Christmas Dilemma: One expensive gift or multiple inexpensive gifts
Photo by: pmarkham
I went Christmas shopping yesterday for my wife. I had a list of items she had pointed out to me over the past few months or so that I had written down along with a few ideas of my own. She loves photography and I wanted to get her something for her camera. A year or so ago, I gave her a 70-300mm Canon image stabilizing lens. For those of you not into photography, its a really nice telephoto lens. The lens really upped the anti on the quality of her pictures. But being a telephoto lens, it only made a difference when she was taking pictures of something relatively far away. Canon now makes a 28mm-135mm image stabilizing lens that I wanted to get for her. This would give her high quality lenses for the full focal range.
I headed over to Best Buy to check on the recent price: $584.99…Whoa Nelly! We didn’t have a specific spending limit this year and we had the Christmas money to pay for it, but it just seemed high. I knew if I purchased this lens for her, it would be the only thing I would buy. I really wanted to get her that lens, but that would mean I wouldn’t be able to purchase all of the other little things she wanted that I also thought she would enjoy.
Hence the dilemma: Purchase one big gift for her or get her the lots of the little things she wanted? It was a tough decision for me. I walked around Best Buy for a good hour trying to decide what to do. What would you have done?
In the end, I walked out of Best Buy empty handed. I decided to not buy the lens for a few reasons:
I wanted to research the lens online and see if Best Buy’s price was reasonable or not. Turns out it wasn’t even close. Amazon has the same lens for $409.95, more than $175.00 less. Even at $409.95, that’s still a lot. Always research prices online before buying something relatively expensive.
I didn’t think she would get $585 dollars of value out of the lens over the one she has. Her pictures are already incredibly good, and while the lens would have added to that, I really didn’t think it would add enough to justify the $585.00 cost.
I wanted to enjoy the experience of watching her open multiple gifts. Maybe I am being a little selfish, but I really enjoy watching her open her gifts. I like seeing the surprise on her face and the expectation while she is opening them. If I purchased only the lens for her, I would only get to see that once.
She purchased multiple gifts for me. I didn’t ask for anything big this year. Ok, that’s not true, I did ask for a BMW 135i. But I know it won’t fit in any of the boxes she has under the tree for me and it’s way beyond our Christmas fund. I didn’t want to trade gifts with her and me only having one to give her and her having multiples to give me. That just seemed to take away from the joy of giving. We open our Christmas gifts to each other after our children go to bed on Christmas eve. This is our special Christmas time together and I didn’t want to steal from that with a single gift.
I still needed to purchase gifts to her from our children. If you are fairly new here on Gather Little by Little, I have 6 children (5 boys and a girl). If I purchased the lens from me, I still needed to purchase 6 additional gifts from our children for her. I would have been well over $600.00 for her gifts in total. This would put me way beyond what I had planned and honestly would blow our Christmas fund and bite into our December budget.
While I still having some shopping remaining, as I began purchasing the other smaller gifts on her list yesterday, I started to feel better and better about my decision. I actually enjoyed running around to the various places and even coming up with things she won’t expect me to get for her.
It really emphasized to me that the spirit of giving isn’t always about the size or amount of the gift, it’s about the thought and care that goes into the gifts given coupled with the joy of actually giving the gifts. Acts 20:35 – “… remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
I can’t wait until Christmas Eve to give her the gifts I picked out for her. The best part is she’ll have multiple items to open and enjoy and I’ll have spent far less than $585.00.
Have you been faced with a similar situation? What did you do? How do you go about matching up the amounts you and your spouse spend for each other? Do you sent limits?