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Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:44 PM

How many of you are NOT buying much if any this Christmas?

Just curious, my husband and I have pretty much decided to let our families know we are passing on the "who spends the most" game this year. We do not have kids, our nieces and nephews are young adults and we think the Christmas giving has gone crazy.

I love Christmas, the decorations, the music the food but not the commercialism. We are even thinking of not traveling home this year. Wow!

Just wondered if we were alone.

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Reply How many of you are NOT buying much if any this Christmas? (Original post)
redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 OP
snooper2 Nov 2013 #1
redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #5
JimboBillyBubbaBob Nov 2013 #2
KansDem Nov 2013 #3
pnwmom Nov 2013 #47
KansDem Nov 2013 #72
1-Old-Man Nov 2013 #68
KansDem Nov 2013 #73
yesphan Nov 2013 #4
Awknid Nov 2013 #9
fredamae Nov 2013 #6
frazzled Nov 2013 #7
hatrack Nov 2013 #62
frazzled Nov 2013 #66
hatrack Nov 2013 #67
mnhtnbb Nov 2013 #8
redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #10
bemildred Nov 2013 #11
MFM008 Nov 2013 #12
Xyzse Nov 2013 #13
Myrina Nov 2013 #14
clydefrand Nov 2013 #15
cynatnite Nov 2013 #16
csziggy Nov 2013 #17
MissMillie Nov 2013 #18
sinkingfeeling Nov 2013 #19
lunatica Nov 2013 #20
redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #22
lunatica Nov 2013 #24
chillfactor Nov 2013 #21
Bombero1956 Nov 2013 #23
Holly_Hobby Nov 2013 #25
NoOneMan Nov 2013 #26
MadrasT Nov 2013 #27
SheilaT Nov 2013 #28
wendylaroux Nov 2013 #29
woodsprite Nov 2013 #30
Arugula Latte Nov 2013 #31
2naSalit Nov 2013 #32
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2013 #33
RobinA Nov 2013 #34
woodsprite Nov 2013 #42
GreenPartyVoter Nov 2013 #35
Erose999 Nov 2013 #36
woodsprite Nov 2013 #43
PasadenaTrudy Nov 2013 #37
Rex Nov 2013 #38
Earth_First Nov 2013 #39
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2013 #40
Tree-Hugger Nov 2013 #41
woodsprite Nov 2013 #46
Denninmi Nov 2013 #44
FirstLight Nov 2013 #45
ChazII Nov 2013 #48
redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #49
ChazII Nov 2013 #51
redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #52
sakabatou Nov 2013 #50
LittleBlue Nov 2013 #53
redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #54
Paper Roses Nov 2013 #55
Nictuku Nov 2013 #56
madamesilverspurs Nov 2013 #57
Siwsan Nov 2013 #58
oneshooter Nov 2013 #59
NastyRiffraff Nov 2013 #60
hatrack Nov 2013 #61
SoCalDem Nov 2013 #63
LanternWaste Nov 2013 #64
goldent Nov 2013 #65
FreeJoe Nov 2013 #69
Grateful for Hope Nov 2013 #70
IrishAyes Nov 2013 #71

Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:46 PM

1. no xmas posts till after Thanksgiving

 





Even though Lowes decided to put up tree displays weeks ago

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:48 PM

5. Okay

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:46 PM

2. Hey,

We're with you. Time to cease with the commercialism and just spend time with one another.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:48 PM

3. Our only granddaughter turns "1" next week...

So, "yeah," we'll be buying a lot in December...

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Response to KansDem (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:11 PM

47. I'm in exactly the same boat.

And can't seem to stay away from Zulily.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #47)

Wed Nov 6, 2013, 03:06 PM

72. I should have said "only grandchild"

And she's so sweet!

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Response to KansDem (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 08:54 PM

68. Why? The 1year old won't care if you don't.

Start the kid a college fund instead. Do some good rather than just feed the machine.

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Response to 1-Old-Man (Reply #68)

Wed Nov 6, 2013, 03:09 PM

73. You have a point...

I believe Thanksgiving this year will be a bigger event than Xmas.

But you know, maybe I'll give her a US savings bond! Maybe a $200 one. By the time she's ready to use it, it will have matured and then some!

Thanks for the suggestion!

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:48 PM

4. Nope, not alone.

The idea of buying gifts for people that I only see one day a year and vice versa is no longer valid for me.

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Response to yesphan (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:55 PM

9. My beef is when

You don't even see them once a year, maybe once every few years, you mail their gift and they don't even thank you for it. No note, no thanks, nothing. You don't even know if they actually got it. Ive had it with those in my life like that. they are not getting any more!

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:53 PM

6. You are not alone

and what I do get? I only shop locally made hand crafted items to support my community and NOT the corps.

I don't submit myself to the "heart tugging" Christmas commercials that try to guilt us out to spend money we don't have on crap we don't need that breaks after 15 minutes of use and ends up in landfills.

The Commercialization of Christmas doesn't reflect the reality of the New American Family trying to survive American Politicians "gift" of Austerity.
Our kids are strapped too--so we give them cash to help them out.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:53 PM

7. I'm not

But then, we're Jewish and don't celebrate Christmas.*

We do have to get some Thanksgivukkah gifts, however. How crazy is that?


* We always shopped for Christmas gifts for my husband's small staff, so that was fun; and sometimes a few small things for some close friends. But none of that obtains anymore. So we don't really have any Christmas gifts to give to anyone. We do give the two maintenance guys in our building a nice check for the holidays each year. And since Hanukkah is so freaky early this year, I'll have time to do some Christmas cookie baking for our neighbors.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:54 PM

62. I don't usually post commercials, but Chrismahanukwanzakah comes only once a year

&list=RD027hzFEy6KfHw

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Response to hatrack (Reply #62)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 08:47 PM

66. Very cool! I don't remember ever seeing that commercial /nt

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Response to frazzled (Reply #66)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 08:48 PM

67. The animated version was better - a multi-armed Santa playing the sitar sitting on a mushroom

Very mashed-up.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:53 PM

8. We have pretty much stopped doing Christmas gifts.

We do put up a small artificial tree. I like the Christmas music, although I haven't been
to church in over a decade. Our boys are grown. One refuses to do Christmas at all;
the other is in Berlin this year. Last year I gave him a series subscription to our
local repertory theater company. This year I bought him stuff for his year in Berlin
on his Fulbright.

Hubby and I are in Europe right now on a 3 week trip where we'll end up spending a week in Berlin with our son. No Christmas presents for us!

We do still send Christmas cards--and I've been writing a letter to go with it for over 20 years--so we'll still do that.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:56 PM

10. I love your pic of Molly! I miss her so much!

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:59 PM

11. Aye. It just benefits the corporations anyway. nt

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:00 PM

12. me to

about 50 dolla each.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:02 PM

13. I buy for my niece and nephews

That is important to me. They are very young ages 7, 4 and 2...

I am sorry, but I can't see not giving them a toy and clothes set each.

When they grow older, fine... but for now, no, I can't see cutting back.

It is not as if I buy them an expensive toy. Though I do splurge a bit on the clothing since I want to see them wearing what I get them.

Also, please... No more... I give... I am not going to participate in any more Christmas threads. Not till a week or so AFTER Thanksgiving.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:03 PM

14. Probably not ....

.... I just brought a paper-ream box full of dry & canned goods to my local pantry and will do so again before the holidays, and I usually give 3 or 4 gifts to Toys for Tots, will probably increase that this year too.

My recently-graduated-from-college insufferable bitch of a daughter can go ... well ... you know. Aside from her I have no other family so don't even bother with Christmas cards.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:07 PM

15. I was just getting ready to post this thread myself:

I know, Christmas has increasingly meant spending, spending, spending. How many of your 'gifts' have you really liked?
How many have you 'exchanged'? How many of you actually spend any time with family discussing the 'birth' of Christ?
Assuming you have a job, are going to still send a lot of 'stuff' this year? A lot of large families have for years drawn numbers (names) for the only one they will send a gift to. This sounds a bit more reasonable. Considering all the companies that rely on 'black Friday', and, only pay many of their employees minimum wage, and probably no benefits need to find out that there will only be RED Fridays from now on.

This year, figure out how much you would spend, then put that amount in a retirement fund, or, a college fund if that applies. Or, if you were going to put it all on plastic, then each month put away the amount you would normally have to pay each month.

Happy New Year you'all!

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:09 PM

16. If that's the game your family plays...YUCK!

We try to get meaningful gifts...those thing that mean something. Sometimes it's a spendy electronic. Sometimes it's a restored old photo. It just depends.

We don't do what's expensive.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:11 PM

17. We haven't since 2001

After Shrub told the country to get over 9-11 by going out and spending money, my family stopped giving presents to each other. Sometimes we'll see something we want to give to another family member, but that is not Christmas spending, it happens throughout the year.

The same year or maybe the year after, my husband's family decided to draw names for presents. That way each adult only buys one present and receives on present. Lots of years it's been gift certificates when I couldn't get out to shop and my husband wouldn't.

Children are excluded, but we've never given very much to the kids. Usually it's a few books - every single kid in either family always has too many toys and they don't need more. Kids over about 12 get money or gift certificates on the theory they are old enough to select what they really want.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:12 PM

18. I haven't purchased much in years

Not since my son was small.

I'll make some stuff though--two afghans (one for my sis and one for my guy) and probably some peanut butter fudge for the folks at work.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:12 PM

19. Haven't done the Christmas present stuff in more than a decade.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:14 PM

20. I stopped doing all holidays and birthdays in the early 1990s

You'll be amazed how liberating it is.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:25 PM

22. How did your family react?

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #22)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:28 PM

24. They all thought for a minute and said "OK"

Just like that. Everyone was happy with it.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:22 PM

21. I do not buy anything for Christmas....

I design and make all-occasion cards and I give boxes of them for gifts....

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:28 PM

23. I did my shopping last January

Got alot of bargains and I can sit at home and watch the crazies on Black Friday. Shame on K-Mart opening at 6 AM on Thanksgiving and depriving their employees of a holiday at home. I know it's asking a bit much but people should stay away from any stores open on this holiday. By prior agreement I concentrate on the kids and leave out the adults.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:28 PM

25. Not buying this year, or any other year :)

We also don't have kids, and our families tend to forget about us and are seldom invited to spend holidays with them, even though they all live within 20 minutes of us. Believe me, it doesn't hurt my feelings one bit, if you knew our families, you'd understand

We never, ever spend money on ourselves for Xmas. We each take $20 and go to the casino on Xmas day and eat at the buffet. Our winnings are donated to various causes. If we lose, we still donate, but that's only happened once. Xmas day is nearly always profitable on the penny slots for us, for some reason. Maybe the casino management feels generous on Xmas.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:32 PM

26. Me.

 

Last thing I need is more shit. More junk. More pollution in my name and the name of my children. More exploitation to satisfy some emotional defect of mine. Fuck that.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:39 PM

27. I haven't done Christmas in about 15 years.

I see no reason to suddenly start up again this year.

The only thing I like about Christmas is twinkly lights everywhere.

I hate the commercialism, the crowds, the music, the compulsory gift-giving.

Blech.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:41 PM

28. I've already done most of my Christmas shopping.

 

Picked up things on various little trips I've taken this year. I'm finishing up a set of embroidered pillowcases for a great-niece. I often do home made things, which I enjoy enormously.

I have often been shocked at how much some people spend for Christmas, or when I read things about how much the "average" or "typical" family spends. Growing up relatively poor as one of six children, there were never a lot of gifts at Christmas, and I carried over a sense of frugality well into old age. I only buy what I can afford to buy. I only give to those I want to give to.

It does help a great deal that I don't have a TV so I see very few of the commercials that celebrate buying things.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:48 PM

29. I have 2 grown kids

So money for them,and presents for the grandkids. Stuff they need[clothes],and 1 toy each.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:49 PM

30. This year has been kind of an expensive year.

I told my hubby this year he can put a bow on the house fixes from Sandy (he let me pick out some upgrades/updates that we paid for, but most was covered by insurance). I want to put a down payment on a decent used car for our daughter who will need one to get back/forth to her internships the last 2 yrs of college. For our youngest (13), we'll probably get him some insanely challenging model to put together as his "big" gift and sign him up for a week of Engineering camp for this summer. Plus, he is definitely getting a couple of outfits since he's outgrown (height-wise) almost everything in his closet.

For myself, I would like a CPU that has sound again - either get the old one fixed (don't know if that's possible - sound was on the motherboard) or get a new CPU (and a year-long membership to NEWO online workout).

For hubby, I'm getting a few Halloween props (which are on huge sales now ) and a beachy gift - a new larger umbrella and a "sand-proof" beach blanket.

For our family get together, we draw a name. The budget is $100 and can be spent any way the 'receiver' wishes (on one thing, on chotskies, etc., One year my SIL asked that we gift her with a prepaid Visa or grocery card). I prefer to make a list of many things for my secret santa, then they can pick/choose, and I'm surprised. Unlike some of my relatives who only put down $100 worth of stuff - they know exactly what they'll be getting.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:49 PM

31. I just want to say, for those who do shop for the holidays,

 

if you can, please support your local small businesses.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:50 PM

32. I don't do xmas at all.

I celebrate the solstice by myself and the rest of the winter I just enjoy the outdoors.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:52 PM

33. What we buy, and our budget has always been very small,

 

are some cookies for the people who maintain the property\ Guard the property, and the storage guys. Oh and 25 bucks each for my Father in law and SIL, in an easy to use Amazon card. I try hard to keep all this to under 100.

And yes, I forgot some cash and card for the mailman.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:12 PM

34. As Festive As

all these non-Christmases sound, I like Christmas. I get together with family and friends, bake cookies, and enjoy buying and wrapping gifts for people I love. I've never returned a gift, because it is a gift. Nor do I regift. I buy within my budget, so it doesn't seem like an imposition. I try to be a creative gift giver, sometimes it works and sometimes not. I feel kinda bad for people who can't find a way to enjoy the spirit of the holidays, however they chose to do it.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #34)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:51 PM

42. I love the holidays and was kinda disappointed when hubby's family went to

name drawing. Although it really is much less expensive, I enjoyed shopping for just the right thing for everyone. I started early and put a budget on each person of $25 ($50 for the munchkins because we'd buy them an outfit plus a toy). I still do this with my brother and SIL, since all that's left of my side of the family is just the two of us.

When asked what I want for xmas, I've always, ALWAYS given them a ton of ideas (all different price ranges) and said surprise me! IMO knowing exactly what you're going to receive makes the whole xmas experience less fun and special.

Between my hubby and I (different work groups), we have about 35 people we 'gift' at work. We make a nice donation to a local homeless shelter or dining room in their names, print out cards. We bake and box a dozen or so cookies or spiced pretzels for each person. At times I've made ornaments for each one. It takes us a good long weekend to get everything ready for work, then we don Santa hats and drop everyone's gifts off at their desks the day before xmas break.

We do Xmas with our church friends too. We start by providing dinner for all the choir members that have to stay at church for all the services. Dinner (a crockpot of homemade soup or chili, bread, fruit/salad) between the 3 services, and exchange presents (something usable plus rumballs!) with our closest friends after all the services are done.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:16 PM

35. Going to be thin this year.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:17 PM

36. My group of friends does a gift exchange where we buy one gift of about $20 and theres a game that


goes with it. I think they call it "white elephant"?

And I always buy some books for my nieces, who are 8 and 9 this year.

Thats really all the gift giving I'll do.

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Response to Erose999 (Reply #36)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:55 PM

43. "Dirty bingo" is fun when used in lieu of a plain "white elephant"

All the presents are collected on a table, then you play "Bingo". When someone hits Bingo, they can take a present. When you play long enough that all the presents are gone and someone hits bingo, you can trade presents with anyone else.

One group I was with did an "ornament exchange" the same way, with a limit of $10.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:18 PM

37. Haven't bought gifts in years

It's just me and the boyfriend, very low key.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:19 PM

38. I spend very little on Christmas every year.

 

Don't have the money really.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:22 PM

39. My wife's side of the family is decidedly 'home/handmade' this year...

Anything given must be personally made by hand.

Granted there will be some spending involved to accomplish this, but gone is the absurdness of Best Buy, Orvis and Williams & Sonoma.

I'm really looking forwars to it!

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:24 PM

40. You are not alone...

Christmas was fine when the kids were small..
Haven't even had a tree for 20 years or more.

I send cards to a very few close friends, that's about it.
And stick a wreath or something on the front door, which seems to be expected around here.

We don't do "mandatory" observations very well, but I do share scrumptious baked goodies from time to time with friends in the area.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:46 PM

41. I love Christmas

I have kids, ages 7 and 2, and Christmas is for them. I don't exchange gifts with anyone else other than my parents. We couldn't afford gifts for them last year. This year, I am going to try to crochet a couple of ornaments. I am just learning to crochet, but I can make some simple things. If I can save up enough for new yarn, I will attempt to make blankets for my kids.

We'll be relying on donations for presents for my kids this year. I think my son's school has a program. I also believe the local food pantry helps with presents for children.

Back in the day when we had money, I would buy handmade gifts from Etsy and also from a toy website that has natural toys (many made in the USA) for my kids.

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Response to Tree-Hugger (Reply #41)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:06 PM

46. Another idea for a handmade gift -- treasure boxes!

My SIL made them for everyone one year. She would find interesting titled hardback books (something about 2" thick) at the Goodwill or yard sales. Then she'd glue/decoupage a few of the pages together to the lid. Next she'd cut a square hole with an exacto knife (leaving about 1" around all 4 edges) in all the rest of the pages to make a hidden compartment. Next, she'd glue all those pages together so the compartment didn't 'fall apart' and lined the hidden compartment with some pretty scrap material.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:01 PM

44. I never know what to get for family.

Last year I gave one a Surface tablet PC, but I have no clue what to do this year. There is always the gift card route. Elderly relatives are another challenge because they have everything they need.

I love giving, but it can be frustrating when you don't know what to give.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:02 PM

45. I don't know HOW we are gonna do C-mas ...

single mom w/two kids 10 & 11... trying to figure out if I can score some extra work or make some crafts to sell ...meanwhile we are still late on the electric bill and rent will suck me dry again for the rest of the month. Thank god for food stamps or we don't eat...

I wish spending money was a *choice* about consumerism...mostly it's me trying to keep things as close to 'normal' for my kids...

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:17 PM

48. Giving gift card to grocery stores

where the individual shops, or the pet store for their pet. Times are tough so I am trying to be practical.

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Response to ChazII (Reply #48)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:29 PM

49. I like this idea!

My sister in law gives us a list, no gift less than 75 dollars she has 4 kids in their 20s. 50 dollar cards to a grocery or pet store would be great. What we are concerned with is no raises for a long time in education, i would like off the hook entirely. It sounds selfish but self preservation is key.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #49)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:33 PM

51. Self preservation is the key :)

They worked great for my friends who have kids in college and on their own for the first time. I don't know how much the adult child liked it but the parents knew that their son or daughter had grocery money. The pet lovers last year used their card for grooming and pet supplies.

It does get some folks off the hook. You are more generous as I gave $25.

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Response to ChazII (Reply #51)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:35 PM

52. We have three dogs a pet coupon would be wonderful!

Two rescue doxies and one from a breeder friend, they are our babies!

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:31 PM

50. I'll buy one package, but that goes to my girlfriend

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:36 PM

53. I'm only buying one major gift this year

 

Unfortunately it happens to be a car

So yeah my Christmas budget took a near-fatal blow and I haven't even shopped for anyone else lol

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #53)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:38 PM

54. Self preservation is key!

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:42 PM

55. Checks for my grandchildren...That's it.

Christmas was always a big deal in my family. During the last few years, we came to the conclusion that the whole thing, except for the kids was a big waste.

This year, it will be checks again plus any little goodies I may pick up long the way.

I don't feel guilty at all but I do miss the fun of little ones ripping open gifts.
the grandchildren are teenagers now, the check for some new clothes means much more.

If I live long enough, they will realize that a family get-together is more fun than a bunch of stuff they will never use.

I hope I'm not a Scrooge but things are so different now.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:43 PM

56. We can't afford a tree, probably not much for a meal either.

.... presents? that is history. It is hand-to-mouth these days, with nothing extra.

Fortunately, I don't have kids. Last year I gave an old mini-laptop (reinstalled the OS) for my young nephew. (he probably wishes it was an iPad, oh well. Not in my budget)

Not sure what I can come up with this year, but I'll figure out something.

We do have a roof, food in the fridge, electric bills paid, a decent job, so lots to be thankful for.

It is just very very tight these days, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:01 PM

57. Thrifty.

Several years ago we all agreed that we weren't in need of extravagences. So, we instituted a $5 cap, with gifts coming from local thrift shops. The only "rule" - the gift has to make the recipient smile. And it's understood that the smile is the real gift, so the item itself can be re-donated to again benefit the organization running the thrift shop. Also, any generous inclination is not limited to the holidays; we all support food banks year round, either through donations or volunteering. My niece and nephews grew up serving meals at homeless shelters.

This year I'll be supporting a couple of local thrift shops; they are operated by organizations that help local families, and there are plenty of families in need following our Colorado floods. When I go visit my family, the "gifts" I've purchased here will likely be donated to similar thrift shops in their area. They get more business to help more people, but we get to keep the smiles.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:03 PM

58. I give my niece and nephew 'money' cards

They are all young, and trying to make a good start in life. Other than that, we have stopped giving each other gifts. A good meal, some good drinks, and just being together with family to laugh, talk and reminisce makes for a perfect holiday.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:04 PM

59. Don't BUY gifts, I build them.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:09 PM

60. I don't celebrate the religious aspect of Christmas

But I do like the decorations, the food, and the music. (Strangely for an atheist, I prefer the religious music, not for the lyrics but for the music itself. I think Handel's Messiah is sublime.)

As for gifts, I'm knitting and crocheting small gifts for close friends, using my vast yarn stash!

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:48 PM

61. No, but then we never do . . . a few presents for nieces, Christmas dinner . .. .

Otherwise, we just do charitable donations, and you'd be amazed how de-stressing that makes the season.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 08:05 PM

63. Since our boys have been grown ups, we quit the gift thing

They do not live near us, and until recently non had kids, so it seemed silly for us to all exchange gift cards.. We all talked about it and decided to quit the whole silliness since NONE of us needed or wanted anything.

When I am motivated, I bake their special favorites & send them, but sometimes I am not motivated to do it.. I send them stuff occasionally during the year if I run across something perfect and something I want to give them..for no special reason.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 08:08 PM

64. Homemade personalized calendars for my extended family.

 

For the past seven or eight years, I've been making calendars with embedded picture on the specific date of the aunt, uncle, mother, brother etc. whose birthday, anniversary, etc. falls on that date. E.g., on Oct 01, my sister's anniversary date, the date block is filled with a nice picture of her and her husband's wedding portrait, on the Halloween date block, there's a random picture of one of the youngster's in an adorable costume, etc.

Last year, all pictures were the"LOL-- I can't believe he actually posed like that!" variety. This year, all the pictures are formal head shots. Some years back, all the pictures were simply caricature portraits (I learned how to do those when I worked at Six Flags during my high school summers).

The first year I did it, it was because I had so little money-- just enough for a few dozen bound, low quality print jobs. But it's been such a big hit in the family since then; and the one year I bought gifts for everyone, I got a few "that's really nice, but we really miss your calendars!"

Lots and lots of calendar templates all over the net to grab and download, and with printer prices as they are, it's a really swell way to please one's family with a personalized at a very (very!) low cost.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 08:16 PM

65. I'll be buying about the same

I've really looked forward to and enjoyed Christmas the last few years. I went through some difficult times around Christmas a few years back, and Christmas reminds me how those problems have resolved themselves and/or I've learned to accept life.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 09:00 PM

69. I plan on doing our usual

Small gifts for the nieces and nephews. A little something for the parents. A token gift for my wife. Lots of stuff for the kids.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 09:04 PM

70. I have 7 grandkids and I am glad I have a credit card I can use

to buy them each a small gift.

I have always bought for my kids and their spouses also (I have four), but this year I think I will not do this. I am going to ask them to please not buy for me either.

Times are tough because what used to be a good salary is no longer.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 09:18 PM

71. I've really enjoyed reading this thread

because I like to hope people are happy much of the time, especially during the holidays. It's been years since I had family around, so any chance I have to celebrate with others is welcome - beforehand. On Christmas Day itself, I prefer to be alone in peace and quiet. It's also the one day I unplug electronically. No outside news to spoil the day. I tend to spend a little extra on the 2 dogs but not much; they eat well all year anyway and as for toys, they prefer a frisbee or ball game to any of the expensive chew toys I've bought for them in the past. They really love small fallen tree branches to chew on. Today at the store I bought them kong toys to hide treats in; when I presented these wonderful items to Molly and Brigid, they just looked at me as if to say we're not hungry, fish out those treats yourself if you want one. Then they curled up and went to sleep. Guess I've been feeding them enough.

That ball game almost every day is what they really look forward to. It requires 3 balls and keeps me busy; the JR wants one thrown for her to chase, and the mini-beagle/pom mix likes to snatch one if she can and play keep away. The third is for me, because Brigid wont drop the ball she's retrieved unless I throw another one first. When it's finally time to quit, I try real hard to outsmart her by faking a throw so I can gather up all 3 balls and put them away - but it's not easy. She's on to most of my tricks, and by then all three balls are slippery with dog slobber so she can bump my hand and make me drop them....

That's my idea of fun. Nobody starts arguing politics or criticizes a single thing. It's our Peace Day in honor of the Prince of Peace.

Oh, and I sing one of my favorite Christmas songs for Molly and Brigid. "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"

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