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Cutting back on holiday gift-giving?
Old 12-07-2015, 12:20 PM
 
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I've been chatting with my husband and kids about holiday gifts. Everybody feels obliged to buy stuff, so we are now at the point of giving each other Amazon gift cards, because nobody "needs" anything. It's pretty pointless!

I used to get separate magazine subscriptions for my 3 grandkids and my dd & her dh who live in TX. It's the gift that keeps on giving! I decided to just get the family one subscription to National Geographic. The kids are all old enough to enjoy it now, and I doubt they really realized that the magazines were from me anyway. And it will be useful since dd is homeschooling her kids.

The other two kids & spouses live nearby. I was chatting with younger dd, and suggested we just draw names for stockings (which we do every year), and not feel obliged to give a lot of other gifts. It seems like folly to give stuff just for the sake of giving, but we all enjoy the stockings!

We'll do the usual thing this year, but hopefully next year will be just stockings and magazine subscriptions. Maybe dh and I will give ourselves a gift for the house or a nice vacation....

Has anybody else downsized in the gift-giving department?


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Old 12-07-2015, 12:26 PM
 
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A few years ago we started doing a Secret Santa with the "kids" because they were grown and some had their own families. This year my income is down because I retired. I still am participating in the SS. I will buy small gifts for my great-nephews and great-nieces. I also will buy something for my son and fill his stocking. We celebrate Christmas before the actual day as some are working on Christmas. I usually go to my sister's house on Christmas Day. It is pretty low-key.
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Old 12-07-2015, 03:02 PM
 
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Yes, we feel the same way. All year, we've been trying to weed out our stuff. The grandkids will still receive individual gifts, but my adult children/spouses will receive a small, shared family gift.
It certainly cuts down on the stress of shopping. Of course, I do most of my shopping on the Internet.
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Now that the "kids" have kids...
Old 12-07-2015, 03:54 PM
 
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We do a Secret Santa among all of the adults/"kids". We have a spending range/limit. One family member is in charge and is the only one who knows who the Santas are getting gifts for. We all post lists on a Secret Santa site and the Santa can purchase from that list. It's really fun. We all buy for the littles. This year arts and crafts stuff is all the rage for the older 5. The baby is getting a really neat stacking toy.
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Old 12-07-2015, 04:11 PM
 
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I've been saying I'm going to cut down the last two years...but, I'm not sure I am! I'm a sucker for giving but would like to move from "things" to "memories" if you know what I mean. Maybe 2016 will be the year!


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yes!
Old 12-07-2015, 05:15 PM
 
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Yes, the gift giving was getting to the point that the gifts were just being put in a closet, etc... not even being used. Only 1 gift of something truly needed this year.

We've already discussed the fact that "we all have everything we need."

So, we are mainly replacing the "gifts" with a few low cost family outings/activities during the year... giving the gifts of "just spending time together."

As far as grandchildren, I will always give just one or two gifts. I am NOT teaching the children to expect huge/ costly presents. I feel that they would just come to expect even more in their teen and young adult years if I started that!
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:18 PM
 
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We are focusing on giving each other experiences rather than things. DS always arranges for us to make candles together for my birthday. I've requested that they gift me with experiences such as rides to look at Christmas lights or trips to the zoo. I don't want things. One son havs offered to make cupboards for my garage or I would love help in the garden. I want time together. My family can afford that. I'm fortunate to have children who are willing to give me time.
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gifts
Old 12-07-2015, 09:43 PM
 
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We stopped doing the gift exchange with DH's family a long time ago after everyone agreed that it was unnecessary.

I only buy gifts for my two young granddaughters. DD tells me what she thinks they would like to get. Last year it was all about Frozen. This year my 5-year old GD is nuts about Star Wars and I got her a 3-D Star Wars puzzle. My 8-year old GD is pretty geeky and loves science and social studies, and my DD suggested I get her a subscription for a science magazine for 9-12 year olds.
Both of my DDs have told me to donate the money that I would otherwise spend on them to a charity of my choice.
DH and I have decided that we are giving each other the gift of decluttering.
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My Family
Old 12-08-2015, 03:10 AM
 
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My family cut back on gift giving a number of years ago. My siblings and I give the kids presents, and we don't exchange with each other. We give them each a gift card because that is what they want. My husband and I exchange simple gifts.

It has made everything simpler, and I am no longer caught up in the Christmas shopping frenzy. I put up a wreath and a tree at home, and that it is it.
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USA and handcrafted items
Old 12-08-2015, 05:05 AM
 
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We have never gone over the top with gift giving. This year, I have really focused on home crafted items from local artists. They are really unique. My husband is receiving a turkey feather that has been mounted with a handcrafted oak frame. The artist drew a beautiful wooded scene on the feather. He is also receiving a long thin piece of rustic wood with STEELERS painted on it.
At a local craft show, I discovered a woman who sold doll clothes that will fit my granddaughter's American doll. There is so much detail added to each outfit. I can sew, but her quality is exceptional.
My sisters are receiving new stainless steel cookie sheets crafted in the USA.
My daughters are receiving homemade jewelry, soaps, and body lotions.

Being retired has given me time to actually shop for fun gifts that have supported also small businesses.



Last edited by twinsister; 12-08-2015 at 02:39 PM.. Reason: turkey, not eagle
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:08 AM
 
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All such good ideas! I really want to cut back, but I guess I can start next year. I have been working on downsizing this year, but for some reason I have the biggest Christmas tree I've ever had! I confuse myself! I keep thinking my kids and grandkids expect it, but I am always the one who is worn out.

I also only do gifts for my own family, but the gift card idea is a good one. I have always tried to find that perfect gift for someone, then I never see it worn or used. They would probably appreciate the gift card more, anyway!

You all have given me a lot to think about!!
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Downsizing?
Old 12-08-2015, 09:46 PM
 
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Yes! I have been trying to do this for the last several years. I already have too much stuff, and really don't need any more gifts. It feels wasteful. I've asked family and friends to cooperate but it seems the commercialism of Christmas has brainwashed some of them. I'd much rather go out to lunch and spend time with someone I care about, and treat or be treated. Much more fun than receiving presents I don't need that just end up at the local homeless shelter. Although someone at the shelter can probably use them..
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Old 12-09-2015, 05:01 PM
 
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Yes. Years ago, my siblings and I stopped exchanging gifts. Well, I guess we still kind of have a Christmas exchange, but it's just through a "Rob Your Neighbor" game. I guess everyone is familiar with this.--Each person brings a "white elephant" / cheap gift but nicely wrapped. Everyone draws a number. The number 1 person chooses and unwraps one of the gifts. The number 2 person can either choose another gift to unwrap OR steal the unwrapped gift (in which case the person who was robbed would have to unwrap another gift). Anyway, this always seems to be a fun game for all, and as long as you have a couple of extra dollar store type gifts on hand, everyone, even an unexpected guest, can participate....I must say Christmas giving is much simpler since retiring. I no longer worry about getting/wrapping gifts for my students or for my room parents or for co-workers. Honestly, basically I just buy for my dh and dd now--and we've even cut back a bit on that. But I enjoy Christmas so much more now. Simpler is better--and my wallet is happy after the holidays!
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