Downsizing Christmas presents

Lara

SF member
Location
Emerald Isle NC
Whenever I suggest the family not give gifts, or do a Secret Santa drawing, or do something charitable it goes over like a lead balloon. So this year I decided to let everyone do what their heart leads them to do and I will do what my heart leads me to do. I won't suggest otherwise.

So my gift to everyone will be treating the whole family to their favorite waterfront restaurant for Christmas Eve Dinner dinner, complete with appetizers, drinks, cocktails, entrees, sides, desserts, and sunset. On Christmas Day I'll do a light homemade meal for them as well with traditional fare served early afternoon with a walk on the beach afterwards with our dogs...and we all have dogs lol (5-8).

And the best part is that no one will have to try to pack this gift in their luggage, pay a fee for extra baggage, find a place in their house to store it, feel bad that they don't like it or it doesn't fit...and they'll pick out what they want but won't know what that is until they get there so it still has that surprise element :giggle:

I've told them and they're all super excited about dressing up, watching the boats go by, the fireplace, and hopefully a beautiful sunset (depending on weather but I'm feeling very positive that it will be gorgeous as usual). It's still going to cost money but I don't have to go the worry of finding each person a gift they will want.
 

caroln

Member
Whenever I suggest the family not give gifts, or do a Secret Santa drawing, or do something charitable it goes over like a lead balloon. So this year I decided to let everyone do what their heart leads them to do and I will do what my heart leads me to do. I won't suggest otherwise.

So my gift to everyone will be treating the whole family to their favorite waterfront restaurant for Christmas Eve Dinner dinner, complete with appetizers, drinks, cocktails, entrees, sides, desserts, and sunset. On Christmas Day I'll do a light homemade meal for them as well with traditional fare served early afternoon with a walk on the beach afterwards with our dogs...and we all have dogs lol (5-8).

And the best part is that no one will have to try to pack this gift in their luggage, pay a fee for extra baggage, find a place in their house to store it, feel bad that they don't like it or it doesn't fit...and they'll pick out what they want but won't know what that is until they get there so it still has that surprise element :giggle:

I've told them and they're all super excited about dressing up, watching the boats go by, the fireplace, and hopefully a beautiful sunset (depending on weather but I'm feeling very positive that it will be gorgeous as usual). It's still going to cost money but I don't have to go the worry of finding each person a gift they will want.
That sounds wonderful!
 

StarSong

Awkward is my Superpower
Ha ha, Liberty.

Christmas present shopping has always been hard for me, no so much about the money, but trying to think of something they might want that they don't already have.

I always love buying toys for children, though!
https://southpark.cc.com/video-clips/d1xvd7/south-park-christmas-tree-pie
LOL - Cartman cracks me up!

Christmas is a big deal in my family. A very big deal. It was by far my favorite holiday as a child, my husband also embraced the tradition, and we passed it along to our children. Sure, Christmases have changed over the years - mountains of presents when the kids were young, far fewer as they got older, now it's thoughtful and high hilarity grab bags. Whatever the theme or stage we all work hard to find things that hit the mark.

This year we'll have a round of specialty jams/jellies (the sweet kind for spreading on toast, not weird jalapeno-garlic type stuff). Also a liquor round (with gifts for the younger set so they can play, too). There'll be a candy round, too - new this year and promises to be great fun. Most rounds are limited to $10 or $15.

Every year I give my kids certain gifts - a dozen sponges (as a mom, I need to know they're replacing their kitchen sponges at least once a month), a dozen Brita filters (ditto), I assort hard candy into gallon bags for each car (for us all to keep in our glove boxes - a great way to ward off slight sleepiness). For emergencies, this year every family is also getting a four pack of small flashlights and extra batteries plus a paper address book. I'll print labels of all family members' addresses, phone numbers and emails to get them started. (A paper address book was recommended on another SF thread.)

My husband will probably come up with a cool gadget or tool for each. If he can't come up with something new and different, a couple of cans of WD-40 plus a package of duct tape will be happy additions to their hardware supply and and will bring some smiles. All our kids are homeowners and our sons and SIL have done plenty of household fix-its alongside DH.

As you can tell, these are useful gifts that aren't particularly expensive. It's truly the thought that counts. We embrace the gathering, the cleverness, the OMG, I can't believe you thought of that! moments, and the spirit of the giving.
 

Packerjohn

Packerjohn
Location
Canada
Years ago, smart families started drawing names out of a bag to buy just one gift/person. I think this Christmas spending is way over most people's head. That is why everyone is so miserable when those charge bills come around January 21. Don't buckle under pressure to spend money. Instead of trying to be "Grandma Moneybag" try to spend time with the grandkids. They will remember the time you spend with them many years after your gone. I doubt if they will remember one thing you bought time. Forget the commercial advertising on TV. Forget the propaganda that buying all that Christmas junk will bring lots of happiness. Most of those gifts are either returned after Christmas or go into the landfills of the nation. Not good for the environment! Christmas shopping is part of the problem leading to global warming and pollution. No reason to support Chinese manufacturing.
 

StarSong

Awkward is my Superpower
Years ago, smart families started drawing names out of a bag to buy just one gift/person. I think this Christmas spending is way over most people's head. That is why everyone is so miserable when those charge bills come around January 21. Don't buckle under pressure to spend money. Instead of trying to be "Grandma Moneybag" try to spend time with the grandkids. They will remember the time you spend with them many years after your gone. I doubt if they will remember one thing you bought time. Forget the commercial advertising on TV. Forget the propaganda that buying all that Christmas junk will bring lots of happiness. Most of those gifts are either returned after Christmas or go into the landfills of the nation. Not good for the environment! Christmas shopping is part of the problem leading to global warming and pollution. No reason to support Chinese manufacturing.
Not every family is the same. There are ways to give Christmas gifts without contributing to landfills or breaking people's budgets. I personally wouldn't be happy with drawing names and buying a gift for one person.
 
Thanks for all the responses. I value everyone's input. I hope everyone in my family understands my situation, but as Gaer said, I really don't owe any explanations. Just wish I didn't feel like such a scrooge! 😟

You are not a Scrooge! You need to think of yourself, too, and it just doesn't make good sense to spend more than is comfortable on Christmas gifts.

My family long ago decided that we would no longer exchange Christmas gifts and no one withered away and died because of it.
 

Ronni

The motormouth ;)
Location
Nashville TN
Years ago, smart families started drawing names out of a bag to buy just one gift/person. I think this Christmas spending is way over most people's head. That is why everyone is so miserable when those charge bills come around January 21. Don't buckle under pressure to spend money. Instead of trying to be "Grandma Moneybag" try to spend time with the grandkids. They will remember the time you spend with them

I don’t think it’s appropriate to label name drawing as something only “smart families” do, the inference being that that there really is no other viable alternative and that if you don’t do it you’re not smart. If that’s what works for your family and everyone’s in agreement, then wonderful! On the other hand if you decide to approach Christmas differently it doesn’t mean you’re not smart it just means that Christmas gift giving is unique to each person and family and that there are no right or wrong choices.

We do a combination. My daughter has an app that randomizes names put into it, and the algorithm matches people….the high tech version of drawing names from a hat. As mentioned earlier giving gifts is my most favorite part of Christmas so while I’m part of the Secret Santa drawing, I also purchase additional gifts for everyone. It’s certainly gotten less in quantity over the years but Ron and each child and grandchild who live in town gets 2 or 3. The families who live out of state get gift cards and money…I am SO over sending massive Christmas boxes every year!

The kinfolk all know that one of them will get a Secret Santa gift from me depending on who I draw, but are also aware that Mum/Moms/Mama (they all have different names for me lol) is a rule breaker 😂 and will buy an additional couple of gifts for everyone.

That’s what we do in our family and it works for us! 🤶🎄
 
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Jules

Well-known Member
Location
N of 49
People should do what they enjoy and can afford.

If it’s going to put stress on your finances later, it’s not wise.

I don’t enjoy giving things so e-transfer cash on Christmas morning. Get a thank you right away.

My DD loves shopping. This year she’s wised up and told them an amount she’ll spend on each of them and to make their lists.
 

Pinky

SF VIP
Location
Toronto
We only swap Xmas gifts with daughter & SIL. We make out our lists, and give/get what we want/need. It works for us. This year, we have put a cap on what we're spending - as they are saving up for a house and reno's to their condo.

As far as birthdays go, we still give a cheque or Amazon gift card to all 3 of our adult nephews for their birthdays. Pre-covid, we took them out for dinner and gave gifts.
 
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Packerjohn

Packerjohn
Location
Canada
I think that gift cards are a good idea. Make sure that the gift card can be useful. No use buying a gift card to the Bonanza Steak House if the folks don't go there. My daughter bought me a gift card for $300 to a grocery store. It took me months to use it up but I sure appreciated it. Had she bought me some tacky shirt or a book I would never read then it's a waste of money.
 

terry123

Well-known Member
Location
Houston, Tx.
I think that gift cards are a good idea. Make sure that the gift card can be useful. No use buying a gift card to the Bonanza Steak House if the folks don't go there. My daughter bought me a gift card for $300 to a grocery store. It took me months to use it up but I sure appreciated it. Had she bought me some tacky shirt or a book I would never read then it's a waste of money.
My favorites to give and get. Mine always want Amazon cards and I want Walmart so it works for us.
 

Capt Lightning

Well-known Member
We're not blessed with grandchildren, and we usually gift money to our 3 adult children through the year. That leaves our friends in the village and our daughter's in-laws. The friends are getting a box of handmade Belgian chocolates. We usually give the in-laws a side of Scottish smoked salmon from the Ugie smokehouse (the oldest in Scotland). They do a mail order service which is popular at Christmas. When we told our daughter, she said "are we getting one too?" well, that's her and OH's present sorted.

Mrs.L and I just exchange token gifts and sometimes treat ourselves to a joint present.
 


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