Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Christmas Fulfillment Curve

In the Tightwad Gazette Amy Dacyczyn wrote about what she called the Christmas  Fulfilment curve. She first learned of this idea in a book titled Transforming Your Relationship with Money, which was written by Joe Dominguez. 

The theory behind this idea is that when we spend money on basics like food, shelter, and clothing, we receive the maximum fulfillment for the money we spend. Beyond basics however, we receive less fulfillment as the more money we spend to fulfill our needs begins to drop off. 

Amy wrote about this fulfillment curve in reference to Christmas morning. She wrote about parents who overshot the peak when it comes to gifts. She says that, “spending beyond this peak fails to add significantly to your holiday experience”.

This reminded me of a story...

The Christmas when Bailey was two years old, my sister sent her a Blues Clues kit, which was a very simple gift of a notebook, crayon, and three paw print felt cutouts. It was similar to the kit used on the television show, Blues Clues, which Bailey loved to watch. 

She was so excited about that gift that she wanted to play with it and not open any other gifts. But we were spending Christmas morning with my parents and tradition called for us to continue opening gifts.

I wish I could go back in time and change that. If I could I would have let Bailey play with that to her heart’s content. There would be time later to open the other presents she received that day.  

See she had reached the fulfillment curve with that one simple gift. Sometimes we don’t need the “WOW” factor when it comes to gift giving. Sometimes a small simple gift and being with family are the only gifts we really need.

~ Living within our Means ~
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  1. I think the Tightwad Gazette should be required reading for all students starting in High School!!! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    Sincerely Barb

    1. That is a great idea, Barb. We could give one as a wedding present too. It surprises me when I hear someone in a frugal group say that have nor heard of or read it.

      I hope you also have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. :)

  2. YOu know that is such a good philosophy. I need to remember that when getting ready for the Holidays

  3. I wish more understood this. I watch my neighbors buy EVERYTHING for their 4 year old - she needs it!!!!! LOL. She will not remember the stuff - she will remember moments. I have told them that so many times. Parents go overboard for bragging rights in my opinion.
    Shoot most kids just like the boxes!!!!

    1. Exactly, Cheryl. She won’t remember since she is four years old. And you’re right, most of them love to play with the hides. Lol

  4. I remember that part of her books. I probably overdid gifts, but many were practical, but my kids got way too much to truly appreciate it.

    1. I did the same thing, Sam. But I would probably do it all over again. LOL

  5. This was a timely post. I was feeling a little crappy about the gifts I bought for people this year, but in reality everyone but Pip is an adult and has little they need or want to "fill their cups". BTW in my realm a tin of Altoids counts as a gift as long as it is wrapped. Though I give multi gifts to everyone on my list most are extremely inexpensive and extremely utilitarian.

    1. Thank you, Anne. I love to receive utilitarian gifts. I know not every is that way, but I like it. :)


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