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Discussion Starter #1
It's that time of year when we can create memories, make gifts, purchase items and spend quality time with family. How is your Christmas planning going? What are you purchasing/making/doing this year? Will it be a little frugal or a bit frivolous? Please share!:vs_gift::christmas:
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I haven't set a budget yet but it will be a low budget season, so I'll get creative. I'll be using rewards points to buy GC's. I'll also send free magazines from rewardbee.
I was able to purchase coin books for dimes and got a bag of old dimes from ebay for 3 people.
 

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Frugal this year. I am only buying for DH and doing a gift swap with my dance class. DH is hard to buy for because if he wants it he will buy it for himself. I am doing small zipper bags for my dance class. We exchange small items, like candles, costume jewelry, hand lotion, etc. I have all the fabric, and have ordered zippers at wholesale cost, so now I just need to sew them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've been wanting to get DS2 a set of headphones as his are hand-me-down and one earphone doesn't work, I believe.

I did some research to find something decent and a pair that was recommended in 2018 has since gone down in price. I got him the headphones and a cord to plug into the computer and a extended warranty for 3 years.

I used a Gift card so it cost me $0.
 

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Last year we took the grands to Build A Bear and they loved it!. It was a special treat for them especially since we do not go to shopping malls and shop or walk around. They got lunch at Cheesecake Factory and was able to see the mall decorated. The experience was wonderful. I loved the look on their faces.

This year we are surprising them with a stay at The Gaylord National Hotel and we will tour ICE. The theme is The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, their favorite. They can participate in the activities and even swim in the indoor pool. DH and I have decided to share an experience with our family rather than gifts. It is a lot more fun.

I have some money saved because my daughter and I have been selling items on PoshMark and Mercari. I will probably hold a yard sale or two, that may generate a little more. May even do Facebook yard sale sites. It’s amazing what people will buy, lol.
 

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Precarrious- I love that idea- trips for Christmas! We've talked about doing that and hope to do it.

I got DS2 a great after shave and it cost $13.50 after using a GC that I purchased with Swagbucks.
 

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I plan to make my dgds memory quilts. I just have no motivation. Dh and I are going to go do work at ds' house. We bought a few items over the past couple of years for projects they wanted to do and it's all still sitting there. So for Christmas this year we are going to go install all these things. We'll give them a few gift cards to eat out and get something for the girls, but that's it. Our other ds never wants anything, so we'll probably pay his property taxes again this year. Dh and I just get what we want we when see it at a good price throughout the year. Sometimes we'll get things close to Christmas and just wrap them up for the fun of it.
 

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wow would like you guys as parents for xmas lol kids and dh have fall birthdays as well as xmas. so I shop for both. plus others. I bought home souvenirs from our trip for ds my cousin bought me to primark cheaper dept store with great stuff so got harry potter stuff way cheaper then the reg store. like $14 harry potter sweatshirt $7 nightgown for cousin. I had ordered a bunch of clearance stuff from thinkgeek sale a few months ago. harry potter bag, other video game type things don't remember all stored away. a cute cat purse for dd.

will start getting gift cards to put aside.
 

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I've been thinking a lot about Christmas, this year, with DH out of work since May and no end to that in sight. The 18, 15, and 13 year olds really just want gift cards, and I can start picking those up now. Maybe one a week with the grocery shopping. I've been doing Swagbucks surveys to earn points for movie gift cards because there are a few movies coming out this fall that we want to see. However, once I get that, I can start saving for Christmas gift cards. DS8 is a little bit trickier. I've put out a call on the FB garage sale boards for a few of the things he wants, that I am looking for, but no bites yet. I don't plan on going big with him, but I do hope to get a few of the things he is hoping for. DH and I don't usually exchange gifts, since we spend money on the kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I will tell DH that we will exchange a single gift this year. I get for the kids and DH buys them a few comic books each year. DS2 is easy to get for, but DS1 has a wonderful job and can buy what he wants. So, I'll need to ask for ideas.
 

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I've been purchasing items on clearance over the last few months. I'm almost finished buying for my nieces and nephews.
 

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Several years ago, I scaled back Christmas and I have never looked back. My holidays are simple and wonderful. I buy very few christmas presents and tell others not to buy for us. (I just get something for MIL, SIL, and sometimes my brother and perhaps a 4-year old great nephew if I will see him at Christmas). Hubby and I buy for each other, but we have both reached pretty close to the bottom of our list of ideas. LOL ROFL

I like best of all having the lighted Christmas tree up. That alone is one of the key things that makes the holiday season magical for me. I sit in the dark in the early morning, drinking hot chocolate or eggnog, nibbling a christmas cookie, often with a kitty in my lap or between my feet on the ottoman and just enjoy the peace and beauty. In the evenings I might move to sit by my fireplace as well. So I try to get that put up as soon after Thanksgiving as I can.

I focus on experiences rather than gifts. I take my MIL or go with friends/family to to local concerts (almost always free), plays, christmas walks (free event in my town with various freebies like hot cocoa and s'mores), driving around to view the lights, etc. Every year I look for some new activity to try out. Some years those are a bit of a bust (like last year's really sad looking electric light parade which was more like two pickup trucks with lights strung on them LOL) but some years I find delightful surprises. Every year I look forward to finding fun things to do.

I also try to ensure I am living the spirit of Christmas by sharing cookies with others, buying toys/pajamas/socks/etc. for the needy, etc. I focus on the joy and love behind the holiday, not the gifts.

I have a good friend I get together with every year for a cookie baking marathon. We make about 10 different kinds and put together beautiful trays for her workplace and my husband's workplace (ahem and my workplace - which just happens to be a home office, but that's irrelevant).

My friend's workplace closes for two weeks over Christmas/New Years, so last year we took off on a weekday and went to downtown Chicago where we visited the Christmas Around the World exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry (she is a member) and then went for high tea. It was absolutely delightful and we decided we will do something like that every year.

I don't mind spending money on some things (like we usually go see a vintage Christmas movie in the theater and a play), but it's not my primary focus and I find loads of free things to do at that time of year.

I try very hard to just slow down, relax and enjoy the season - all the sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes, the feel... It's just magical if you only take the time to stop and notice.


2018 Cookie Platter.jpg

Christmas Tree.jpg
 

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I don't have plans yet. I do know that it will be very simple. I'll put up my nativity. When I moved, I gave away all my Christmas decorations to a close friend. I always had two trees and really decorated but I'm no longer physically able to do all that.

Last year, I hosted a party for the people with whom I play cards. It was a lot of fun but I spent a lot of money on gift cards and catered by Whole Foods. It did make memories I'll never forget.
 

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@msmarie, that sounds beautiful. I have a tree from when I was single (not all that long ago) but we have never had room for it in this house. It's a slim model, but still as big as an armchair and we only have room for one of those in the living room. So instead we decorate the kitchen table: fancy table cloth and place mats, small tree at one end with lights and small gifts underneath. We only buy for each other, and even then we are well beyond the point of "needing" anything. We don't get out much in Dec unless friends come to visit. Family never does. DH doesn't like driving around in holiday traffic or mingling in crowds.

In exchange for getting extra days off this summer for our trips DH is covering his entire dept at Christmas and New Year's. He likes it, it's a quiet time for the business. He gets ~2 weeks of nobody bothering him, and usually doesn't even have work to do.

I used to do a lot of baking, but have really backed off the last several years. Neither of us need to be eating cookies. I still have cranberry muffins and some kind of cookie from last year in the freezer.

This year my silver sneakers group is having a holiday party with a "re-gift" exchange. We will have a potluck, too. Possibly the quilt guild will do something similar, haven't heard yet. We had a nice New Year's party with friends last year, would like to repeat that. Food, movies, responsible drinking. That's about it for my social schedule.
 

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marie l like that too. more about activities and getting together with the people you love. there are lots of great lights and free events around to take in here. we did for the first time for years last year our xmas eve open house. people like that. first xmas without mil so less drama cus of sil ..but sad because no mil. I just keep collecting things for bday and xmas. because starting today bdays until jan. mil was feb and fil jan but now gone so shorter season. we also have lots of other bdays too.

we will see too because sometimes lovely surprises come up.
 

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When we were younger, we lived near family and used to visit each other every holiday. One aunt would have a party and all the relatives would go there for fun. Since getting married and having kids, we moved because we needed jobs. Our moves have taken us further away from family and we don't see anyone very much anymore. Holidays are tough to get away from work since it's a busy time in retail. Most years, I wasn't allowed time off. So, we relax and cook for the holidays. We have taken a tour to see holiday lights and I decorate a bit. We call relatives and chat. One day I hope to travel someplace to see how Christmas is done in that town (or Disney).
 

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DH mentioned he needed some t-shirts for the gym.

I noticed that DH and DS2 have been sharing socks, even though they wear different sizes....I went online to Champion/Hanes and found sale items, free shipping (any order) and $10 off. I ended up getting DH 3 t-shirts and 12 pr. socks. I got DS2 7 pr. socks.

I got DS2 a lego Harry Potter set at Barnes & Noble for his stocking.
 
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