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redstatebluegirl

(12,265 posts)
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:44 PM Nov 2013

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.

73 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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How many of you are NOT buying much if any this Christmas? (Original Post) redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 OP
no xmas posts till after Thanksgiving snooper2 Nov 2013 #1
Okay redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #5
Hey, JimboBillyBubbaBob Nov 2013 #2
Our only granddaughter turns "1" next week... KansDem Nov 2013 #3
I'm in exactly the same boat. pnwmom Nov 2013 #47
I should have said "only grandchild" KansDem Nov 2013 #72
Why? The 1year old won't care if you don't. 1-Old-Man Nov 2013 #68
You have a point... KansDem Nov 2013 #73
Nope, not alone. yesphan Nov 2013 #4
My beef is when Awknid Nov 2013 #9
You are not alone fredamae Nov 2013 #6
I'm not frazzled Nov 2013 #7
I don't usually post commercials, but Chrismahanukwanzakah comes only once a year hatrack Nov 2013 #62
Very cool! I don't remember ever seeing that commercial /nt frazzled Nov 2013 #66
The animated version was better - a multi-armed Santa playing the sitar sitting on a mushroom hatrack Nov 2013 #67
We have pretty much stopped doing Christmas gifts. mnhtnbb Nov 2013 #8
I love your pic of Molly! I miss her so much! redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #10
Aye. It just benefits the corporations anyway. nt bemildred Nov 2013 #11
me to MFM008 Nov 2013 #12
I buy for my niece and nephews Xyzse Nov 2013 #13
Probably not .... Myrina Nov 2013 #14
I was just getting ready to post this thread myself: clydefrand Nov 2013 #15
If that's the game your family plays...YUCK! cynatnite Nov 2013 #16
We haven't since 2001 csziggy Nov 2013 #17
I haven't purchased much in years MissMillie Nov 2013 #18
Haven't done the Christmas present stuff in more than a decade. sinkingfeeling Nov 2013 #19
I stopped doing all holidays and birthdays in the early 1990s lunatica Nov 2013 #20
How did your family react? redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #22
They all thought for a minute and said "OK" lunatica Nov 2013 #24
I do not buy anything for Christmas.... chillfactor Nov 2013 #21
I did my shopping last January Bombero1956 Nov 2013 #23
Not buying this year, or any other year :) Holly_Hobby Nov 2013 #25
Me. NoOneMan Nov 2013 #26
I haven't done Christmas in about 15 years. MadrasT Nov 2013 #27
I've already done most of my Christmas shopping. SheilaT Nov 2013 #28
I have 2 grown kids wendylaroux Nov 2013 #29
This year has been kind of an expensive year. woodsprite Nov 2013 #30
I just want to say, for those who do shop for the holidays, Arugula Latte Nov 2013 #31
I don't do xmas at all. 2naSalit Nov 2013 #32
What we buy, and our budget has always been very small, nadinbrzezinski Nov 2013 #33
As Festive As RobinA Nov 2013 #34
I love the holidays and was kinda disappointed when hubby's family went to woodsprite Nov 2013 #42
Going to be thin this year. GreenPartyVoter Nov 2013 #35
My group of friends does a gift exchange where we buy one gift of about $20 and theres a game that Erose999 Nov 2013 #36
"Dirty bingo" is fun when used in lieu of a plain "white elephant" woodsprite Nov 2013 #43
Haven't bought gifts in years PasadenaTrudy Nov 2013 #37
I spend very little on Christmas every year. Rex Nov 2013 #38
My wife's side of the family is decidedly 'home/handmade' this year... Earth_First Nov 2013 #39
You are not alone... dixiegrrrrl Nov 2013 #40
I love Christmas Tree-Hugger Nov 2013 #41
Another idea for a handmade gift -- treasure boxes! woodsprite Nov 2013 #46
I never know what to get for family. Denninmi Nov 2013 #44
I don't know HOW we are gonna do C-mas ... FirstLight Nov 2013 #45
Giving gift card to grocery stores ChazII Nov 2013 #48
I like this idea! redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #49
Self preservation is the key :) ChazII Nov 2013 #51
We have three dogs a pet coupon would be wonderful! redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #52
I'll buy one package, but that goes to my girlfriend sakabatou Nov 2013 #50
I'm only buying one major gift this year LittleBlue Nov 2013 #53
Self preservation is key! redstatebluegirl Nov 2013 #54
Checks for my grandchildren...That's it. Paper Roses Nov 2013 #55
We can't afford a tree, probably not much for a meal either. Nictuku Nov 2013 #56
Thrifty. madamesilverspurs Nov 2013 #57
I give my niece and nephew 'money' cards Siwsan Nov 2013 #58
Don't BUY gifts, I build them. oneshooter Nov 2013 #59
I don't celebrate the religious aspect of Christmas NastyRiffraff Nov 2013 #60
No, but then we never do . . . a few presents for nieces, Christmas dinner . .. . hatrack Nov 2013 #61
Since our boys have been grown ups, we quit the gift thing SoCalDem Nov 2013 #63
Homemade personalized calendars for my extended family. LanternWaste Nov 2013 #64
I'll be buying about the same goldent Nov 2013 #65
I plan on doing our usual FreeJoe Nov 2013 #69
I have 7 grandkids and I am glad I have a credit card I can use Grateful for Hope Nov 2013 #70
I've really enjoyed reading this thread IrishAyes Nov 2013 #71

1-Old-Man

(2,667 posts)
68. Why? The 1year old won't care if you don't.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 08:54 PM
Nov 2013

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

KansDem

(28,498 posts)
73. You have a point...
Wed Nov 6, 2013, 03:09 PM
Nov 2013

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!

yesphan

(1,589 posts)
4. Nope, not alone.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:48 PM
Nov 2013

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

Awknid

(381 posts)
9. My beef is when
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:55 PM
Nov 2013

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!

fredamae

(4,458 posts)
6. You are not alone
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:53 PM
Nov 2013

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.

frazzled

(18,402 posts)
7. I'm not
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:53 PM
Nov 2013

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.

hatrack

(59,686 posts)
62. I don't usually post commercials, but Chrismahanukwanzakah comes only once a year
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:54 PM
Nov 2013
&list=RD027hzFEy6KfHw

hatrack

(59,686 posts)
67. The animated version was better - a multi-armed Santa playing the sitar sitting on a mushroom
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 08:48 PM
Nov 2013
Very mashed-up.

mnhtnbb

(31,515 posts)
8. We have pretty much stopped doing Christmas gifts.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:53 PM
Nov 2013

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.

Xyzse

(8,217 posts)
13. I buy for my niece and nephews
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:02 PM
Nov 2013

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.

Myrina

(12,296 posts)
14. Probably not ....
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:03 PM
Nov 2013

.... 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.

clydefrand

(4,325 posts)
15. I was just getting ready to post this thread myself:
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:07 PM
Nov 2013

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!

cynatnite

(31,011 posts)
16. If that's the game your family plays...YUCK!
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:09 PM
Nov 2013

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.

csziggy

(34,149 posts)
17. We haven't since 2001
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:11 PM
Nov 2013

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.

MissMillie

(38,687 posts)
18. I haven't purchased much in years
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:12 PM
Nov 2013

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.

chillfactor

(7,607 posts)
21. I do not buy anything for Christmas....
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:22 PM
Nov 2013

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

Bombero1956

(3,539 posts)
23. I did my shopping last January
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:28 PM
Nov 2013

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.

Holly_Hobby

(3,033 posts)
25. Not buying this year, or any other year :)
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:28 PM
Nov 2013

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.

 

NoOneMan

(4,795 posts)
26. Me.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:32 PM
Nov 2013

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.

MadrasT

(7,237 posts)
27. I haven't done Christmas in about 15 years.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:39 PM
Nov 2013

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.

 

SheilaT

(23,156 posts)
28. I've already done most of my Christmas shopping.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:41 PM
Nov 2013

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.

wendylaroux

(2,925 posts)
29. I have 2 grown kids
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:48 PM
Nov 2013

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

woodsprite

(11,969 posts)
30. This year has been kind of an expensive year.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:49 PM
Nov 2013

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.

 

Arugula Latte

(50,566 posts)
31. I just want to say, for those who do shop for the holidays,
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:49 PM
Nov 2013

if you can, please support your local small businesses.

2naSalit

(87,774 posts)
32. I don't do xmas at all.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:50 PM
Nov 2013

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

 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
33. What we buy, and our budget has always been very small,
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:52 PM
Nov 2013

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.

RobinA

(9,958 posts)
34. As Festive As
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:12 PM
Nov 2013

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.

woodsprite

(11,969 posts)
42. I love the holidays and was kinda disappointed when hubby's family went to
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:51 PM
Nov 2013

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.

Erose999

(5,624 posts)
36. My group of friends does a gift exchange where we buy one gift of about $20 and theres a game that
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:17 PM
Nov 2013

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.

woodsprite

(11,969 posts)
43. "Dirty bingo" is fun when used in lieu of a plain "white elephant"
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:55 PM
Nov 2013

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.

Earth_First

(14,910 posts)
39. My wife's side of the family is decidedly 'home/handmade' this year...
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:22 PM
Nov 2013

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!

dixiegrrrrl

(60,010 posts)
40. You are not alone...
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:24 PM
Nov 2013

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.

Tree-Hugger

(3,374 posts)
41. I love Christmas
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:46 PM
Nov 2013

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.

woodsprite

(11,969 posts)
46. Another idea for a handmade gift -- treasure boxes!
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:06 PM
Nov 2013

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.

Denninmi

(6,581 posts)
44. I never know what to get for family.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:01 PM
Nov 2013

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.

FirstLight

(13,464 posts)
45. I don't know HOW we are gonna do C-mas ...
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:02 PM
Nov 2013

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...

ChazII

(6,215 posts)
48. Giving gift card to grocery stores
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:17 PM
Nov 2013

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

redstatebluegirl

(12,265 posts)
49. I like this idea!
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:29 PM
Nov 2013

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.

ChazII

(6,215 posts)
51. Self preservation is the key :)
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:33 PM
Nov 2013

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.

redstatebluegirl

(12,265 posts)
52. We have three dogs a pet coupon would be wonderful!
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:35 PM
Nov 2013

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

 

LittleBlue

(10,362 posts)
53. I'm only buying one major gift this year
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:36 PM
Nov 2013

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

Paper Roses

(7,486 posts)
55. Checks for my grandchildren...That's it.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:42 PM
Nov 2013

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.

Nictuku

(3,665 posts)
56. We can't afford a tree, probably not much for a meal either.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:43 PM
Nov 2013

.... 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.

madamesilverspurs

(15,835 posts)
57. Thrifty.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:01 PM
Nov 2013

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.

Siwsan

(26,487 posts)
58. I give my niece and nephew 'money' cards
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:03 PM
Nov 2013

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.

NastyRiffraff

(12,448 posts)
60. I don't celebrate the religious aspect of Christmas
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:09 PM
Nov 2013

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!

hatrack

(59,686 posts)
61. No, but then we never do . . . a few presents for nieces, Christmas dinner . .. .
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 07:48 PM
Nov 2013

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

SoCalDem

(103,856 posts)
63. Since our boys have been grown ups, we quit the gift thing
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 08:05 PM
Nov 2013

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.

 

LanternWaste

(37,748 posts)
64. Homemade personalized calendars for my extended family.
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 08:08 PM
Nov 2013

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.

goldent

(1,582 posts)
65. I'll be buying about the same
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 08:16 PM
Nov 2013

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.

FreeJoe

(1,039 posts)
69. I plan on doing our usual
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 09:00 PM
Nov 2013

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.

Grateful for Hope

(39,320 posts)
70. I have 7 grandkids and I am glad I have a credit card I can use
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 09:04 PM
Nov 2013

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.

IrishAyes

(6,151 posts)
71. I've really enjoyed reading this thread
Tue Nov 5, 2013, 09:18 PM
Nov 2013

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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