This mom’s ‘gift guide’ for when she’s broke is actually kind of genius

Mom shares broke gift guide on TikTok

There’s no denying times have been tough for a lot of families the last couple years, between the surging cost of childcare, record inflation, and the highest interest rates we’ve seen in decades amid an ongoing affordable housing crisis. Now, with the holidays fast approaching, if you’re feeling the pinch in your bank account, this mom has a message you’re going to want to hear.

Sam, a mom and TikToker who is “making lemonade out of life,” went viral for her “broke mom gift guide,” and it’s easy to see why.

“Let me share with you my holiday gift guide for the broke moms,” she says in the video, which has amassed tens of thousands of likes, comments, and shares.

She continues, “The guide is that there is no guide. I have no suggestions because I’m just honest with people. Last year, we were so broke we couldn’t afford gifts for anybody, so I told people that. I said, ‘We can’t afford gifts this year for Christmas.’ And you’d be surprised how many people were like, ‘Ugh, great, because I don’t want to buy you a gift either.'”

Honestly? Relatable.

She adds, “In my opinion, the only people you need to buy gifts for are people you’re responsible for—so, your children. Even then, I’ve learned that kids don’t need a bunch of sh*t, and anything they do want or need, you can probably thrift.”

This is very real, and good advice. For kids, the magic of the holidays isn’t in the gifts—it’s in the memories. Some thrift store gifts won’t be what they’ll remember when they’re older—but if you spend time with them baking cookies together, singing carols, cuddling on the couch and watching Christmas movies as a family—those will be the holiday memories they carry forward.

Sam continues, “With the state of our economy, I think you’d be surprised how many people are in your same boat, who also don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on people for the holidays. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with just telling people the truth. And if, for some reason, you don’t want to tell people that you can’t afford gifts this year, obviously you can thrift. You can make gifts.”

She points out that telling friends or relatives that you can’t afford gifts and then showing up with a homemade cookie plate or a personalized craft tells them that even though you didn’t have money to spend, you still made the effort out of love. And isn’t that what the holidays are really about?