3 Decisions on Gifting Between Roommates

Our guest blogger Katie shares her roommate gifting experiences.

There’s always stress around the holiday season when it comes to getting the perfect gift for someone, and gifting between roommates could be an awkward experience if you  don’t talk to your roommate first!  You don’t necessarily have to exchange gifts with your roommate, but it’s a good opportunity to show your roommate some appreciation. And there’s nothing worse than when your roommate goes out and gets you a gift and you are up empty-handed. No one wants to be in that situation! So, consider having a talk about exchanging gifts and deciding:

  1. Are you exchanging gifts this year? It may seem obvious to give a gift to someone you are living with, but some people won’t want to exchange gifts. If you’re not giving gifts this year, maybe suggest other things that you can do to celebrate the season. Sharing a nice dinner together or a movie night will work just as well!
  2. Price Cap: If you decide to gift, suggest setting a price cap on gifts that works best for your budget (example: $25, $50). Then be sure to stick to the cap or at least somewhere near it.
  3. Timing: When are you exchanging the gifts? Make a night of it if you want, but just be sure to know when you both plan on exchanging them. This way you don’t have to come up with an awkward excuse as to why you don’t have their gift yet.

By having this conversations with your roommate(s) you’ll be able to set expectations and have a better idea of what to shop for. Personally, I’ve tried to do this the last two years with the holidays, and it’s worked out well. Last year, my roommate and I exchanged gifts after the holidays. This year my roommate and I are still trying to decide what works best. We might just have a wine night instead of actually exchanging gifts.  Anyway, the holiday season is a good opportunity to form a closer bond with the people you are living with.

Ed. comment: Also check Alissa’s advice on roommate gifts and Elyse’s take on the topic.

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