Sensible gifts make for better wish lists

By Beth Schumacher

Christmas is just about three weeks away. If your family is anything like mine, it’s more than likely they’ve asked for a detailed holiday wish list from you.

Before I came to college, my list consisted of things I didn’t necessarily need. I wanted them, yes, but my life wasn’t going to spiral out of control if I didn’t have them.

Now that I’m living on my own, I’ve noticed how odd it is to live without several things I once had. It was then that my holiday wish list started to evolve.

Although you can still ask for fun things, think about what you are in dire need of or what would cut your expenditures in half.

Gift cards

Think about your monthly spending habits. Where is it that you spend the majority of your money? Asking for a gift card from Walmart or Hy-Vee may seem silly now, but when it comes time to pay for your January grocery bill, you’ll be thankful. Gas gift cards are always helpful, too.

Household appliances

Although it’s not an Apple iPad, a coffee maker is almost just as good. You’ll save money from not having to take your daily trip to Starbucks. Ask for one you can set a timer to—waking up to that fresh coffee smell always puts me in a good mood.

Little odds and ends

I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to the store with a purpose, and everything but the item I originally went for ends up in my shopping cart. I know this year I really need a drying rack. Even though my mother’s eyebrow raised when she read that on my list, I know it’s an item I’ll be excited to use. Think about what will benefit your living situation as of right now. Is it an easy-grip can opener? Put it on the list.

Winter survival

We’ve been fortunate enough to have mild weather lately. I’m skeptical of this being the case all season, though. Get prepared for the winter months to come; ask for extra mittens, hats, scarves, chapstick, long underwear and water-repellent spray for your shoes.


You don’t necessarily need to spend the money you receive for Christmas on yourself. Collect for a charitable cause to help those less fortunate. You can get creative and ask for time. By asking people for their time, you can have them volunteer with you at a place in need.

There you have it. The possibilities for your wish list are endless, so really think about it when you sit down to write one this year.