Around Thanksgiving, we started asking people how they planned to align their spending with their personal priorities during the holiday season. And now here we are: Thanksgiving and Winter Solstice have come and gone, the second night of Hanukkah is upon us, tomorrow is Christmas eve, and the New Year is right around the corner. We’re right in the thick of the holiday season and we’ve got answers. Read the responses below to see where people are putting their cash in these festive months:


Zelie (26)

Security, Family

Trying to buy meaningful but well priced gifts for loved ones. Low on money, so need to not spend too much.


Duncan (47)

Family, Community, Social Good

We’re only buying presents for close family, and really trying to make sure folks get what they really care about.  Also, I am traveling to see my mom and dad in the UK, who care much more about visits that presents. We’re also figuring out how to spend quality time with friends — which will be focused on good food and great wine.  Lastly, our kids have a portion of their allowance that goes to causes they care about, and they often use this time of year to think about where that will be spent.


Bri (33)

Family, Adventure, Luxury

Holidays, for me, are about spending quality time with family and friends. I prioritize experiences over things, so ski trips with friends, hosting parties for family and enjoying festive local events will alway be where I put my dollars over spending on elaborate gifts for people.  Oh, and holiday flavored coffee like peppermint mocha! $$$


Anonymous Male (35) 

Adventure, Family

We’re focusing on experiences as a family rather than stuff this year. Trying to give and receive very few gifts in general (to minimize consumption culture).


Becky (25)

Family, Free Time

Not celebrating Christmas has always given me a good excuse to continue to be my typical frugal self during the holidays, but I do always buy Hanukkah presents for my immediate family members (mom, dad, brother). This year I get between Christmas and New Year’s off from work, so my holiday present to myself is going to be some free time and relaxation. If anything, I might spend less than usual during the holidays because free time = family time = free food, which is basically the only thing I spend money on anyways.


Anonymous Female (25)

Family, Community

Most of my money this month is going towards gifts for family and friends as well as my own airfare to visit my mom.


Julie (63)

Family, Community, Social Good

My holiday must-dos are my traditions — mainly sharing love and getting presents for my children, close friends, direct reports at work, and wider family. We always get a live christmas tree but search for a “rescue” one that maybe tilts a little or has some bald patches, because those still make our house feel festive but often cost $30 less. I make a contribution to MossRehab Social Services Fund every year and make time to take part in my traditional dinner out with high school friends.


Alex (25)

Adventure, Family

I always travel over the holidays and use my money to have fun on a family vacation.