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Too many birthdays!! - Page 2

post #21 of 30

I always get children gifts, but not adults. If adults are going to throw a fit over not getting a gift, well, too bad so sad! 

post #22 of 30

I so hear you on this. A couple of months ago (I think it was February) there was one or two kid birthday parties every weekend except for one... where there was a baby shower and a birthday party. The only adults we buy gifts for are mom, dad, mil, sdail, bil, gmil, and god mother and god father. This seems like a lot, but it's also a lot in August -- four of them are in August. It seems like the birthdays in my life just come in bunches.

 

Luckily almost all of the adults have a "collection" that I can add to. Mom collects faces (sun masks, jack in the greens, and the like) and Dad collects eagles. Usually I try to just get one of their "things" and only get what I can afford, but try to make sure it's unique and something they'll like. Like last year Mom got a 10 dollar sun mask made from an oil drum by people in Haiti. She was super pleased with it, and immediately put it up next to the hundred dollar stone flower face in her breakfast nook. Some of my best finds for the family tends to be the inexpensive items at expensive artsy stores. Most of the things in a shop may be ridiculously out of my price range, but I can usually find something "fancy" and personal in my budget if I look around. My other "go-to" present for adults are the jams and jellies I make. Everyone has a favorite flavor, so if I feel like whatever I got them isn't enough then I throw in a couple of jars of jam and feel good about it.

 

Kids tend to be more difficult to buy for. (For me.) I just want to get them the coolest thing. One thing that sucks in my circle is people will put the kid's "interests" at the bottom of the card. Yeah, try finding a cheap "batman" toy that doesn't look cheap. Recently though, I have found that books, movies, and educational stuff is a super big hit. One thing that helps me with this is that my mom has what I have termed "gift amnesia." I swear, she has bought DD the SAME educational bug movie 4 times now, and we currently have 3 copies of Dr. Seuss' Sleep Book. She (mom) always gets hurt when I tell her that DD already has that one, so I've just started putting them back and using them for gifts. DD learned at Thanksgiving last year what a "horn of plenty" was, so now she likes to gift her friends a "bag of plenty." So, usually a re-gifted book or movie, and some small items from the clearance aisles are usually what we get the kids. Grocery stores tend to be good for this, as they usually have a big bin full of books for super low prices. Also, as of Christmas I've started knitting baby hats, so for baby showers and 1st birthdays they get a hat now too.

 

Oh yeah, for my and DH's friends, we never really get them birthday presents or anything throughout the year.. maybe an occasional reciprocation gift at Christmas time, or pitch ins if they're throwing a party, but nothing really significant. However, the weekend after Thanksgiving we have a big party, invite everyone to bring their leftovers, and have "Thankful for Friends Day." The invitations always state somehow that we're so thankful to have their family in our lives and we really appreciate them.

post #23 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheDesert View Post

 

Oh yeah, for my and DH's friends, we never really get them birthday presents or anything throughout the year.. maybe an occasional reciprocation gift at Christmas time, or pitch ins if they're throwing a party, but nothing really significant. However, the weekend after Thanksgiving we have a big party, invite everyone to bring their leftovers, and have "Thankful for Friends Day." The invitations always state somehow that we're so thankful to have their family in our lives and we really appreciate them.

 

I really love this! Good for you for making your friends feel so loved.

post #24 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casha'sMommy View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheDesert View Post

 

Oh yeah, for my and DH's friends, we never really get them birthday presents or anything throughout the year.. maybe an occasional reciprocation gift at Christmas time, or pitch ins if they're throwing a party, but nothing really significant. However, the weekend after Thanksgiving we have a big party, invite everyone to bring their leftovers, and have "Thankful for Friends Day." The invitations always state somehow that we're so thankful to have their family in our lives and we really appreciate them.

 

I really love this! Good for you for making your friends feel so loved.

 


Right on. It was DH's "thing" before we got together as a way to see friends amongst the craziness of the holidays, and to give a couple of friends a real Thanksgiving when they didn't have family in town. It started off one year because a guy got a free turkey from one of the churches... but it came frozen, at noon, ON Thanksgiving. So, DH, guy and his roommate moved Thanksgiving to the weekend, and turned it into a party by inviting over all their friends. It was such a big hit, they did it again the next year and the next. It's kind of evolved and changed a little bit over the years, but "Thankful for Friends Day" is now one of my favorite holidays.

post #25 of 30

Books! Everyone gets books from me. This started years ago when I owned a bookstore. Now it is expected.smile.gif My town has a great used bookstore where things are around halfprice. The thriftstores often have great deals on books in good condition. But even at full price, a well chosen book is my preference for most every occassion. For myself, I rarely buy books any more ( I have a Kindle or use the library), but $3-20 is a great price for gifts in my family.
 

post #26 of 30

How does your dh feel about it since it's mostly his family? I wanted very much to just say we won't do gifts anymore - end of story. He felt very different about it. It actually caused a bit of strife in my marriage for a while. I finally had to decide to back down. We have drastically cut back what we spend and on whom but we do give small gifts for birthdays and Christmas again. I wouldn't say it's a small price to pay for peace but it is worth it for me to not have to fight about it anymore. 

I don't know what your budget is, but $20 per person does seem pretty reasonable. I can't imagine what you can really get for much less than that - well, that wouldn't be total junk. Although, you could always stock up when things are on sale and/or buy at thrift and consignment to save a little more. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I think this sucks in general and sooooo many people have this problem. I'd love a world where we don't feel pressured/obligated to buy gifts but I don't live in a place like that. In the end, you just need to decide if saving that money is worth the aggravation it may bring. For some people it is and for some people not so much. 

post #27 of 30

I hate the feeling I get when I know someone expects a gift or expects a fancy one.

 

SIL texted that she was sending dd's birthday gift and she "just wanted to get my niece her present." I responded, "gifts are not important to us. she (dd) just loves you all so much." DD just received that gift and it's something she won't use, isn't her interest, and appears to have been a re-gift as it came from the Amazon returns department. lol Don't get me wrong, re-gifting is fine by me IF it's something the person receiving the gift would actually want. DD opened the box excitedly and looked at me with a sad face, she was very disappointed. What's the point in giving a gift if you're doing it just to give a gift? I much prefer to give gifts that are meaningful and serve a purpose otherwise I think it's a waste of time and money.

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casha'sMommy View Post

SIL texted that she was sending dd's birthday gift and she "just wanted to get my niece her present." I responded, "gifts are not important to us. she (dd) just loves you all so much." DD just received that gift and it's something she won't use, isn't her interest, and appears to have been a re-gift as it came from the Amazon returns department. lol Don't get me wrong, re-gifting is fine by me IF it's something the person receiving the gift would actually want. DD opened the box excitedly and looked at me with a sad face, she was very disappointed. What's the point in giving a gift if you're doing it just to give a gift? I much prefer to give gifts that are meaningful and serve a purpose otherwise I think it's a waste of time and money.

I wouldn't assume that means it's a re-gift... Maybe she ordered the item specifically for your DD & opened it to discover there was a problem with it. Or maybe she exchanged something she had bought for herself so she could get something your DD might like.

I think because there are SO many gift options out there (especially for kids!) that it's hard, if not impossible, to find something the recipient will love, and that he/she doesn't already own, AND is in the giver's price range, the 'cool' brand, etc. I don't think that most people give a gift just to give a gift, I think most people do genuinely have the recipient in mind & try to choose something that will be enjoyed. I'd give SIL the benefit of the doubt that she thought the gift she'd chosen would be meaningful & fun.
post #29 of 30

Crunchy_mommy, I appreciate your perspective and appreciate your saying it. I assume it was a re-gift because the same set of books was on my niece's list just two weeks ago. lol It's cool, don't get me wrong. I'm totally fine with it, just wish sil (who is a very superficial person, another story for another thread) wouldn't get dd a gift for the sake of a gift.

Example: On dd's birthday and Christmas list was a model of a pregnant human. DD is very interested in anatomy and was very involved when we were expecting ds and helped in preparing for his birth so she's interested in the process. Mil and sil both said they would never get her something like that. lol Well, ok just get her a set of books she isn't going to read.

And, honestly, I feel for the gift giver because they've spent their money on something that wasn't what dd wanted. DH and I are frugal people and it really makes us feel bad when someone's money goes to waste. DD is saving for a horse and she has quite a bit of money in her piggy bank. She's also asked for contributions towards that but I can see how someone would prefer to give a gift that's more fun to open.

post #30 of 30

freecycle

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