Invest time rather than money
Cyndi Cook Travis, who lives with her husband outside of Chicago, says she has tamed her holiday gift list not by paring it, but by changing the types of gifts she gives. Instead of giving the usual bottle of wine or gift card to neighbors, she's handed out homemade treats.
She's not the only one. Lots of Americans are selecting the homemade route over hit-or-miss buying made in busy, overcrowded stores. From handcrafted chocolates to knitted scarves, personalizing a gift can make it much more special to the recipient.