Christmas presents

Sal - posted on 11/18/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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do you feel pressure to buy presents that are more expensive than you are really comfortable for you kids or family just because of what friends and family are doing?, does the advertising make you feel like spending less is being mean? or is pester power from the kids sending you into a financial panic this year?....this year my little ones are getting a dolls house which has essentially cost me nothing (my dad made it and already had most of the materials so i only need to get a few bits of furniture), and i am feeling a little slack about it and i know a friend gave a toy to one of her freinds as a hand me down when she was having a cean out before moving and the other woman said it was in such great condition she was going to keep it for a christmas gift, and was repremanded my her mum for it.....how do you deal with the chrostmas guilt, still love buying for everyone or has the MONEY killed christmas....(yes i know it is about reigion but lets face it the presents are a big issue)

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Tara - posted on 12/02/2010

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We have had a less capitalistic approach to the season for awhile now. We buy things second hand, we make things, we bake things, we cook things, we write stories, do songs, scrap books etc. for family and friends.
We put no pressure on anyone else to do otherwise. Both of our parents still go nutty and get the kids what they see in Walmart etc. but we tend to get one thing from Santa that is shiny/new/etc. but most other things are gently used or made. And like someone else said, if its something that will get a lot of use and is going to be well cared for I will go for it. My 10 year old wants her own DSI so we're looking second hand first. Lots of deals still out there with warranty included for at least a third less.. And last night the hubby and the kids made tons of homemade fudge in several tasty varieties to give to gramma and grandpa, poppa and grandma and the two librarians who are like Aunties to my girls. Plus we made some spiced holiday coffee, layered in pretty dollar store jars. All very nice, homemade easy to do stuff. The kids will also do some art on small canvases, frame them and give them as gifts to family.
My 8 year old is writing a special song for her dad.
My 10 year old is baking something for me.
My 5 year old already made my gift last weekend it's a surprise.
My birthday is the 21st, so we all try to separate the two holidays by having a party for me on the weekend before Christmas and my mom just takes me shopping so that I won't spend money on myself, lol
All in all, it's not just about shopping within our means, it's also about shopping responsibly for the environment and the pocket book. It's about not buying into the capitalistic, materialistic spin on the holiday. It's about setting my own standards of what Christmas means.

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Christmas gift shopping is very easy in our household.
we write a list down of the people we know we need to buy for... and a little list of people we would LIKE to buy for it we can afford it.

children in the family, our parents are in the must list.
grandparents, brothers, sisters are on the "like to" list. and friends are not on any list. its a family thing for us.

between brothers and sisters (as we are all adults), if you don't have kids, we buy for you. if you have kids, your kids are priority. because the gift thing is huge for little ones. adults have had their time.

anyways. Once we have our list, we budget what we can afford on each person. we spend the same ammount on everyone. Unless someone we know has a great need for something, we will bless them and get it for them for Christmas if we can.

If you stick to a budget, you wont have a problem.
If you go by feelings, youll either go on a very unnecessary guilt trip, or, spend WAY too much and be in financial trouble till july the next yr. not worth it.

In our families, presents really are NOT a big issue at all. Its the thought that counts. one yr we tried doing "pick a name out of a hat" to cut costs between adults whilst still buying for all the kids. It worked pretty well.

this year we are buying only for our parents, the young kids in the family that we will actually see on the day, and our grandparents to say thankyou for babysitting our child so much this yr.

a few budgeting tips for those who cant spend much but still desire greatly to give... homemade gifts. bake cookies and put them in fancy little wrappings or boxes, knit scarves if you like knitting, stuff like that.
or, throughout the yr, buy gifts as you go. If you see something that makes you go "WOW such and such would love that and its not too expensive!" layby it, or purchase it that week, put it aside for Christmas. Come Christmas you may find yourself only needing one or two gifts...and may be able to buy something a little nicer for each person when you space it out like that.

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2010

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I buy cheap stuff for the adults and spend like $20 each on my nieces, nephews and 8 year old brother. Damian and I get each other stuff we need because we don't really care. I have no Christmas guilt, this is the first year I've bought anything as it's the first year we've had a kid. First year I've sent Christmas cards too. My son will get whatever he gets from us, I'm not the kind of parent that makes a big deal about presents. We get what we want all year anyway if we want it and usually I buy Logan new toys and stuff every now and then so who cares. Christmas is more about the food and tree and Christmas light hunting and catching up with family to me.

[deleted account]

Tara would you post or PM me with the recipe for fudge I was considering making fudge and I want a good tried and tested recipe :-) TIA

Hannah - posted on 12/02/2010

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We usually get the kids one santa gift and then a few other small gifts. We budge $100/child. We also have to pick for my husbands side of the family and that is 6 extra people because we pick for each person in the family. It kills us!!! So this year I promised that every adult we picked would only get a picture with a frame and my parents were totally cool with that and I'm sure the people we picked will be too. We usually get my MIL something too but just can't afford to any more with 4 kids. So I was going to get her a family pic with a nice frame. Well she tells me on Thanksgiving all she wants is a Walmart gift card. Too effin bad, lady, you're getting a fucking picture and MAYBE a frame!

Jessica - posted on 12/02/2010

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lol Morgan, we have been the same with our daughter. She will be 7 months at Christmas and we went overboard, but she's our first! lol Normally though, I like to do alot of made gifts (i'm very artsy and love to bake!) It blew my mind when I saw an ad that was " only $552.00 for a new laptop!! Get everyone in the family one! " Like seriously? Are you fucking kidding me? lol Next we will see ads for giving houses as gifts, they all ready do for cars!

Morgan - posted on 12/02/2010

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Its my first xmas with my daughter shes 10 months old, we went a little far with her gifts :) but you live and you learn right?

Sharon - posted on 12/02/2010

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No I do not feel pressure to buy presents that are beyond my means.

I only feel pressure to make sure my kids get the dream toys they want.

Tah - posted on 12/02/2010

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i buy all year long, so i don't get in a panic..my oldest son and my neice will both be 14 on christmas day. I only made 5.50 cents when i had him and i promise you his gifts went from the tree and spilled out to my mother's porch door...i felt i had to go beyond because everyone said they would get jipped..then i got a clue..lol. Now he gets a few things wrapped in b-day paper and the rest in christmas paper. We have a party or i let him pick something to do with is friends which i pay for and that's that. Everyone gets a big gift..like this year, my son gets a stereo for his room...my daughter gets her own portable princess dvd player (her other broke) and my 4 year old gets his first 2 wheel bike and scooter. the rest are clothes and like little 10 dollar dolls.etc. My 4 year old's b-day is dec 29th(see the time crunch..lol) but i have learned my lesson..so he gets his party on the 22nd with maybe 2 gifts from us and the rest he gets on christmas. I never feel pressured by what others are doing, i do what i can and what i want and i figure others do the same.....



also, i love the outlets for clothes and sneakers...i keep them knee deep in shell-tops adidas, converse and jordans that cost betwen $10-$30 dollars instead of $50-$130...

Leah - posted on 12/02/2010

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The advertising makes me actually dread black friday,any other day is fine,but leading up to black friday is horror. My hubby had went to a store to get a few things at 12am on black friday and he saw people literally fighting over $2 dvds. I was waiting up for him and he came home and told me it wasn't even worth it. I seriously can't believe how people can act like that,it's ridiculous. And when he was there it was so packed someone kept bumping into his hip with a cart without so much as an "excuse me". I don't even bother shopping on that day.

Leah - posted on 12/02/2010

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My hubby likes video games(as much as I do!) but his family won't buy them for him,so I do,hehe and I got him his fav game,a REALLY nice folding ottoman/foot stool and a poster from the first Rocky movie that says "His whole life was a million to one shot".



It's what he asked for and I didn't even bother paying attention to the price,he's worth every penny and so is our son. So my hubby got pretty much what he asked for. Sure,presents are nice,but I don't enjoy xmas because of the gifts. I enjoy it because I am surrounded by family...people who love and care about me as I do for them.

Spending time with family is what Christmas is all about and being thankful for what you have.

Leah - posted on 12/02/2010

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I don't feel any pressure at all.Not in financial panic at all. Homemade gifts are ALWAYS nice. My hubby is getting a picture frame and in that is a piece of paper with our sons picture and his hand print and a little poem that reads:Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls
But everyday I'm growing big
And soon I'll be very tall
Then all my little hand prints
Will be hard to recall
So here's a special hand print
Just so that you can say
this is how my fingers looked
when I placed them here today.


We had nothing to give the grandparents from our son,so I made a box and wrapped it in red wrapping paper,put on the to and the from and wrote:This is a very special gift
That you can never see
The reason it's so special is
It's just for you from me.

Whenever you are lonely
Or are ever feeling blue
You only have to hold this gift
And know I'm hugging you.

You never can unwrap it
Please leave the ribbon tied
Just hold the box close to your heart
It's filled with hugs inside.

So that zilch except for the $3 picture frame. So it really doesn't bother me much. It's the thought that counts right?

Christmas isn't all about presents. It's about spending time with the family,sharing laughs and happiness. Being close with family matters,not what you get as a gift.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/19/2010

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I think that is a wonderful gift!!! If you feel like you are jading her, maybe an extra special doll for it. Or a nice stocking suffer. It is so easy to go overboard with gifts. I do not want to spoil my kids, but I want them to enjoy Christmas. We usually give one extra special gifts, and just a few others. It is the whole idea behind Christmas that we reinforce...but man it is easy to get swept up in the hype of advertising. What I don't spend on presents, I spend on food...cannot win!

Charlie - posted on 11/19/2010

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No , not really i just get them something they will use and love no point buying a heap of crap they won't use as for family they are all getting Oxfam cards as donations in their name to get clean drinking water , seeds for farming and education in third world countries , if they don't like it that's tough .

As for the i pod , i had a 5 year old at my kindy get one for Xmas once he was obsessed with music , LOVED music ad was really into awesome bands ( he burnt me a CD which i LOVE ) he loved his i pod , he wore it to school when he walked with his mum every morning , i think if it is something that is going to be used and loved and get a lot of use out of it then why not , music is his passion and his parents recognized that .

[deleted account]

Don't feel guilty. I'm sure your little ones will LOVE the doll house. When they're older and Santa no longer exists for them, it will be special, because their grandpa made it. That is so much better than a plastic toy you can buy!

We set limits based on what we can afford. Several years ago we stopped exchanging with my husband's siblings and just buy for the kids. We did the same with our best friends (who used to be married to each other). The nieces and nephews each get a magazine subscription from us, and the best friends' three kids are getting one gift to share from us. This year we are going out to eat with my sister instead of exchanging. We still get gifts for our parents and grandparents and pastor. We don't expect anything in return, but gifts for them are kind of like a "thank-you and we appreciate you." That's pretty much it, other than our own kid.

For our daughter we decided we could afford a simple swing set. I'm so excited about this gift! I have a small, very part time business, and I've been saving my earnings for it. She's also getting a camping chair and flashlight, because we go camping a lot. We'll fill up her stocking with snacks and treats that she normally doesn't get (cookies, juice boxes). She'll be thrilled. Other than the swing set, we'll spend less than $50. And I look at the swing set as sort of an investment because all our children will use it for years to come!

Jenn - posted on 11/19/2010

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I feel the opposite - I think some people are NUTS for spending so much at Christmas. This morning while we were outside after the kids got on the school bus, my neighbour was telling me how she got her 6 year old an iPod Touch, the Barbie Jet (it's like $100), plus a whole bunch of other stuff and she just started shopping. Even though we are on a limited budget, I still wouldn't go so overboard if I had money, because when I used to have a lot more money I would still not spend insane amounts at Christmas.

Bonnie - posted on 11/19/2010

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To me Christmas isn't about religion, it is about family and togetherness. When it comes to presents, I will admit that sometimes I feel guilty if I receive a gift that I know is a lot more than what I spent on the person. It also somewhat tends to bother me if I know/feel that I spent more on a person's gift and they spent very little in return, but really it is the thought that counts. I don't really like giving gift cards because the person receiving them know exactly how much they are worth.

Laura - posted on 11/19/2010

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I don't go overboard, I get my kids what I know they will use and usually something educational. As for family I go to website to make calenders. I download family picts and make custom calender. You can even put in the pictures on the dates of peoples birthdays. Everyone just loves them.

ME - posted on 11/19/2010

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NOPE! I don't...I buy my kids about 35 dollars worth of stuff: PJ's, books, and a small toy...this year we will also be buying them a wagon as a joint gift. I plan on buying my mom and sisters something small from the breast cancer research site that donates a % of profits to research and mammograms for poor women. My hubby and I usually go out for a nice dinner together or get somethign for our house that we can share...I think the money involved in christmas is unfortunate at best!

Amber-Dawn - posted on 11/19/2010

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I don't buy presents for people. I bake cookies, or make fudge, or something along those lines. As far as my daughter goes, she's one. She doesn't really care what she gets, and as she gets older, I'll do the same thing my mom does. One expensive gift that will be used all year round, clothes, candy, and some dollar store toys. We never really cared.

Katherine - posted on 11/19/2010

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I used to spend a ton. Now that money is tight we are doing cheaper things. This year we are taking a picture of all of the grandkids fro my MIL and FIL. My parents will get a calendar of my girls. Cheap! Priceless! Keepsakes!

[deleted account]

I love getting great gifts for my friends and family, gifts that they love. The best gift I gave last year was a bowl my son and I made for his nan and grandad with his footprints on. Personal gifts are worth more than money and need not cost a lot. This year I think we may make some christmas sweets or biscuits to hand out as gifts for aunties and uncles.

For my son because he had so many toys for his birthday in October we are just going to get him some lovely clothes for christmas, so we won't spend a lot.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 11/18/2010

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Christmas for me is being with my family and eating and giving gifts to the children, it use to be about religion, but as I got older…I see things much different, because I can choose for myself.

As far as family goes….they get a card (if that, so I don’t feel pressure)…I try and get my nieces and nephews something every year, I only have a few so it doesn’t break the bank.

As for my son, since he was the only child…he got pretty much whatever he asked for…and will again this year (if I had more kids to shop for…it would be very different, but its only him and my 7month old, who will get a few things)
Luckily for me the most expensive things he wants are Wii games…anywhere from $19-$60

[deleted account]

I only buy for my kids (sometimes my niece and nephews, but not every year). Everyone else gets a Christmas card and/or a few pics. I go as cheap as I possibly can (while still getting them things they need/want/will use) and have never and will never feel guilt about it. ;)



Costwise... I've got the girls bday and all 3 kids for Christmas to buy for in December and I 'think' last year I spent a total of $400 for all of it. That's about normal.

Nikki - posted on 11/18/2010

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Christmas is not about religion for my family, it is about spending time together. We don't go over board with Christmas, I really don't see the point. We don't have that many people to buy for either. On my husband's side of the family we do couple's secret santa, so everyone picks a couple out of a hat and the limit is $100. We don't spend much on my side of the family either, and my daughter is only one; she is not a big fan of any toys so I will just get her something small this year. When my husband and I first got married we went crazy with Christmas presents, I think I spent almost $4000.00 one year, almost died when I realised what I had done, it's not necessary, in fact I felt a hell of a lot more guilt the year I spent four grand than I do when I spend three or four hundred dollars!

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