Posted by: Dotsie

Christmas? - 10/26/04 07:06 AM

Do you set guidelines for how much you spend on each person you shop for at Christmas?

Please share with us any ideas you have for making gifts...

Maybe you gave, or were given a gift that cost nothing, but it was the best gift you gave or received that year...
Posted by: Vicki M. Taylor

Re: Christmas? - 10/25/04 10:35 PM

Last year was the first Christmas that we didn't go into debt (charging gifts on credit cards) and we're so much better for it.

Since we live away from family, we don't buy for anyone except the kids. Actually, we give them each a check. [Smile]

For hubby and I, we decide throughout the year, what our one purchase is going to be for "us".

We send cards out to everyone (I have a big card budget!)

We don't have a set budget for gifts, but whatever we spend has to be "cash"... no gifts on credit card. In one more year we'll be "debt" free (except our mortgage) and that is the best gift we could ever give ourselves.
Posted by: Elsielc

Re: Christmas? - 10/26/04 12:04 AM

I am into geneology, and for Christmas this year, I'm making a booklet of family history to give to each of the families. This will be instead of individual gifts to everyone. I've done a lot of generational research, back to 1600's, which is quite interesting. I even found that GW Bush is a cousin, about 8 generations removed! So I will put in a family tree, copies of letters that generations ago have written on their trek to Calif., and all sorts of tidbits I could find on interesting ancestors. Also will add pictures. Hopefully this will be a gift that lasts!
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Christmas? - 10/26/04 05:33 PM

What great ideas. You are so creative.

I need to rethink this Christmas. We've blown it out of proportion because our parents did the same when we were little. Blame it on them! [Razz] Urg...what have we created?

The season is my favorite, and I love to give gifts. It's just the money involved can get out of hand. Limits. I must set limits! [Wink]
Posted by: TVC15

Re: Christmas? - 10/26/04 06:45 PM

I agree Dotsie. Christmas is way out of proportion. I am thinking in terms of limits this year also. I love that geniology idea. That would be a wonderful gift to receive. And homemade things are always a nice touch, I'm just not that crafty. Since we're now out of state I have to think in terms of size also since I have to mail everything. I guess gift certificates would be one way to go. They would also help with the limiting as you would only spend exactly what you want to, no adding the extras or taxes. I hate to even think about holiday shopping right now, I guess I'll start after Halloween.
Posted by: summerbreeze

Re: Christmas? - 10/26/04 09:20 PM

I like to make things and one thing I enjoy receiving and sending are Gifts in a Jar. Here is a site with a bunch listed:
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Christmas? - 10/27/04 01:08 AM

Summer...make me #4 and I'll dance at your next wedding...I LOVE BISCOTTI!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Thistle Cove Farm

Re: Christmas? - 10/27/04 05:44 AM

Funny...I just wrote my Mom, Dad and sibs a letter this morning asking if we could forego buying and giving gifts this year. I suggested we pass a hat and everyone slip in whatever $ they could afford and we'd give it to my brother's Mexico missions trips. He gets together a group of people every year and goes to Mexico to build schools, clinics, etc.

Every one in my family has all of their needs abundance. All we have are our wants and I think it's time we focused on meeting the needs of others before getting all our wants met.

I suggested we bring food - home made or bought goodies - and make this Christmas memorable because of joyful abandon, glorious love, peace and calm and the overriding knowlege we are so each other and by God.

My gifts to friends are all going to be hand made and full of prayers tucked into each stitch. I'm knitting hats, shawls & headbands. When I'm tired of knitting, I'll weave shawls and when I'm tired of weaving, I'll felt wall hangings. I want to return to the knowlege that hand made equaled hand crafted and people were grateful you spent the gift of time because they know how precious a gift time is. I want to give a piece of me, while there's still some of me to give.

I'm asking my friends to give to their favorite charity in lieu of giving me "stuff". I'm suggesting any shelter for women and children. Did you know the average age for the homeless in this country is NINE!?! That's outrageous!

I'm past middle age. It's time to focus and focus narrowly. It's time to put life in perspective. I believe the Holy Spirit is gently talking; I'm trying to listen intently.
Posted by: Thistle Cove Farm

Re: Christmas? - 10/29/04 03:00 AM

I talked with my sister yesterday and she said, "No Way!" So...looks like we're going to buy and give gifts this year. I'm still going to try and knit or weave something for my sister. She walks in winter so maybe a wool hat to keep her warm. She said she was going to give gift certificates -ours will have to be WalMart as that's the ONLY store around here that she also has access to 280 miles away-

I dunno. Maybe I was being a grinch and didn't realize it. Then again, I can't remember a lot of what my family gave me last year but Dave struck a home run last year.

Oh well. better get busy knitting and weaving.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Christmas? - 10/29/04 04:09 AM

I've had a constant headache since my extended family met and discussed Christmas last week. (I was nominated hostess)Why are families so difficult?? (And that was without the in-laws) Anyone got room and board (and an airline ticket) over the yule tide? House swap anyone?
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Christmas? - 10/30/04 02:34 AM

My husband and I are going to France to visit my sister and her husband for Christmas. That will be our gift to each other.

I send my grandkids a check so they can buy what they like. Christmas got to be a headache rather than a holiday to enjoy. I'm looking forward to leaving the hectic pace behind this year. Don't even have to decorate a tree! Yea! [Big Grin]
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Christmas? - 10/30/04 03:16 AM're the one with the right idea hon...

Posted by: Sadie

Re: Christmas? - 10/30/04 03:39 AM

You know the saying from Grinch . Christmas will come whether we want it to or not. So, we have to make the best of it.

Julie , I have never been to Australia . We will come and cook Dianne France should be pretty for the Holidays . I coming with you all. Ha!just kidding.

There will only be four of us for dinner . Anyone want to come. We don't have any family here. Just a thought.
You have to bring some rolls to eat.Bread that is.

[ October 29, 2004, 08:41 PM: Message edited by: Nancy50 ]
Posted by: Sher

Re: Christmas? - 10/30/04 05:46 PM

Hi ya'll,

As some of you know, I have a site dedicated to having Christmas on the cheap. It's called Frugal Christmas and I have several pages of Christmas freebies that are nice to stick on stockings, etc..

Actually, if any of you have some good freebie information, I sure would appreciate it if you'd post it here so I can put it on the site. Whatever your frugal Christmas ideas are, I'm always looking for new ones. As always, I'll give you credit and post a link to your site if you have one.

Ho Ho Ho!
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Christmas? - 10/31/04 07:24 AM

Here's a couple of things I've done.

1. Save your bread ties all year long...then when it's time to hang your bulbs, use the bread ties instead of hooks. Course this only works on the ones that have the loop hangers, but most of them do. The bread ties are colorful, and less dangerous. If you step on one of those, it won't hurt and stick into your foot like a hook.

2. Always wondered how to remember which child made what ornament? I buy the hanging tags at a craft store. I write on the tag the artist (child's) name, the date they made it and anything else I want to put on it to help me remember in years to come. You can slip the white loop over the ornament right before you hang it on the tree, then move the tag to the BACK of the masterpiece so it doesn't show. You've perserve a memory.

Posted by: Thistle Cove Farm

Re: Christmas? - 10/31/04 12:37 AM

Thank you Queen, your words mean a great deal.

We have "open table" on Christmas Day. Dave and I decided years ago we would stay home Christmas Day and have a place where friends could come. We celebrate Christmas with our family early in December and then we're free to stay home Christmas Day...what joy and peace to not be on the road that day!

There are a number of friends who haven't family anywhere near so we always do a buffet and give an open invitation to come share Christmas cheer. Dave likes to have a smoked salmon so we have little cracker sandwiches -which I adore- and I make a lot of baked goodies...lots of fun and we always seem to have people who enjoy each other's company. One year I baked all the crackers to go with the smoked salmon, cheese and other things that needed a cracker. Those crackers were a huge hit; no one had *ever* had homemade crackers before -grin-.

The Frugal Christmas site is great; thanks for telling us about it! I can see I"m going to spend a lot of time there -grin-.

I'm looking forward to a memorable, in a great way, Christ season this year.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Christmas? - 11/01/04 04:52 PM

Julie, what are you serving for dinner? Wnat some of our recipes?

Dian, France, what a lovely Christmas gift. I also like the check idea for the older grandkids. No one needs a darn thing anyway.

Thistle, now that sounds like Christmas to me. [Wink]

We also stay home. Whoever wants to come by is welcome. It's the only day of the year we don't get in our cars and take off. I love it!
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Christmas? - 11/06/04 01:11 AM

Every year I would charge up the credit cards with too many, too expensive Christmas gifts but since last year I have cut them all up and if I can't pay cash, I don't buy it. This will be the first Christmas ever I will not be in debt all year afterwards. I decided that since everyone loved the cooking creations I make I would make them all something they personally love. Like Sausge & cheese breakfast cups, my peanut dip, Sun dried Tomato & cheese dip, Mini Spinach & cheese cups, Salmon balls and Italian Spinach Pie and last but not least Creamy Italian pudding. I sent out a note asking if they could have anything I could make what would it be. These are the answers so I will make and deliver each one their favorite with a gourmet coffee and some cookies. I always take goodies to the Nursing home but this year I will go there the night before Christmas Eve and cook up a few things for them for Christmas. I always collect and distribute treats, blankets, bowls, and money for the local "no kill" animal shelters here as well, plus I know it's silly but we put up a little tree too for them. Thats my christmas and I will go to my sons home for Christmas dinner. I always buy Jason something, he's 13 and a clothes horse. He loves sweaters and my friend knitted him one that is beautiful and she's taking my special Cheesy Artichoke recipe and Nutty Summer Squash with Asigo Cheese hor dourves as payment. Nice huh? Happy Holidays it shall be.... [Big Grin]
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Christmas? - 11/07/04 10:01 PM

Chatty, I love your idea of cooking for everyone. My problem is time.

When the kids were younger we always baked for our neighbors. We made all kinds of cookies and Baby Jesus cupcakes. I'd buy pretty glass plates at the dollar store and we'd fill them with cookies and place the Baby Jesus cupcakes in the middle.

On Christmas Eve my husband and kids still load up the car and take something to our neighbors, but I have to admit that last year it was been store bought! It's a great opportunity for the kids to give and NOT receive.

We've also made great centerpieces. Use the old Clementine crates and fill them with evergreens, a couple ornaments from the dollar store and some candies/candy canes. Oh, we spray painted them first. The kids loved doing that part. They also piked the greens in and added the candy so they were involved

Last year it wasn't the same. I felt like I did it all and the kids delivered with Ross. I need to get back to having them involved. Ah, another thing to delegate! [Wink]

Gift cards are great for out-of-towners. They are also tax free. [Wink]
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Christmas? - 11/08/04 12:16 AM

JJ your ideas prove once again that you aren't just a pretty face. I knew I saved those old bread ties for something. If you don't have enough (likeme) all the supermarkets put them out for customers to too!!! I have a photo album especially for ornaments and/or gifts made by the children. I take a colored photo of it and place it in the album with the who and when. Each year this becomes a coffee table addition for anyone to look through.....
Thistle love your idea of staying home and until last year and this year Christmas was at my house, since myson has a new house he's so proud of and wants to take the chore off me, we have it at their house now. I'd rather be home though...I miss my animals and they love company... [Razz]
Posted by: wolfbane

Re: Christmas? - 11/08/04 01:44 AM

Chatty, last year at Christmas, my boss and best friend Bren, and I went to the local city shelter to take treats and blankets to the animals. This shelter, in Deer Park, doesn't have much funding, no frills, just a pound. But we know some of the people there, they have hearts too, paying out of pocket for things they need and the city does not provide. [Wink]

We went to hand out a little kindness to the creatures, cookies and blankets for the cages and runs. I came home with a little tiny kitten, pewter colored, I call her Jingle Bell. [Roll Eyes]

I didn't intend to, but when I looked in the cage of mewing kittens, she was in the back, quietly looking at me. Our eyes locked, and I was in love again. When I asked if I could hold her, they put her in my arms, and her tiny purr trobbed in my ear. I asked what the fee would be to adopt her, and the attendant said,"Just take her, but have her spayed!" No problem there. She rode around in the bib of my overalls most of that day, as we completed our errands.I went home and prepared myself for the "we can't afford another!" speech, but my hubby just looked and sighed. [Big Grin]

That was last Dec., she is quite the lady cat now, races around with the little dog, bullies the guinea pig, and generally makes it lively here. Oh yeah, she is strickly indoors, our first all indoor cat. [Cool]
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Christmas? - 11/09/04 06:14 AM

God sees the kindness's we give and do for our little helpless animal friends. It has always amazed me how much love something so small can stir in our hearts. If I were a wealthy person I'm afraid most of my wealth and all of my time would be spent with and on the animals that needed my help. So much to do and so little time and for me so little money as well most of the time. I adore her name, Jingle Bells... [Big Grin]