Kris Kringle: The Gift that Keeps on Costing You

By Katherine Houston

Ah Christmas, the season of giving, festivities and quality time with your loved ones. The list of those you're buying for seems to grow year on year even though you've tried to cull your friends – from immediate family, to partner's family, to best friends, work wives, best friends' kids, nieces, nephews, godchildren, your boss, your partner, yourself. Do you have any children? Your children.

Then there's Kris Kringle. Which, despite its (gratefully) smaller budget, is somehow the most difficult one of all to get right. What if you have multiple Kris Kringle gifts to buy? You might have a work Kris Kringle, a Kris Kringle with the girls, the guys, your sports team, your family (now there's an idea). It can all really add up.

Nonetheless, don't be that guy that buys a box of Favourites (Christmas edition, obviously) en route. Dust off last year's box of Favourites and re-gift that one. We're just kidding. But you don't need to think too far outside the box to hit the Kris Kringle budget and provide a gift someone actually wants. Besides, we've already done the legwork for you here, you just need to read on.

Under a tenner

Hmm the sub-tenner gift. Where do you go from here? If it's work, try and suss out what their interests are if you don't already know. Retail stores are your friends and the websites will be teaming with gift ideas covering various price ranges, so head to the $10 and below section and browse away. Things like desk calendars or a quirky mug will be suitable for both men and women in your workplace.

A good tip is to look for the buy one, get one half price deals, or two for a certain amount, as these can save you some money. Chances are, with all those Kris Kringle gifts you're off to buy, you can hit two birds with one stone – ticking two people off your list and hitting the budget. Savvy spending? We've got you.

$20 and under

I would argue this is one of the more challenging budgets for Kris Kringle. It's not enough money for a great gift ($50 and over), but slightly more than a tenner, so there's no excuse for it to be average. Considering you've got a little more to work with, you can't really be excused for getting a terrible gift, because as fun as a unicorn backpack might be, are they really going to want that? Wine can be a good option, just make sure the receiver drinks alcohol. You could consider buying a box of six and giving them individually as gifts, as the cost per bottle will be less than buying individually.

If you go down the joke gift path, make sure you don't make any big faux pas, which will be up for your own discretion. Does your boss want a 2019 sloth calendar? Does Janine from accounting want that colour changing cat mug? (Probably).

$50 and over

If your budget is $50 and over, we're guessing you know this person pretty well, or at least you should. Suss out from their friends or partner what they'd actually like or is on their list and see if you can make it happen. Don't go for the last-minute wine and chocolates (unless they're into their wine, in which case find a bottle they've been hoping to get into for a while); you can do better. Items like their favourite perfume that's running out, ladies or gents will thank you for that one, a leather card wallet for men or a piece of jewellery for women should get you over the line.

So, consider your options. Stopping to have a quick think can save you in both the short and long term. Your bank account will thank you for it.