I grew up in a home where my mother skimped on everything
She refused to spend a dime, even when it was necessary. I rarely ever got any clothing anywhere near fashionable, and I was teased mercilessly for my Sears Outlet crap. She'll sacrifice quality
to save a few dollars. I hate that. The thing is, my parents COULD afford it, they were just cheap.
In my personal philosophy, Extreme Thrift is a thinly disguised form of Greed
. One is no better than the other.
I'd rather go into debt (and have) and get my kids everything they NEED and at least SOME of the things they want (of course, not everything they want, but at least some of the things they want, some of the time) and I have the same policy when it comes to gift giving. They will look back and say, "I never went without. I also at times got things I wanted a great deal." I know I did go without and it effected me terribly.
"Give until it hurts" is what I believe in. When I buy (or occasionally bake for gifts) people gifts, I buy quality, or use quality ingredients. I remember things they have said, so I can get the RIGHT gift, and I try to make the gift special. I NEVER EVER re-gift, I think its tacky. I'll go to 10 stores to get someone exactly what I think is the perfect gift for them. And, although I don't usually go overboard no one has ever EVER called me cheap. People rarely if ever return what I get them, or have that "Oh, shit." look on their face when they open something I have gotten them. (I do ALWAYS include the return gift receipt, for a purchased gift, in case the person already has or doesn't like what I got them. Obviously, you can't do that with baked and cooked gifts, but I keep a list of my friends and family's allergies and likes and dislikes so I won't bake them something they can't eat or don't like.)
Yes, it is "the thought that counts." But, giving a gift NO thought, no time or no output of energy doesn't
I understand the economy sucks, we've certainly felt it. But, that doesn't mean one shouldn't try and put as much into a gift for someone one loves as possible. So, yeah, if I skimped on a gift for someone, and could have
afforded more, I certainly would feel guilty. When things are tight, I do the best I can with what I have, and still manage to go all out for the people I love. They deserve it.
I can't take it with me, so I'll spend what I think is a good amount and a good amount of time and effort for the people I care about.