Christmas 2008 challenge
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    Default Christmas 2008 challenge

    I know most people will shake their heads when they see this thread!! Christmas? Is she crazy? It's only May!!! Let me explain.....I tend to go over board at Christmas time. Until this past year, Christmas was always a credit card holiday. Christmas 2006 I spent $3000 on Christmas gifts! Last year, I spent $1300.....better. This year I want to spend only $500 total on Christmas gifts! That's my challenge. I want to come up with homemade gifts for family and friends. I have a bunch of ideas of things to make. I also am having the kids make their gifts for grandparents and parents and friends. I want to bring the true meaning of Christmas back and get away from the commercialism. Who's with me? I bet we could come up with a lot of neat, inexpensive, thoughful gifts.

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    Registered User Jamauk's Avatar
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    I'm with ya! I'm trying to make as many home made gifts this year as possible!

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    Here are a few of my ideas....
    For my parents: I am going to make a memory box. I am doing to decorate a shoe box and then on separate pieces of paper I'm going to write down memories of when I was a kid. They can pull a different paper out each day and them.
    For my friends: I am going to make individual Christmas cards and tell them how much they mean to me. I received something like this a few years ago and I still love it.
    For my kids: ALong with a few store bought items, I am going to make coupons they can turn in at a later date. (i.e.: get an extra 1/2 hour of tv time, or have mom clean your room day, etc) I think these will be a big hit!
    For my brothers and their families: I am simply making a donation in their name to St. Jude's Hospital. They already have everything they need. I want to remember them and I think this would be well received.
    That's all I have for now. I have already gone over my list of people to shop for and lowered the budgeted amount for all of them. Thank goodness we live real close to an outlet mall!!!! That will help make what money I do spend go even farther!!!

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    I have been making gifts for years. My brothers and sister always look forward toward their "baskets". I get decent size baskets at thrift stores and fill with a theme. One year was Cajun food stuff, one year was all home made soup and dessert mixes, last year was a cold winters day stuff (tomato soup, hot choc mix, herbal teas, cocoa wheats, etc). They love them. I always make a batch of cookies that Mom used to make special for the holidays (no one else has the recipe).
    My older niece and nephews always ask if they are going to get their "goodie baskets". They look forward to it.
    There is no end to the type of baskets you can come up with. I have a niece in college, who gets a basket of little things she can use at college (many are free samples I get) & homemade sweets.
    Do what you are best at. A friiend of mine makes me a batch of homemade noodles each year. She divides them up into meal size portions and freezes in baggies.
    I make lots of breads, cookies, and candy as well.
    I would much rather get food items and homemade stuff. Someone worked hard at it, and who doesn't like sweets and food?

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    I've done the basket thing too! The only problem is that we don't live near any of them so I have to send everything. Last year, we drove home for Thanksgiving and I gave everyone their baskets then. Not going home this year so I'm trying to avoid spending a lot on postage. I am lucky that my in-laws will be here for Thanksgiving and I can send my niece and nephews gifts plus in-laws gifts back with them. They spend Christmas with daughter so they can give the gifts to them and save me from having to send them. Sending things from VA to CA cost me a fortune last year.

    What I'm really struggling with is the guilt I feel for spending less on people than I have in the past. It's really hard to change. With the current economy being the way it is, I think everyone else will be spending less too. I hope they will, anyways! I am doing my best to remember that gifts are not the reason for the season!! Wish me luck!

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    Registered User Moor's Avatar
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    these are all great ideas. here are some things that i have done in the past.

    chocolate flavored spoons to dip in coffee. i take plastic spoons and dip them in melted flavored chocolate. my fil loves these. he ask's me every year what flavor am i going to do.

    i make flavored instant voffee for all of my sil's. they love those. as, most of them won't buy the stuff in the store.

    for the kids, i make them caps and scarves that i have crotched. they love them. for my kids, they get a few store bought things, but for the most part, they get home made items also. like my oldest likes to bake, so i give her coupons for a day with mom baking, or a coupon for baking without the cleanup. that sort of thing. for middle dd, she loves to read, so i will give her books that i have picked up at the annual library sale, yard sales, or such. youngest dd loves to help out around the house. so she is getting her own set of tools to help with. i have even made her her own tool belt. she is going to love it! lol

    for my dh, i give him several things. a coupon book for alone time. wink wink!
    a coupon book for spending time with the kids. a coupon book on getting out of chores! he loves those.

    for

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    i wanted to crochet as many gifts as i could this year, but tendinitis in my right wrist is hindering that right now. i put aside a couple of things so far this year:earrings for dd, coloring books for nephew and niece, trading cards for ds. christmas isn't going to be very big this year as we are buying a house. there will be a lot of baked goods for family and friends. i might do some food gift bags to go along with the baked goods.

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    [QUOTE=lovestolaugh;903308]Here are a few of my ideas....
    For my parents: I am going to make a memory box. I am doing to decorate a shoe box and then on separate pieces of paper I'm going to write down memories of when I was a kid. They can pull a different paper out each day and them.
    QUOTE]

    I did something similar for my parents last year. I bought lifesavers candies for my mom and wrote down 101 reasons why she had been a lifesaver. I taped one to each candy.
    I put them in a big plastic jar from the dollar store, but I think if you drink Folgers coffee somewhere on this site there is a link to print out stickers to decorate the box.
    My dad likes snickers, so I did the same for him. I bought mini snickers and wrote 101 ways you make me "snicker"

    They really liked reading all of the things I remembered, and the candy was a nice inexpensive treat.

    I am thinking of making it a tradition

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    I had both families over at Easter time and we have finally decided to draw names and set a limit on gifts. (Except for my MIL who has always just done her own thing.-that's a whole other thread topic!!)
    I will be doing homemade gifts for those family members and friends I like gift to not included in the drawing.
    I am determined to get this demon under control as well!

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    This is a great thread!! I have already gotten some really great ideas!! I am right with you yankeegal, my mil and fil always buy gifts for everyone even though we draw names!! We have just decided to let them be, as my fil says, "Now we can finally afford to get you guys things and you don't want anything, but when we didn't have any money you wanted everything!!" How true that is!!! I am making a blanket for my best friend and her family to use, and if I ever get my sewing machine fixed I will finished the quilt for my dd. I am still a little stuck on my ds but I think I have a few ideas for my stepdd. I was wondering though, my grandma gave me some small stockings, decorating type, and I was wondering what fun things I could use them for. I was thinking about using them for teachers gifts and a secret santa gift as work. Let me know if anyone has any ideas. PLEASE, PLEASE, DON'T LEAVE ANY IDEAS OUT, I KNOW MANY OF US WOULD LOVE TO HEAR THEM!!!

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    Freebie Queen englishcottage1's Avatar
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    I have already started my "special" garden, I have planted the tomatoes, chilli peppers, onions etc so I can give a sort of salsa package to the extended families. I can freeze the made salsa when the vegetables are harvested and then I will put in some mason jars and have a nice printed fabric (salsa related) on top and I haven't decided just what yet I will attach to the jar with raffia, either some small pot holders with a hot pepper on it that I have made? or if I can find some cheap small bowls put the jar in the bowl and tie it altogether? I know alot of people in the family like salsa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by englishcottage1 View Post
    I have already started my "special" garden, I have planted the tomatoes, chilli peppers, onions etc so I can give a sort of salsa package to the extended families. I can freeze the made salsa when the vegetables are harvested and then I will put in some mason jars and have a nice printed fabric (salsa related) on top and I haven't decided just what yet I will attach to the jar with raffia, either some small pot holders with a hot pepper on it that I have made? or if I can find some cheap small bowls put the jar in the bowl and tie it altogether? I know alot of people in the family like salsa.
    You can get those little black plastic salsa bowls for 4/$1 at Wal-Mart. I like your idea of giving out home made salsa.

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    I'm with ya! I've got 3 people taken care of with clearance purses (great quality and so cute!) - for around $12.

    I also make gifts. This year I'm doing jams/jellies and quilts as well as little odds and ends.

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    I AM THERE!!!

    I've actually already started on several things!

    I have SO many ideas of things I want to make... but have to wait for resources (ie, fabric, yarn) to go on sale to buy... in order to make!

    however, i've already got some boxers, tees made for guys.
    i'm making a garden basket for a friend who's getting a new house.
    thinking of making some sweets to give to ppl this year.
    (mini muffins, breads and brownie-muffins).

    i'm making a couple blankets (quilt, afghan), some scarves, hats, gloves, bags, toys, table cloths, pillow cases, curtains, tissue box covers, wall hangings.... the list GOES ON!!!


    the sad thing is... my blood family, they dont like hm gifts.
    so every year i go thru the drama of "what are YOU buying for ME???"
    and then i get yelled at from EVERY which way because I ended up NOT doing anything for them. but that's another thread...

    otherwise, i've got LOTS to keep me busy!

    now if I could ever get off here to do them! LOL

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    I have already started buying things and putting them aside. Everything has been clearance items and nothing is over $5 and they are real nice items. I also keep a list of who I got what so I wont buy things on impulse for someone and realize I went over budget for that person. I did this a lot last year especially for the babies in the family. I'm also working on scrapbooks for gifts.
    Danielle wife to Brandon

    Ava 7/3/12

    Dog mom to: Boost Bruiser Roxy

    Debt:
    Student Loan - Paid in full February 2017!
    Car loan - Paid in full Dec 2015!
    Mortgage - $38000

    Emergency Fund: $5800
    Change jar ???
    Ava's Savings - $4200

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