christmas budgeting- Christmas-Yule-hanukkah-Kwanzaa-Winter Solstice

> Don't know that it will work for you, but I make donations to charity > in each person's name and get a token gift at the dollar tree or

ame, budgeting, chris, christmas, dollar, don, donations, family, gif, gift, hat, idea, make, perso, person, ree, token, tree, wonderful, work, persons, charity

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  1. #1
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    > Don't know that it will work for you, but I make donations to charity

    > in each person's name and get a token gift at the dollar tree or
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  2. #2
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    this is a wonderful idea. How does your family like it?
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  3. #3
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    The first year I got some odd looks...but since then everyone has
    seemed to really like it. To the point that some of them have taken
    up contributing on their own.

    Lisa G.
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  4. #4
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    That's the way people always are with changes, eh? Takes them a year or two to
    adjust to the new "tradition". A good reminder for us to be paticient with
    people reactions when they get something they are not expecting!

    ~~Sweetie~~
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  5. #5
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    We were exchanging gifts with my neighbor for a while but I called it quit
    when she begun to spending more and more money on my child's gift. I
    couldn't afford to compete anylonger. Now we don't even exchange cards
    anymore Thats an extreme example

    Julia
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  6. #6
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    What our family starting doing is giving each adult in the family gift cards
    in the amount of $30 each. That sets a limit, but gives the other person the
    ability to get more for their money with after Christmas sales. The kids in
    the family are a whole other story though.....LOL
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  7. #7
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    lisa, I would love to scale bck and do try but some can afford more for the
    presents than others. I would like to set a $5 min and have ea a home md
    item-give something of yourself. But it does not happen.
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  8. #8
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    I am trying to do more and more handmade gifts. I realize that they do not
    "cost" as much as store bought things, but I can give a "bigger" gift if I make
    it myself, then what I can afford, if I am buying it.... for example... I can
    make ponchos and sweaters -- very nice ones. I cannot afford to spend $45.00
    (or more) on something comparable (I'm not talking the wal-mart variety) for
    each person on my list -- but I have a large store of yarn, and can create
    something for them that is personal, and very pretty and useable. There are a
    few people on my list that i know will actually turn their noses up and make a
    big, public stink about how they were cheated out of a "real" gift, when they
    get something handmade, so I'll buy them something smaller. (most people expect
    something handmade from me now, tho). There are others (GRANDFATHERS) that I
    have NO idea what to make for them, so we set a low limit of about $15 - $20
    each. (oh, any suggestions for handmade stuff for a
    Grandpa??)

    ok, that's it for me... lol I look forward to seeing everyone else's responses
    to this, and would LOVE some more ideas!
    ~~Sweetie~~
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  9. #9
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    Here's what we did.

    My DH's family always spends ridiculous amounts of $ at Christmas. I don't mean
    to sound ungrateful, but it is usually TONS of cheap stuff that obviously wasn't
    bought with any care or thought. (For instance, my MIL knows what perfume I
    wear and that I wear it exclusively, we have talked about it numerous times but
    every time that she has given me perfume it has NEVER been what she knows I
    wear. BTW, what I wear is not expensive-JOVAN musk)

    When we had our first child, we decided that we couldn't continue to buy for
    everyone in the family (there are 7 of them) so we proposed exchanging names. I
    didn't think that my MIL would go for it, but she did. Christmas came and the
    whole family did exactly what they do every year, only they added the extra
    presents for the name exchange on top of it all.

    That was the final straw. We told them that we were no longer able to buy gifts
    for adults (DH and I don't even exchange) We buy for the children in our lives.
    Add in all of the extra food, higher electricity bills, decorations, travel
    expenses, Christmas cards, postage, film, photo printing, etc. and we still
    can't afford it but we don't see a way to trim down much more.

    Kim
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  10. #10
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    I'm sure your grandfather would appreciate a lovely scrap book filled with
    pictures of the family, socks
    and handkerchiefs, and what about a new set of suspenders or a belt. How
    about a hat, gloves, house slippers, or even a new pipe. There are so many ways
    to go when you are talking about the elderly. Just take a good long look at
    their personality and that should be your starting point.
    Just ask yourself "what do they like best" or "what have you ever heard them
    talking about" and that should help. If you have the money, what about a trip
    somewhere or even new fishing pole?? See, I wasn't even trying and I came up
    with a few ideas.
    Also, you can even give little tickets to grand-dad that say, "a free pass to
    the movies" or things like that. Now who would pass up a free movie and hot
    popcorn!!!! Best wishes on your search for the best gift and let us hear what
    you can up with for your gift giving. Thanks!
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  11. #11
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    For the past 4 years, I've worked a seasonal job to 'raise Christmas money'.
    It's an absolutely WONDERFUL feeling to pay CASH for gifts!! I have a
    13 yo daughter and I work while she's at school. My first priority is my
    family, so I make it a point to only work when they're working/or at school.

    We also draw names for adults at our extended family gatherings. The only
    people who are excluded from that are the young kids and our parents and
    grandparents; we ALL get them something! I've also encountered those family
    members who gave to everyone and not just the person they drew. Oh, well.
    It's their budget and I certainly don't feel bad that I followed the
    agreed-on-in-advance rules.

    As far as the men go... I just ask them. Several of my men like magazine
    subscriptions, or they needed a golf accessory, or has a hobby that I can
    buy for. The guys also enjoy the hot chocolate or coffee mixes in a jar and
    homemade jams. My grandfather loves our local pecans with the shells
    broken, but not completely shelled.

    I hope this gives some ideas.
    Donna
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  12. #12
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    Years ago, maybe 15-20 years, we had a similar problem and one of my
    sisters had a creative solution which is fun, and that we still do
    today.

    Back when four of my sisters were seriously building and completing
    their families (I, like another sister and our brother, don't have
    children) gift exchange became a very serious problem. There were alot
    of issues, (I've already deleted a very long explaination - your
    welcome! LOL!) but just briefly, not the least of the problems was the
    differences in situations between the sisters financially (the married
    sisters had more to spend on Christmas than the single ones - our
    brother lives across the country.) Also, single sisters would have to
    buy anywhere between two to four gifts per sister (for husband, and
    any kids) while, at the same time, she has less money, while the
    married sister would give one gift back to her from her whole family.

    It became such an accounting problem with bad feelings, that like Kim,
    we also decided to quit exchanging gifts with (now) extended family.
    Our parents, of course got gifts, but only the sisters who were Moms
    would give outside her own family, and then, only would give to the
    nieces and nephews, knowing her child(ren) would be on that same
    receiving end.

    But, that got really boring for the adults. So, one of my sisters
    brought home an idea. It was The Grab Bag Gift Exchange Game, its for
    the grown-ups only. We've been doing it for many years now, and its
    alot of fun.

    What we do is, everyone participating buys one gift. It can be
    anything, but is supposed to be for anyone - men and women alike.
    Then, after the kids open their gifts, us grown-ups put all the grab
    bag gifts in the center while we're in a circle around them. We
    choose who goes first, 2nd, etc., by pulling numbers from a deck of
    playing cards. The first person pulls a gift out of the center and
    opens it. The second person pulls a gift from the center, opens it,
    and has a choice between keeping the gift or swapping it for the one
    the first person pulled. The third person has a choice between the
    first three gifts, and so on. As you can see, you never really know
    what you'll end up with until its over. Its really fun.

    There are only a few rules, but all are important.

    1) Set a dollar amount - its currently about $20 or $30 in our family.
    2) No bad feelings rule!! This is crucial. No fighting over a gift -
    if you really want a particular gift, its only twenty bucks. Got out
    and buy one!
    3) Its for grown-ups, remember? Each person participating must buy
    their own gift. No one is allowed to play "Mom" and buy someone elses
    Christmas gift for them. Go out and buy your own.
    4) This one is still being debated, but one problem we have is
    sometimes the only gift someone really wants is the one he or she
    purchased. The others don't interest that person. This is common
    enough that we're thinking of putting in a "you can't choose your own
    gift" rule, because its less fun of a game if alot of people choose
    the gift they brought themselves. The element of surprise is gone.
    If you do make this rule, add a rule that you have to save the receipt
    (maybe tape a gift receipt to the inside top of the box, like one of
    my sisters does with all of her gifts).

    Sorry for the length, but I hope this idea helps someone else avoid
    some of the arguements that happened in our family so long ago.

    Loraine
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  13. #13
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    We used to do this at work and it was great fun. We did have a "you can't choose your own gift" rule.

    One way to help avoid bad feelings is to not open the gifts until everyone has chosen.
    That way, everyone is trying to guess what's in the packages, and deciding whether to keep the one in their hand or take one from someone else. And no one feels that no one else likes what they bought, because no one knows what it is until the end.

    Laura
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  14. #14
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    sounds like a cute idea. sort of like mini gift baskets.

    that reminds me...when i was at dollar tree the other day, i saw some huge oversize soup mugs with dogs and cats on them. it occurred to me that one could either buy some dog biscuits, or make some (recipes are all over the net) to fill the mugs with. package with cellophane and a bow. it would make a cute little gift for a dog lover.

    lisa p
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