no idea what’s beneath the raffia ribbon and wrapping paper. In fact, they do not even know which gift is ‘from’ them or from other family members. Their name is signed on every card, albeit not by them.
- Cash contribution: Despite having little skin in the game, this ‘non-gifter’ enjoys Christmas day. They do not feel guilt for the lack of contribution. After all they have technically contributed, by way of money (they simply don’t know how much or on what) and tasking the correct expert with the project.
- When it comes to your finances, you’re what we call a Delegator.
Dead-liner (the ‘throw money at the problem’ gifter)
- Quality counts: This gifter goes all out. The gifts are big, expensive and pack-a-punch. Not because they intended to spend loads, but because Christmas is just around the corner!
- Last minute: These gifts are purchased on the eleventh hour and seldom wrapped by the gifter. No time, you see.
- Distracted in December: This person routinely thanks the heavens for the late shopping hours in December and spends those final days leading up to Christmas, which are still technically his/her work days, from mid-December onwards coordinating gifts during work hours rather than actually working.
- Paying for presentation: This person is addicted to the panic but manages, always, to pull a large, shiny, designer rabbit out of the hat. They are totally comfortable paying for the wrapping of the rabbit, outsourced to the charity-wrappers in the shopping centre.
- January is a confront time: Christmas is all fruit cake and baubles until the credit card bills arrive in January and the shine is taken right off those merry memories.
- When it comes to your finances, you’re what we call either an Avoider to the Too Busy type.
Do-it-yourself (the 'crafty' and the 'useful’ gifter)
- Purpose: This person finds or creates gifts that are less material and more meaningful. Younger ones might get Sticky9 magnets, and older ones might make candles or puddings or find useful books and objects.
- Researchers: or cheapskates This category often includes those men, dads and grandfathers, who take time to seek out useful gifts for those near and dear. (On the other hand, they can just be cheapskates. Deciding to make crappy gifts on the premise of being thoughtful when in fact they're being frugal.)
- Relevant: If you’re getting your license, this gifter will get you something for your car. If you’re pursuing a new passion, say painting, they’ll add to it with a new paint brush kit or a one-day course.
- No to gift cards: The one characteristic that binds the crafty and the useful gifter together is their zero tolerance approach to gift cards. You’re not getting a soulless piece of plastic from this gifter, no way José.
- When it comes to your finances, you’re what we call a Conservative DIY type.