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Discussion Starter #1
Atten-hut! :soapbox:

Alright people, listen up! Some people whine that there's a war on Christmas going on. Well, we're going to declare a new war! A war on Christmas... SPENDING! :yikes:

That's right folks! I'm tired of all these wimpy commercials hocking crappy plastic toys. I'm tired of insensitive gift cards and tacky gifts that say, "I just bought this at the drug store on the way here." Who needs dusty boxes of chocolates or yet another unemotional Christmas card? :sleepy:

I say no more! This year, with the way our finances are, I'm breaking all the rules! I'm strapping up my boots, snapping on my helmet and I am going to war on Christmas Spending! :grrr:

I say to heck with gifts for adults who can afford to buy something for themselves! I say to heck with buying for coworkers and acquaintences! I say that we only buy for those who both need it and love us enough to care about us. :cutie:

So here's my battle plan. :snowing:

1. I'm spending no more than $80 on all Christmas gifts for family and friends this year. My shopping list includes:
  • 2 sets of parents
  • 2 sets of brother/sister-in-laws
  • 2 neices
  • 1 grandmother
  • 1 husband
  • 1 son
  • 1 toddler daughter
  • 1 collective gift for a family with 3 children

2. I'm making as much homemade items as I can for these families. There will be no plastic packaging or labels on my Christmas gifts this year!

3. I'm not discriminating against any options. Second hand stores, Freecycle and yard sales are all fair game. All bets are off!!!

Now I won't lie to you, troops. Some of us will get snubbed. Some of us will get ridiculed. Some of us will get some weird looks and awkward moments. But I say to heck with all that. Christmas isn't about gifts or social standards. It's about communicating love to one another at a most sacred time of year, and I'm not letting those Cappy (re: capitalist) jerks push me around anymore!

Whose with me?!!! :huh:

*trumpets blare at the raising of the Christmas tree* :tree:

All right troops! Fall out! Hut-two-three-four, hut-two-three-four...
 

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I love home made gifts. I love that somebody put thought and time into a gift, and I certainly don't need any more plastic crap. I think I will join you in doing as much home made as possible.

I've also really cut back on giving, only people who are close to us who we see regularly.
 
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count me as your first recruit! i join the war against christmas spending with you.

i hate how people behave at christmas and i hate how christmas makes me feel - and my uneasy feelings surround money, spending, and materialism.
 

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Awesome post. Love the idea!
I had planned to cut way down this year on spending by starting shopping earlier,( not 2 weeks before Christmas).
Also some of my gifts will be thrift shop treasures.
My 2 adult children will be warned that I'm not buying "stuff" just to have more gifts under the tree. They will get a set amount of cash to buy what they truly want and/or need. I will have one or two thought out gifts under the tree.
Personally homemade gifts are my favorites to receive but I don't really have any hobbies or crafts that would make a nice homemade gift. One thing I was planning to do is take all the pictures of the kids I found when organizing and decluttering the house , and make them each a photo album.
Any suggestions for a uncreative person like myself?
 

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Awesome post. Love the idea!
I had planned to cut way down this year on spending by starting shopping earlier,( not 2 weeks before Christmas).
Also some of my gifts will be thrift shop treasures.
My 2 adult children will be warned that I'm not buying "stuff" just to have more gifts under the tree. They will get a set amount of cash to buy what they truly want and/or need. I will have one or two thought out gifts under the tree.
Personally homemade gifts are my favorites to receive but I don't really have any hobbies or crafts that would make a nice homemade gift. One thing I was planning to do is take all the pictures of the kids I found when organizing and decluttering the house , and make them each a photo album.
Any suggestions for a uncreative person like myself?
i think for the 'uncrafty' (which i don't really believe - i believe everyone has a crafty side) gift baskets are a good option. they can be personalized so easily - movie baskets, date night baskets, reading baskets, writing baskets, spa baskets, exercise baskets, art baskets, food baskets, relaxation baskets). the baskets can be found at thrift stores/secondhand and items can be secondhand/homemade as well. for me i would love it if someone gave me a writing basket - it could have pencils/pens, erasers, stationery, writing pads, a thesaurus, a dictionary, a rhyming dictionary even, a paperweight, biographies of my favourite writers, tips on writing, scribblers, a journal, even a mug with an inspirational quote about creativity/writing, or a picture about creativity/writing. so many possibilities!
 

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Thanks Dinah,
I've helped put these kind of baskets together for raffles, but never thought about it as a gift. Great idea!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's my plans thus far for us:

  • 2 sets of parents -- nothing yet
  • 2 sets of brother/sister-in-laws -- nothing yet
  • 2 neices -- nothing yet
  • 1 grandmother -- I have a beautiful cross stitch I've been trying to finish for her for years. This seems like the perfect year to do it! (Cost: Free, already have the floss, needles, and canvas.)
  • 1 husband -- nothing yet, though I'm thinking of doing up a gift basket of homemade bathroom things -- deoderant, toothpaste, cologne, etc. We'll see how that goes.
  • 1 infant son -- he will only be 2 months old when Christmas comes (due in October) so we won't be planning to buy him much of anything. When our daughter had her first Christmas, I gave her a handknitted Christmas stocking that I worked on tirelessly for months. I have another sock I started back in December that was supposed to be for myself, but it's mostly a bluish color so I'll finish that and give it to him. If it isn't a good color, I have a huge ball of a black, grey and white that I could use instead. (Cost: Free, already have the yarn, needles and pattern.)
  • 1 toddler daughter -- nothing yet
  • 1 collective gift for a family with 3 children -- I think I'll get Hubby to create a DVD of movies or cartoons for them -- a season of some classic cartoon. I'll have to check with their mother first, see what she'll like. (Cost: $2 for the DVD?)


On my "Shopping" list:
  • Baskets to hold gifts in
  • Pretty boxes and bags -- I dispise wrapping paper! Why would you buy something that gets tossed in the garbage the second it's used?!
  • Disney Movie DVDs in excellent shape for the kids
  • Comedy albums -- my brother is a huge fan of vintage comedy albums
 

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Discussion Starter #10
we used to do home-made gifts for the adults but got very cool responses. Very materialistic family. So we quit gifting alltogether and they now get an e-card stating a donation has been made in their name to a charity.
You know, that's not a bad idea! I might do that for our parents this year -- make a donation to our local children's hospital (where both my children and my neices were born, as well as my brother who had a brain tumor when he was 3) in their honor. My DH's parents might not be so keen on it but my mother would think that's the cat's meow! Our whole family worships this children's hospital.
 

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i want to make homemade gifts and if i do purchase ready-made gifts i want them to either be local or handmade or from an independent store/person.

these are who i'm giving a gift to...

1 husband
1 son
1 mother
1 MIL
1 FIL
1 grandma
1 aunt
1 aunt + uncle
1 teacher (maybe 2 or 3 depending what kind of help our son gets at school during the year)
1 6 yr old girl (family friend) + 1 2 yr old boy (family friend) - might do a family gift for them if i think of something
1 12 yr old boy cousin
1 dog

4 stockings (me, dh, son, mother

generally i also participate in an online kids secret santa on another message board and 1 secret santa at work

i also try to have something on hand for gift giving to visitors we have or hosts of party's we're at during the christmas season (something small)

i'm debating on whether to give gifts to my 2 grown cousins and thei spouses. i'm always on the fence about this.

i'm also always on the fence about giving gifts to my half-sister, her husband, and her 3 children.
 

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we used to do home-made gifts for the adults but got very cool responses. Very materialistic family. So we quit gifting alltogether and they now get an e-card stating a donation has been made in their name to a charity.

If everyone took my cue, I think the economy would grind to a halt!
My parents have asked us to do this for the past few years- we give them a card stating which charity we have given to.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hubby and I discussed some other gifts:

Infant Son -- homemade knitted stocking (started last night)
Toddler Daughter -- DVDs of her favorite show (purchased secondhand)
My brother -- DVDs of one of his favorite shows as a child (purchased secondhand)
My grandmother -- I'm going to finish that cross stitch I started for her years ago and give her that.
Neices -- classic Disney DVDs (purchased secondhand)
Children of a family friends -- classic Disney DVDs (purchased secondhand)
 

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I am with you at cutting the expense of Christmas. It shouldn't be what it's about. And I do think our budget dictates we minimize what we purchase this year. I know I can't do it all home made, or no bought stuff, but we can trim it extensively.

To provide gifts for:
MIL and FIL - I typically get them a gc for Dinner Theatre, they love it and it's purchased with points, so Free.
My parents - no idea - my dad earns good money, and buys what he wants. We typically do some kind of photo array for them... maybe a family 'year book' would be fun. (I really like that idea for both sets of grands! Think I'll start putting that together for them)
BIL and SIL - movie basket, popcorn, movie and maybe a bottle of wine
Niece and nephew - no idea - really, they are adults, not sure they need much, we didn't even see them last Christmas.... not sure when we saw them last.
my kids - hard sell for dh to not purchase stuff, he grew up with very little at Christmas and birthdays.... but maybe some planned activity nights would be fun. Bowling, water slides, etc. memories not stuff.
 
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There are many ideas for gifts for those who think they are not crafty.
Here are some examples of items I have given in the past

Framed a notecard or picture that I new the receipt would love
bake a batch of your favorite brownies
Used books Have done this one many times.

This past Christmas money was really tight
For Mom and Sister I made hand lotion (from pinterest)
For Dad he is a woodworker and needed mechanical pencils for his shop

I think I spent just ten dollars



My co-worker does this for her inlaws and children each Christmas

a breakfast basket filled with homemade quiche, muffins, juice, coffee now you can tailor this to fit your needs.
 

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Showed dh the yearbook idea and he said run with it! 2 gifts checked off :)
 

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You know, that's not a bad idea! I might do that for our parents this year -- make a donation to our local children's hospital (where both my children and my neices were born, as well as my brother who had a brain tumor when he was 3) in their honor. My DH's parents might not be so keen on it but my mother would think that's the cat's meow! Our whole family worships this children's hospital.
the only person who ever appreciated this was my MIL, who said she had enough junk and was happy we had gone that route. Oh, and my sister, who will respond in kind when she remembers it is Christmas....
 

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We too need to reign in the spending this year. My ideas so far:
Grandmother - Jar of memories - Asking all family to send memories and pics, will put in a jar - cost: jar
Niece and nephew - 1.5 years - snowman in a box - Box with hat, scarf, buttons and fake carrot- just add snow
college-age niece - "study-break" basket with bath & body stuff (have), throw (have), need to add popcorn and a movie
MIL - regifting a Yankee candle I received as a gift last year
Mom - Photo calendar

I too am looking into gifts in a jar and themed baskets of items.
 

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The smartest thing my older brother said to me was, "We [2 brothers and me] are all old enough that we have all we need, and well enough off that we can afford to get our own 'stuff' if we need or want something new. There's no point in sending each other things we don't need, just for the sake of sending a gift."

So we quit sending Christmas gifts at all. My wife and I are the same way. We only send a handful of cards to family members who wouldn't forgive us if we didn't. That's it! Everyone with whom we want to stay in touch gets a phone call or an email. Our Christmas shopping takes about 10 minutes to get a handful of cards, and costs under $25.
 
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