Christmas 2008
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Thread: Christmas 2008

  1. #1
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    Default Christmas 2008

    With the hard economic times we are now facing and Lord only knows what the near future holds with the possible bailout plan, do you think this will change how people buy presents/spend money this Christmas season?

    I don't hear anyone (around me) really being concerned about finances, let alone what is going on with Wall Street, our banks and the bailout plan. I see people spending $3.25 a day for lunch in the cafeteria and spending money with no thought to making wiser financial decisions.

    I am wondering if stores will have better sales this year to bring the people in. I am also wondering if people will just charge like always even with the financial credit crisis our country is facing. I know some around me like to keep up with the "Jones'.

    I apologize if I am coming across judgemental, because I don't mean to. We have a Christmas Club and although I charge what I buy, we pay it off when the bill comes. I just don't like carrying a lot of cash around and I like the rebate money I get back from charging.

    What are your thoughts Christmas 2008?

  2. #2
    toile
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    Thanks for posting this. I want to see what peoples thoughts are as well.

    We always have a modest Christmas despite most families going hog wild here.
    We also have kids with Christmas birthdays...
    We don't have grandparents to spoil our kids so we are on our own gift wise.

    I'm posting under the super crazy frugal thread but I am going to cut back even more because 2 kids get braces in one week.

    My kids always end up with what they want and they treasure it. So I feel ok about this.
    But this year I will for sure buy even less than the modest Christmas we always do.

    At the end of the day I think Christmas in my home means playing with the kids, watching Christmas movies and baking lots of sugary fattening foods LOL. Also viewing Christmas Lights outside peoples homes.
    Luckily those things wont change this year

    I can't wait to hear everyones thoughts on Christmas!

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    Registered User Buckeye5's Avatar
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    My kids are older and really have never been overboard on gifts. DH & I don't exchange so this saves $4. We have 2 girls in college right now, and one boy in high school, so $$ is tight. I will spend apprx. $600.00 for X-mas, if everything continues to go as planned. The economy does bother me, and so does Wall Street. I stay informed but I am not going to stress myself out about it, I have other things more on my plate right now. Ex: Propane for winter heating, college expenses, food, house repairs etc.

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    Registered User Lady_V's Avatar
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    We have a low-cost Yule too. I shop basically year round, but I never spend more than $100 total. It takes a lot of creativity, planning and a lot of luck. I also keep a 'gift closet' with things I bought on a mega-huge clearance but DD isn't old enough for yet. (ie: books she isn't on the reading level for). Whatever the market decides to do this year, it won't change anything I have done.

    I don't know what the stores will do. If they do lower the prices or have really crazy sales to get more people in, it does not necessarily mean people will spend more while they are there. That can eventually trickle down to employees being downsized.

    Will people charge gifts? Of course they will. Not everyone charges. Either you do, or you don't. I don't think there will be a massive increase or decrease in credit card sales.

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    I shop year round for Christmas as well as saving via Christmas Club. I've got approx. 6 gifts of 26 (other than DS and DH) purchased, all done for less than 5$. I cashed out rewards points and mypoints for gift cards to Target to buy more presents. I got a 10$ gift card to Kohls in the mail that will be used for Christmas. We try to keep christmas low key and actually focus on the family togetherness aspect of it.

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    I shop all year long as well. This year I haven't gotten as much as I usually do. I have to go thru what I have soon to decide what else we need to get.

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    I learned a long time ago that enjoying the holidays is not the day it self, but getting ready for the day. My children are grown now, but we still do some things we've always done. We get together and bake cookies, cakes. we decorate very simply. I try and use natural greens from the yard, and bring out the same decorations I've brought out for over 30 years. And we laugh and talk about where we got them, or who made them, as we do every year. My kids still expect Christmas jammy's, socks, underwear and then one small gift that their father usually finds for them. We have a wonderful big meal together, followed by lots of desserts. Does it sound boring? Well, maybe to some, but as long as we're all together and healthy, that's all that matters to us.

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    Registered User miss_thrifty's Avatar
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    our xmas list is even cut down more this year. we told our freinds they wernt doing exchange with them. and only with our family.
    parents, us and our kids. they cut down too only their own and each of their parents and their god child. they wernt even exchanging for each other.
    well me and hubby will exchange but nuttin big nuttin over $20 thats what im going for. otherwise well only do the kids stockings and not ours then.
    that should help with the exspense of the move at the end of this month. hook ups and all.

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    I too am cutting back this Christmas. My kids are 12 and 10 so they are at the age where they understand about finances. We are adopting a new gift theme this year. Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. Plus I fill there stockings with all kinds of stuff from the $ store. My extended family have all agreed to stop buying individual gifts and only do a family gift for each other. I purchased a magazine subscription for each of my 4 brothers families. My kids were selling them at school so I figured kill two birds with one stone!! My parents are getting a stocking filled with things that they need. Plus we are giving them a family picture.
    On my husband's side, we decided a few years ago to just remember the children. So I have already purchased books and cd's for the two of them. All in all, with shopping year round, using my credit card points and hand delivering everything I will spend about $800 total. In comparison, last year I spent $1500.
    I am definetly making strides. Next year I hope to lower this amount even more!

    I agree that Christmas should be spent doing fun things with your family not spending lots of cash. We have a lot of traditions that we follow every year and I am looking forward to those things again this year!

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    Last year I went shopping the day after Christmas and got several items on clearance and put them away for this year. So all of my gifts for the people we buy for outside of are home have been taken care of. As far as are dd's go they are requesting to have the money we would spend on Christmas put into there savings accounts. I have enough My Points to get them each a small giftcard and we will get small items for their stocking. My dh and I will decide if we will buy each other gifts or buy something that we both have wanted and will enjoy. We will decide as it gets closer. We will not be charging and are trying very hard to snowball are debt so it will be a smaller Christmas then we have had previously.

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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, since I am responsible for Christmas dinner for our family, I will have to spend over $100 just in groceries. I will just buy some little stocking stuffers for my sister and her family. My mother has already announced that she wants a flat screen t.v. and that she expects me and my sister to split the cost. I told my sister it is going to have to be a 6" flat screen!
    DH aka Mad Hen
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    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    I'm glad to see that I'm in the company of frugal minded, creative people!

    Like Lady V, we spend about $100 total and keep a year 'round gift closet. Our habits this year aren't really changing because we have always been low key about gifts. I was raised in a family (as was Hubby), where celebration with family was more important than gifts, and gifts were often low key and home made.

    I bought a lot at Dollar Tree this year. I made craft kits for the grandkids from things I bought there and put them into plastic shoe boxes, so that even the "wrapper" has more use. I have a huge number of nieces and nephews that I love very very much, but I can't afford big gifts for them. I bought the nieces cook books from Dollar Tree as all of them love to cook. And the boys love candy! So I got an assortment of movie-box candy for them to pick from. They all love to hunker down in front of the TV on Christmas afternoon, so I'm sure the candy will be gone in short time. I made baking kits for our sibs: matching towels, spatulas, hot pads, along with a cookie mix and baking pan..... again all from Dollar Tree. I'm getting my parents an assortment of restuarant and grocery store gift cards. They don't really want anything to clutter up the house, but they like to eat at fast food places. I got hubby a wind chime (but not from Dollar Tree!) and will take him out to eat. The only gift I don't have yet is for our son. I'm still a little stumped there.

    Our Christmas with family is also low key. Each of us makes a crockpot of homemade soup, an appetizer, and a dessert. We meet at my folk's home, and they provide the drink and bread/crackers, and paper plates. Makes everything really easy, and there's lots of variety.

    We just all share the belief that Christmas is much much more than materialism, so we focus on Christ and family.

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    We are not changing anything this year. DH and I made out this year's budget and it is within $200 of last year's. We increased the amounts we budgeted on a couple of people but the rest stayed the same. We buy for our two kids, MIL, FIL, my mom, my dad, my step-mom, four of my eight grandparents, SIL, and her hubby, two nieces, a nephew, my three cousins, two of my aunts, one of my uncles, DD's best friend and stockings for our kids, the nieces, nephew, my mom, dad, step-mom and DH. My side of the family does a "Dirty Santa" gift game so we buy two gifts for that, too.

    DH's annual bonus is enough to cover Christmas, our annual Christmas vacation to Disney and some left over that we usually just put away.

    We go ahead and buy one gift a week Starting in August. Even if it is only a $15 gift card to put in someone's stocking, we buy something for someone.
    Last edited by Neeley; 09-27-2008 at 10:35 PM.

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    Well our christmas will be different than last years as we will be in usa with in laws visiting. I am definitely trimming the gift giving this year. Last year with all my friends kids i brought for i ended up buying for 24 kids!!!! ridiculous, so this year i am telling all of them we are not doing gifts as all our kids have too much anyway. I will buy my nanna and grandad a couple of magnets from our travels as they collect them, my mum will get a gift as will my inlaws. My brother and girlfriend will get something small around $10 - $15 each. There will be other people at our in laws house who always buy our kids presents so i wil lbuy there kids presents no more than $8 each from Ross or clearance, and dh and I are having the holiday so we dont need anything as will most probably will be buying ourselves some clothes etc while we are there. The kids will definitely be getting less last year we went stupid, i have always brought presents all year round on sale and last year didnt quite realise how much i had brought and with my christmas layby they got spoilt crazy, we have told them that santa wont leave big presents for them because the y are lucky enought to be going to disneyland and we cant bring lots back on the plane with us!

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    Registered User Emjo's Avatar
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    We won't be changing too much this year, except DH and I won't be spending as much on each other's gifts. We're also going to ask for restaurant gift certificates so we can go out for our wedding anniversary (3 days after Christmas!). We're very lucky in the fact that our parents provide most of the food (I usually contribute an appetizer or dessert).

    I've already got more than half my shopping done...baby #2 is due the first week of January and you couldn't pay me to waddle around a crowded mall at 9 months pregnant!

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