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Old 10-13-2008, 01:25 PM   #11
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I give few purchased gifts to anyone, and it's been that way for several years. A box of homemade truffles or cookies, a loaf of holiday bread is appreciated as much as anything I could buy my friends.

For the children in my life, I give them gifts for birthdays and at other "un-birthdays" when I see something I know they will love. At Christmas there is always too much for kids to appreciate everything they receive.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:53 PM   #12
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We have never allowed ourselves (with one possible exception--never again) to go in debt to buy gifts of any kind. Throughout the year, if we see something someone will like, and we have the money, we buy it then. We have gifts for most of our family now. James and I always buy or make something for each other. Sometimes it is something nice (like my jewelry armoire a few years ago), and sometimes it is very inexpensive (like two years ago when we got "Mom" and "Dad" grab bags at the Dollar Tree. It was all we could afford that year, and it was fun seeing what was in the grab bags. We will probably make that a regular part of Christmas from now on, even if we can ever afford to buy nice Christmas gifts.

Barbara
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:06 PM   #13
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This year Mary and I are cutting back. We're not exchanging gifts with each other due to unexpected expenses. We're just taking care of the grandkids, nieces and nephews. The grown kids will get something small and thoughtful.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:07 PM   #14
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There are countless ways to be cheerful and full of holiday spirit without breaking the bank, let alone going into debt. Words of thought and caring cost absolutely nothing.
You said it perfectly, Vera! Because I have so many kids, I told friends and family years ago that my gift to them was never having to buy Christmas gifts for me and mine. We give each other gifts of time or home made things and it works out so well. I never want anyone to have to struggle to pay for gifts for my family and I appreciate not having to do the same. It makes the holidays such a pleasure.

Of course, I buy for my children and we always budget an equal amount for someone in need. That's been good for my children through the years and I think it helps them keep things in perspective.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:08 PM   #15
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I give few purchased gifts to anyone, and it's been that way for several years. A box of homemade truffles or cookies, a loaf of holiday bread is appreciated as much as anything I could buy my friends...
Some people seem to be embarrassed to give things they made. I think part of that is that that particular skill (sewing, baking, candy or jam making, etc.) comes so naturally to them that they don't see it as a big deal. However, those skills are becoming a dying art, and most people that I know love to receive gifts their friends made. Just watch their faces when they open it--they are often in awe of your "magical" skills! I feel fortunate to have some skills in sewing, baking, and a couple other areas. I am also in awe of others' talents when they make something for me.

I didn't address the other part of the question. We give to our daughters, our grandkids, our son-in-law, my dad, my sister, my best friend, her husband, and their kids. We also usually buy for a friend of James's in Iowa. We send cards to a lot of people though. If we had to cut anyone from the list because of money, the kids would still get something, especially our grandkids. I will admit, there have been a few years that we had gifts for everyone but not the money to ship them. Nancy and the kids have gotten their gifts as late as April or May! We keep in touch regularly by phone and computer though, and that is a gift in itself (one I love getting!).

Barbara
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:11 PM   #16
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There are obvious and desperate needs all around us here, and lots of opportunities to make a difference with relatively small amounts of money. Our disposable income is currently dedicated to help build a children's shelter here in Bucerias, especially now, because a very generous local architect (Mexican) is matching every donation until the end of the year. A very good gift is a charitable donation is someone else's name - almost any charity will do that for you, and send a nice acknowledgement to the recipient. Food banks are good candidates for charitable efforts right now, for example....their shelves are almost empty.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:13 PM   #17
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Some people seem to be embarrassed to give things they made. I think part of that is that that particular skill (sewing, baking, candy or jam making, etc.) comes so naturally to them that they don't see it as a big deal. However, those skills are becoming a dying art, and most people that I know love to receive gifts their friends made. Just watch their faces when they open it--they are often in awe of your "magical" skills! I feel fortunate to have some skills in sewing, baking, and a couple other areas. I am also in awe of others' talents when they make something for me.
Barbara
That's such a good point, Barbara. Sometimes people take for granted the skills they have and forget that others may not have the same talents. I love sewing for others and I am thrilled when someone bakes or cooks for me. One of the gifts my daughter remembers most was one year when I re-tiled her bathroom floor! She still talks about it.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:21 PM   #18
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So true MexicoKaren!!

How sweet Fishers Mom!And how origional!!
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:31 PM   #19
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There are obvious and desperate needs all around us here, and lots of opportunities to make a difference with relatively small amounts of money. Our disposable income is currently dedicated to help build a children's shelter here in Bucerias, especially now, because a very generous local architect (Mexican) is matching every donation until the end of the year. A very good gift is a charitable donation is someone else's name - almost any charity will do that for you, and send a nice acknowledgement to the recipient. Food banks are good candidates for charitable efforts right now, for example....their shelves are almost empty.
I agree. We always try to help someone out at Christmas (and other times as well. Giving some of your time at your local homeless shelter can be very rewarding. They can always use people to serve food and tallk with the people (they need that as much as they need food--possibly more).

Also, my nephew really loved whales and wolves, so one year we "adopted" a whale for him, and another year a wolf. He got updates on them, and much of the money (I hope!--it was supposed to) went to help whales and wolves.

Barbara
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:37 PM   #20
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This discussion comes up around our house every year, and like most people, everyone gets caught up in the "spirit"(?) of the season and overspends.

Every year I make the same suggestion, and every year it is vetoed. Since its the thought that counts, why not really put some thought into it and put a ridiculously low $ cap on gifts-say 5 or 10$?

Anyone can impress you with an extravagant gift, but it really takes some thought to impress with a 5$ one.

Just my opinion
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