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07-05-2008, 09:12 AM #1BethGuest
Christmas with Limited or No Funds
We have an unwritten "policy" in our home associated with Christmas.
We have three kids (one young boy, one teen girl, one teen boy) that
all know that they only get 5 things each and possibly one big thing
that the "whole family" gets as a present. Our kids know that it's
mainly about the gift of Christ being born and not so much material
things. We've also used this to teach them how to stay out of debt.
They know not to expect 5 expensive things, either.
Hubby & I usually put items in lay-away at Pawn Shops, in October,
if possible. I refuse to pay over $4-6 dollars/DVD versus paying $19-
26 at some place like Wal-Mart. Sometimes, we also lay-away video
games. Pawn shops offer a 7-day guarantee if something doesn't work,
you can exchange it for credit. We usually ask the clerk at the Pawn
shop to try everything out before we put it in lay-away to make sure
that it works-even though the guarantee is for when the lay-away
comes out. We usually wait until October to do the lay-away because
out kids change their minds about what they want, or buy some things
with their own money that they earn.
Our kids know that they aren't going to get the latest version of
their favorite video game that comes out every year just before
Christmas that costs between $25-40. We also buy DVD's/video games at
GameStop, eBay, Goodwill, Yard Sales and other thrift or consignment
stores. Most of what they get is bought this way, no matter what it
is. We also check Craigslist and we've gotten some great items on
there. Craigslist has a free section and a place for people to post
stuff for sale. The only thing that they might get new are board
games that are on sale at a fantastic price-but some of those they
get used, too. Belonging to a Freecycle group has helped us get items
for our kids for presents when we've had little or no money to buy
My daughter's birthday is Christmas Eve, so we usually have a
Homemade birthday cake, pan of brownies, or cookie cake decorated
with icing that has a dual celebration purpose-her birthday & the
birthday of Christ. A homemade cookie cake is one of her favorites.
She knows that she is going to get one present on her birthday.
Sometimes, it's a bag with 4 or 5 dollar things from the dollar
store, or we put 6 Christmas presents under the tree for her, and let
her choose one to open as her birthday present.
Our older kids are turning out to be fairly thrifty, too, because
they see that we set boundaries on what we are willing/can pay for
something. We've told them several times that even people that are
millionares have to have a budget or they'll run out of money.
Salvation Army helped hook our family up with Christmas Presents one
year when my husband lost his job not long before Christmas. Usually
you have to call them in October to find out about their programs for
Christmas. No later than early November. Our City has an annual
Christmas Giveaway for anyone who needs toys for their kids, too.
This is sponsored by Toys for Tots and other companies, as well as
donations from indiviual citizens.
HTH someone. Have a blessed day!