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Thread: Christmas with no money
07-04-2008, 07:44 PM #1Kelly TannerGuest
Christmas with no money
«·´¨*·.¸¸. Kelly. ¸¸.·*¨`·»
07-05-2008, 11:43 AM #2Stephanie DarkGuest
Christmas with no money
Here are some more thoughts:
1. Since your kids are older and Gift from Santa is no longer the
looming big issue, what about instituting a gift swap, where everyone
in the family picks one other family member and you try and find a
nice little gift under $5 or $10? This can be expanded to your larger
family if you have extended family that expects gifts.
2. Gift certificates for little signs of affection are always nice.
My kids are younger so last year I gave them gift certificates good
for an extra story at bedtime, picking a family game night date & the
game to play, a backrub, a movie night at home. I'm sure with a
little forethought you can come up with some things that will make
them happy (offering to cook their favorite meal, letting them stay
out 1 hr. past curfew, etc.).
4. Our library system has annual used book sales, where the books are
$1-$10 and even free. You can find some nice inexpensive gifts here
even in the free section.
As some others have pointed out, the true meaning of Christmas is not
what you get but to celebrate the birth of Jesus and to cherish the
love of your family.
Good luck with your decisions,
07-06-2008, 08:57 AM #3Trekgloria@aol.comGuest
Christmas with no money
Another thought, as I realize everyone needs to do how they celebrate differently... Those first years of marriage, with 2 kids, probably the leanest times, Hubby came from a "larger" family, 4 siblings with family, whereas I was an only child. But, all of his siblings gave family gifts to each other. And, they were often "nicer" items, usually for the house, but still...We reduced that eventually to each of us drawing a family name, and exchanging. However, due to finances for 2 of the siblings, we even discontinued that. One brother and sister-in-law, we continued to exchange as we were so close. While giving and getting presents were "nice" in all honesty, I did all the work, as did the other wives<GGGG>, we, the wives, pretty much "knew" what we were getting, as it was necessary to have a "list" of size, color, etc. Or just watch TV for the latest and greatest gadget...That isn't a complaint, but in a way by phrasing it exactly like it was, I think emphasizes how that sort of gift giving was done more for the "duty" rather than the true "pleasure."
Personally, I'mmuch happier to shop for presents that I know the person will truly appreciate because the gift was chosen based on what I know they like. We still exchange with the one brother and sister-in-law. I will often find something for someone and give that thethem without any expectation that they should give me something in return. One brother-in-law loves homemade popcorn, the more old fashion the better. IfI find a unique popper, or fancy popcorn, I will always buy that and give it to him on Christmas Day, however, if I don't, I don't worry that I don't have something for him.
I am glad we decided to stop exchanging. Initially, giving to so many people because they were relatives was a shock to me. I certainly wasn't the one to suggest we stop, though I mentioned it to my hubby a couple of times, but he just couldn't imagine not exchanging. But, when one of his siblings suggested he was fine with it. Ithink he didn't want to be the one to say it.If facing a financial problem with spending and giving to anyone other than children, while it might be hard, I think it still needs to be addressed.Today most families, no matter the finances would be glad to end the "adult" giving or switch to a drawing of names.
A couple of years ago, I was visiting with my niece, who is thesame age as my oldest son. We were talking about filling stockings, and she very innocently lamented, that one of her favorite things aboutChristmas as a child had been gettinga stocking. Shefixed them for her 2 children and husband, but didn't getone, as her hubby, felt a bit "overwhelmed" in attempting stuffing a stocking. I determined then and there she would have a stocking on Christmas Morning with the rest of her family. While Ihad only a few weeks, I still managed from a fewsales and flea market visitsto stuff her a stocking with truly novelty and unique items. I gave it to her husband, and said, don't tell herit came from me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hewas grateful and asked "How much?" And I justsaida number, probably half of what I'd paid. But, on ChristmasMorning when we went over to exchange, she looked atme and said, "Aunt Gloria, I know it was you!" Her husband said, she was so excited about having a stocking, it was a total surprise,and after she opened about 3 of the items, she looked at him and said; "I know Aunt Gloria did this." The following year, I'd already filled her a stocking from yard sales, flea market, and special finds, and one day I stopped to chat with her husband, and hementioned, that she'd said to him, though not to ask or tell me; "I wish Aunt Gloria would do me a stocking every year." I told him, it was alreadyaccomplished. So, just before Christmas, I gave him thestocking and the stuff. And, this year, again, it's already done for the most part.
I do find a good75 to 80 %or more,of the itemsat yard sales, flea markets, even on my journeys to England and other countries. If I see something I know someone will like, I buy it there and bring ithome. Itgoes into THE box for that person. Over the years, because my childrendelayed inproviding me with grandchildren, (Thankfully I have a granddaughter now!) I began giving gifts to the6 great nieces and nephews, the grandchildrenof the one brother and sister-in-law. While it's always a collection of items, never a particular toy they've requested, it's usually a good size bag of assorted toys. I think it's the real surprise of getting something they haven't specifically requested and have come to know they will get.
I think I'm on the "other" end again with the number of people I give to now. I don't mind, but I make sure to shop the whole year, and to buymany and often mostitems at yard sales, flea markets, and really good sales. Most of the Christmas presents are technically used, but to the person receiving new to them. As I do like to shop, but, it's the pleasure I receive from finding things, almost the thrill of the discovery, not from spending lots of money.
Gas prices getting you down? Search AOL Autos for fuel-efficient used cars.
07-06-2008, 02:09 PM #4YolondaGuest
Christmas with no money
another version – my Mom has 10 brothers and sisters and we get together
each December for the holidays. With all siblings, their kids and
grandkids, cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. there can easily be 200 people
there. We quit exchanging gifts about 6 years ago. The tradition
now is to bring one gift each for your own children so they’ll have
something to open. We usually get the kids something less than $5 for
this exchange. The other thing we do is pick a charity and let everyone
donate to it while together. There are several family members that work
in non-profit venues so we usually pick them (the year my Dad died of cancer it
was chosen to be Cancer Research). Anyway – the pot is passed and
you give what you can, be it $1 or $100. We usually get anywhere from
$500-$1000 for the charity of choice and everyone feels better for it. No
more trinkets you have to dust or items that don’t fit your tastes; just
a sense of making the world a little better for those less fortunate than we
are. And we have learned to enjoy each other’s company now instead
of dreading all the extended obligatory gift giving. There are some that
choose to get stuff for others – they aren’t discouraged from doing
so nor are the ones that can’t berated for not.
Another thought, as I realize everyone needs to do how they celebrate differently