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2011 Frugal Xmas (and other holidays) - Page 3

post #41 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

I totally had this experience, too.  We switched to drawing names and someone decided the limit was $50!  I felt pressure that I had to give my person something they would really like since they would only be getting one thing.  And it meant I couldn't give couple gifts or family gifts.  Since Dh was also assigned someone, the $ was well above what we had spent previously.  I just opted out after a couple years.  We just give gifts to local relatives.  Sometimes I skip the younger kids because they get so much and don't notice who gives them what.  I'd rather give to adults who appreciate it and don't get so much.

 



Well to play devils advocate here, the LIMIT is $50 or $XX.xx.  You do not need to spend that much.  You can spend whatever amount you want.  Plus you have no idea if your person is only getting one thing.  I've found that in 'name drawing' situations family members still buy for others.  Like you pull Aunt M's name.  She is still going to get presents from her kids and her mom. (You are a distant cousin).  Grandma is going to get presents from her kids and grandkids no matter what.  The gifts just many not be given at this particular party or time.

post #42 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thystle View Post

 

 

So I should not be sending you my something made with vanilla and vodka then? biglaugh.gif It's been "brewing" since May. Sheepish.gif

 

 

Or did you just enjoy the vodka? whistling.gif



I'm not picky.  I accept all gifts and celebrate all holidays !whistling.gif

post #43 of 98

 

Quote:
Any ideas on what to give a six-month-old baby boy? I know he doesn't care, but I feel like I should give him something..

 

Since he may be starting to play with finger foods soon how about a couple of cute bibs and maybe his own plate & cup. Thats what we went for at DDs first Christmas since other people bought her plenty of toys.

 

 

post #44 of 98

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

Well to play devils advocate here, the LIMIT is $50 or $XX.xx.  You do not need to spend that much.  You can spend whatever amount you want.  Plus you have no idea if your person is only getting one thing.  I've found that in 'name drawing' situations family members still buy for others.  Like you pull Aunt M's name.  She is still going to get presents from her kids and her mom. (You are a distant cousin).  Grandma is going to get presents from her kids and grandkids no matter what.  The gifts just many not be given at this particular party or time.


True, true. But I know that when our family used to do this type of gift exchange, it was just expected that your gift be at the upper end of the "limit". Even though everyone was likely getting other gifts on Christmas morning from their immediate family, the gift exchange gift was still supposed to be something awesome and pricey. We've since done away with the gift exchange for the adults, and now everyone only buys for the kids under 18. Thankfully there are just two right now - my husband's youngest cousin and now our son. 

 

post #45 of 98

Barbies- Yes, I am checking out our local thrift stores this week.

 

 

post #46 of 98

Can I say I love this tread!

post #47 of 98

Since February I have been buying things when they go on clearance for 75% to 90% off. So I already have quite a stockpile that I barely paid anything for. We are splurging on 2 items this year: xbox kinect with the Disneyland game that is about to come out. Since we cannot afford an actual Disney trip, we hope this will be a ton of fun for our son. (and me too! lol). For my mother and mother in law I have a coupon code for an inexpensive make your own calendar. Figured it would be perfect since the inlaws always forget birthdays and anniversaries! I'll also make some homemade fudge for them. For my SIL's I'm thinking some placemats for their home I can sew? Not sure. I'm not all that crafty so we shall see! looking forward to reading everyones replies!

post #48 of 98

My favorite pirate gift is a treasure box with a lid - you cover the top with a white skull and crossbones on black background, and fill with things like costume jewelry and fake money.  We got lots of very cheap jewelry at the thrift shop and I found some fake coins for cheap also.  We gave one to a friend one year and his mom said it was the most loved gift ever (my jaw dropped because this was an upper-class town and there I was with my homemade gift...)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeress View Post

Great ideas!

 

The kids are getting theme gifts that are either bought used, handmade (by me or others) and eco/fair trade friendly.

 

DD9- Pirate theme

dd6-Animals

DD4-BARBIE?

 

For families- they are getting handmade signs for their front door, these are made at our local pottery shop. This was super fun for the kids, plus it was inexpensive because the owner likes to work with the kids in hopes the parents will take classes from him.

 

 



 

post #49 of 98

I'm going to attempt to make homemade crackers with toilet paper tubes and wrapping paper. They won't pop, but I think they'll be a hit if I fill them with interesting things. Right now the plan is to fill them with confetti, small candies, and maybe inexpensive little trinkets like magnets.

post #50 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamapigeon View Post

I'm going to attempt to make homemade crackers with toilet paper tubes and wrapping paper



I had to read this 3 times before I figured out that you were not making eating crackers out of TP!  LOL

 

post #51 of 98

Those would be some foul tasting crackers! lol 

post #52 of 98
Our family makes crackers too, also with toilet paper rolls. U can also buy the snappers at a craft store, even if u just put them in the kids'..they love them!
post #53 of 98

I've already been working on homemade gifts for this year.  I found several patterns online to make simple but pretty homemade ornaments for friends.  There are many patterns for people who sew and also for people who don't.

 

I also bought some cuts of holiday fleece (with a coupon for the fabric store) to make blankets.  I have an embroidery machine and I embroider the name on one fabric.  I put the two pieces (2 yds) of fabric together, make 7 inch cut, 1 inch apart.  Once I've made the cuts, I tie the two pieces together all the way around the blanket...it turns out really cute!

 

post #54 of 98

One purse finished for my mom.  Fleece should arrive today to make scarves for teachers, $30 for about as many teachers. thumb.gif  I'm trying to raid my fabric stash as much as possible for gifts this year.  I'm still trying to decide what would be best for my sister's family.  

post #55 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeress View Post

Great ideas!

 

The kids are getting theme gifts that are either bought used, handmade (by me or others) and eco/fair trade friendly.

 

DD9- Pirate theme

dd6-Animals

DD4-BARBIE?

 

For families- they are getting handmade signs for their front door, these are made at our local pottery shop. This was super fun for the kids, plus it was inexpensive because the owner likes to work with the kids in hopes the parents will take classes from him.

 

 

If you decide not to make something yourself, Palumba has an AMAZING leather handmade pirate hook that my son has worn for about an hour a day for four months. We have many pirate goodies but this is the most loved. Great quality and made in the USA.



 

 

post #56 of 98

Just popping in to say I'm keeping my kids expectations small this year.  The only thing they have really asked for is book lights, which are not very expensive.  I've been gathering little things for their stockings all year, and our food stamps will cover the "food" part of stocking gifts.  I found natural candy canes on super-sale at the discount store last year and stocked up on those (one per kid for the next 10 years, LOL).  Also I have collected some used books in good shape and will give those, and the main gift for the family will be a huge beautiful puzzle that I got on sale, which we can do together (may be the start of a Christmas-Day tradition.)

 

It will be small, but I'm just going to play up all the "festive food" and homemade decorations and traditions and rituals and music and make it all really special even though there won't be a lot for them to open.  I think it will still be fun because they'll have a handful of wrapped things in their stockings, and there is a book set where I will wrap each book individually.  They'll get the kinds of things they expect in their stocking (art supplies, specific treats, chapstick, etc) and I think that will feel satisfying to them, to have it be what they expected and have enjoyed in past years. 

 

This is my first year as a single mom and it has been challenging and a little sad realizing that I don't have the money to spend that I have had in other years (even in lean years I had more than I do now), but I am very resourceful and my kids are resilient, and they will know they are loved, and Christmas will still feel special.  It will be enough.

post #57 of 98

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by worthy View Post

This is my first year as a single mom and it has been challenging and a little sad realizing that I don't have the money to spend that I have had in other years (even in lean years I had more than I do now), but I am very resourceful and my kids are resilient, and they will know they are loved, and Christmas will still feel special.  It will be enough.


This sentiment is so important and right on! This is our first year with a child and also our first year where things have been tighter than lean, so we're in a similar boat. Making Christmas special isn't about the presents! I think what you have planned for your kids is special and great. :-) Kids remember the experiences and the feelings, not the things. 

 

post #58 of 98
Great deal on Melissa & Doug toys mamas! Good for today (11/13) only, but you can get some cheap gifts!

Here is the coupon at bloomingdales' right now: http://www.bloomingdales.com/customerservice/fandf/wwwfandfwww.jsp?PartnerID=Linkshare&cm_mmc=Linkshare-_-FF-_-banner-_-FFHP&LinkshareID=UO85MF6im_8-9nElHEUXf2yhuSTaH9Somg

Search for Melissa & Doug...they have some deep discounts (like the cutting food box for $8.80, band-in-a-box for $6ish) Code FANDF for 20% off (again, today only) and code FREESHIP11 for free shipping! I got the pizza set and band in a box for $11.72 shipped!
post #59 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by worthy View Post


 

This is my first year as a single mom and it has been challenging and a little sad realizing that I don't have the money to spend that I have had in other years (even in lean years I had more than I do now), but I am very resourceful and my kids are resilient, and they will know they are loved, and Christmas will still feel special.  It will be enough.


This is my third Christmas as a single mom.  And you know, my philosophy has always been towards valuing doing things over buying/owning things.  I find that this feeling is only growing stronger.  And I guess I have passed it on to my kids.  They totally accept our simple Christmas, which basically means a couple of store bought gifts (sometimes they even contribute to a larger one if it is something that they really want and it is beyond the present budget.  They know the present budget and I don't have any qualms about keeping to it.  I usually squeeze in some extras and make them practical as much as possible.  Pens, lip balm, etc. for stockings.  They generally will get a new Christmas tree ornament but those are going up in price.  I usually shop yard sales all summer and put away a couple of cool things for them too.  My dd gets a big stack of used books usually, because really, why would I buy one new book when I could get many used?  They know these things and absolutely accept them.  We have alot of fun.  My stress level is very low for the holidays.  We make things like cinnamon bread and eat by candlelight often, play Christmas music, generally just chill out for a week or so.  Honestly, just don't want to own any more things and they seem to mostly feel the same way.  Really, holidays are about the special time together and that IS what kids remember.  I actually think that my kids enjoy Christmas more now than when I was more lavish (I never really was that lavish, though!). 

 

post #60 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeress View Post

Barbies- Yes, I am checking out our local thrift stores this week.

 

 

Last year I made my DD a barbie house.  I recycled a plywood shelf- but a small bookshelf from the thrift store would work just as well.  I wallpapered the walls using a free wallpaper sample book - just ask them for an old one at the wallpaper store.  I cut little bits of fabric and stapled them on for window curtains, I used metallic scrapbooking stickers for mirrors on the walls.  I also knit little rugs for the floor.  She received a lot of furniture from her grandmas (which I knew about) but I still upholstered a little plywood couch and bed (which held up perfectly and looked so cute- way better than the mattel stuff). Just an idea...
 

 

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