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Old 10-13-2008, 12:37 PM   #1
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Christmas Gifts - yes or no.

Several friends and I were having a discussion a few days ago about the state of the economy and how much we all lost. Money is tight, a couple of people in our group have been cut back on their jobs to a 3 days a week and we are all feeling the pinch. The subject came to Christmas gifts. I was surprised at how many of us will cut out most of the gift giving this year. A few people said they were shocked when they got their credit card bill every January and swore they would do less each year. This year they mean it. No one wants to go into debt. They said they finally got smart. My family and I feel the same way, we will buy for the two grandkids and that's it.

How do you feel about cutting back on unecessary gift giving in order to stay out of debt?

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Old 10-13-2008, 12:48 PM   #2
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We are cutting back this year but it was a decision that we made last Christmas and we're only cutting back for certain people. Also, it's not really for money reasons. We're just tired of all the GREED that goes on during the holidays. We have nephews and neices that get millions of gifts from all the aunts and uncles and grandparents...they don't know what they get or who anything comes from and we have never heard any kind of thank you from the kids or the parents...what's the point?? We've decided to get ONE gift for the family. With my mom... it's always been some kind of contest to see who could out "buy" the other.. we'd end up buying all these silly stupid things that neither of us wanted or ever used. Sort of a "I bought more so I love you more" kind of thing. I told her that I wasn't going to do it this year. I've always bought Paul's brothers and sister in-law gifts and as mentioned above I'm not doing that this year....

Paul and I will will spend the same or more on each other and we'll also give a lot to David and his girlfriend.
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:56 PM   #3
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I owned several retail stores and because I carried merchandise that could be used as Christmas gifts, can't tell you how many times I heard things like: "I HAVE to buy Jane something. I can't stand her but I gotta buy something." or "I'm so broke but I have to buy something for my hairdresser." I wanted to ask "what is your hairdresser buying you?

You are so right about the greed. I think we've lost sight of what Christmas giving really means and we go into debt cuz we just don't get it. Then we resent it. Is this really Christmas Spirit? Frankly, I wish people would bake me their best cookies, or knit a scarf or sew something useful for me. I appreciate that kind of stuff far more. My next door neighbor is now on a tight budget since her husband died but she always wants to give me something. She makes the most incredible strawberry jam I've ever had and gives me 2 jars every year. Better than any store bought, wrong size, ugly color, probably will return gift.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:04 PM   #4
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Immediate family only.... Not cutting back.... No debt for 35+ years....Simple Gifts
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:12 PM   #5
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Since we moved down here, we have basically stopped exchanging Christmas gifts with people in the states because of the shipping difficulties. I can easily order a gift for someone in the US online and have it delivered. They can't do the same, however, and if they ship something to us, we end up paying 100% duty on it, i.e., for a $50 gift, we pay $50 in import duty. I have begged people not to send us stuff, but some persist. For my son in China, I just send money via Paypal. My daughter usually joins us for Christmas, so no problem there. DH and I usually pick out something for the house - usually a piece of art we have been hungering for - and buy it together as a gift for each other. This freedom from gifts is very liberating and allows us to focus on the celebration. And the FOOD.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:12 PM   #6
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I couldn't agree with you guys more! And Drama Queen
"You are so right about the greed. I think we've lost sight of what Christmas giving really means and we go into debt cuz we just don't get it. Then we resent it. Is this really Christmas Spirit? Frankly, I wish people would bake me their best cookies, or knit a scarf or sew something useful for me. I appreciate that kind of stuff far more."
that is exactly how I feel, and try to do myself. If the receiver didn't appreciate my effort then at least I didn't go into debt in the process!
I was very shocked that with the very large box of gifts as well as gift cards so they could also buy what they like, that I shipped across country to family, I did not get a single thank you or even acknowledgement of receiving the gifts! What happen to people teaching their kids manners, let alone the parents doing it themselves!! Kinda takes the joy out of giving...
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:13 PM   #7
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Can't wait until we move there Karen so that we can join you in that tradition!!
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:14 PM   #8
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since my divorce, we don't buy any Christmas gifts. It isOnly my family now and they know the meaning of Christmas. When I was small my brothers and sister only got orange and apple from church and not even a tree. We looked forward to Christmas because the church always had big tree that was decorated. I truly don't feel like I was left out or missed anything. But when I had family I did want them to get something from Santa Claus but that was only till they got into grade school. After that Santa Claus never stopped at our house anymore.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:14 PM   #9
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In my husbands family we only exchange gifts between the grandkids. They "draw" names but really Grandma keeps a chart so that each year it's someone different. Now that the youngest is in high school and everyone else is college or on their own, it's a bit funny to sit and watch them all open gift cards! We limit it to $50 a child. We each have 2 kids so it's only $100 for each family. My side we draw names among the adults and have a $100 limit and we buy for all the little kids. Once you reach 21 or finish school, your name goes into the adult draw. I try to keep the kids gifts to around $35-$40. I get something little and consumable for the elderly lady who babysat my kids when they were little. That's it. I quit sending out cards two years ago. If I decide to anything else, it's making cookies or crackerjack or candy.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:22 PM   #10
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Any gift giving that has a propensity to put you into debt should immediately cease. That seems rather simple a question.

Then there are the gifts that simply cut into your disposable income, and not in a good way. Most people have some play money left at the end of the month; money that can be used for non essentials, like gifts for yourself or others. If you find that gifts you are giving to peole simply because you feel compelled to are taking a toll, then cut those out, too.

Unless you are in the upper class of citizens (those who are suddenly worried they'll have to start paying more taxes after november) this is not the time to be giving gifts indiscriminately. It's been time to rethink the entire idea of mountains of gifts beneath a tree. It's time to consider who you really want to honour with a special gift, either handmade or store bought...but you have to start giving to those who truly deserve a gift. It doesn't make much sense to make your kids go without seeing a movie in January because you gave gifts to the hairdresser.

We all want to be generous to those we care about, but it's a new world out there now. The idea of 'give till it hurts' just doesn't make sense. YOu have to give only what you can, and just what you care to. Any more and you're just throwing it away.

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.
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