I falted a bit... I was doing no gifts, then simple hand made gifts, then well... back to no gifts... I ended up doing RE-GIFTS.... the best of both worlds... I get stuff out of my house and the (snotty people who must recieve presents get them) lol.... My family is just so.... materialistic.... UGH.... espicially my sis.... SO sis and her hubby are getting bath and body works stuff (my bathroom is overstuffed with those products and im allergic to them) All regifts (or free wtih coupons this year) My mom got a regifted nightgown and my dad got an almost free Ralph lauren shirt ( i love dillards sales 85% off). Slammed it all in a flat rate box and off it went today. My mom can sort it out and wrap it up for them. LOL... Hey , I decluttered a bit, and I feel like I washed my hands of the whole non-sense.
They all live 2k miles from here. Good riddence
I feel better now... Time to focus on DS and his few wants...
Ok, it is no secret that I'm not xtian... but I have deal with my xmas side of the family every year. I did point many of them to this cool video.
It brings tears to my agnostic eyes every time.
Edited to put in a link that works!
Which reminds me that I've got four Giving Tree presents to buy. This year they really kept the wishes moderate--a lot of requests for sweaters, coats and jeans and not a single game system. Whew!
So glad I found this thread. We've been trying to take the lead on this with our families too. I think this year will go pretty well. DH's extended family does a Secret Santa exchange, so you only buy for 1 person in the extended family. This is a massive improvement from the crazy buy-for-everyone deal that was going on for many years. We drew names of 2 folks that are really tight on money right now so we're able to give them something we think they'll really enjoy for themselves and have asked that whoever drew our names donate what they would have spent on us to the local food bank. DH and I aren't really doing gifts for each other--DH is Christian and I am Buddhist and he asked that we all go to church together on Christmas as our gift to him, I asked him to take me out for a date at the movies while my mom is in town and can babysit. Our parents will put some money in DDs college fund and DH's parents will do an additional food bank donation for us. For our folks, we're doing photo calendars of our DD. Great grandmothers are getting framed family pictures. DD is 3 and has asked for 1 gift from Santa--a fairy doll. So we'll get her that and some small stocking stuff, though I know there will be more from grandparents (esp mine--they are trying to calm it down but it's a work in progress and we still have a little ways to go). Everyone else is getting homemade jam and apple butter that I made (DD and I picked all the fruit). I saved the cardboard boxes that some of our produce came in from the farmers' markets this summer and I'll put the jars in there with some straw-like filler. We've been working at this for a few years now and it's finally starting to feel "right"--we're starting to be able to cut out the craziness and just give and receive gifts with meaning.
I feel that secret santa is really working for our family. We have a 15 dollar limit, which, I think is less than we would have spent on individual gifts (there are 6 adults participating, so it cuts dh's and my spending down from 150 to 30). we still get to participate in anticipating a gift, discussing what to get behind everyone's back and a little piece of the stress and drama of holiday shopping without it becoming too overwhelming.
My son wasn't included in the draw this year though, which means that everyone will give him a gift (only grand child). I'd like for him to be included from now on.
Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdad and mom to DS 24 months, and DD 8 months! .
I like the letter, well said!
We have been working on paring down the gift giving forever here. In dh's family it was tradition that ever adult buy multiple gifts for each other- there was like 17 people total, seriously. I tried homemade gifts for a while- they didn't like them and I was stressed doing them. I tried to just stick to a certain small budget per person, well then with that many people it was too cheap and they didn't like the gifts. So, finally a few yrs ago it was really tight around here and we told them no more gifts- we are only buying for kids. That leaves 2 to buy for on dh's side and 2 on my side. On dh's side there is also the get together with his dad's family thankfully they switched to doing a drawing names thing which pared it down considerably. Dh always wants to participate in this so we have but I have decided that come this year we are not putting our names in the hat. Too much stress for me picking out gifts.
The big problem with it all is that dh's family likes to have a big production of gift opening- spending literally hrs opening all the gifts, which is of course awkward when you don't buy gifts for others. People have still bought us gifts although it has certainly been greatly reduced they still spend a lot on others but have gone to smaller token gifts for us.
I do like buying gifts for people if it is someone I care for and know they will appreciate it. However, as laohaire said it just seems like a stupid exchange of money for the most part. I did however buy some books for friends, just one per family- all bought used $5 or less, just because I wanted to, not out of any obligation. Selfishly I would like to buy dh a present, we never exchange them. With the kids we are actually buying more than usual this year, just because I wanted to, although the baby is getting little- a bunting(needed), used book, and some wood blocks from Good will. DS' main gift is actually a handme down from dh- so free, dd1 main gift was from the flea market- a wooden kitchen for $22. Other than that they are getting some books(used), games, and mostly some educational things.
While we aren't doing "no gifts" next year, we are doing a basket for each family unit. I'm going to make handmade goodies, probably the edible variety but also perhaps ornaments or bath products depending on the family. I'm also going to try to add coloring books for the kids, maybe a Christmas dvd/game/cd for the family to share. I'm going to focus much more on my own immediate family-dh, dd, and now ds. When I was single, or even married without children, buying presents and visiting everyones homes for the holidays was great fun. But now I just need to slow down. I feel like this whole year I have done nothing but bought for Christmas, then I spend so much time and energy wrapping things for Christmas, and going to everyone's events, etc. that there is no time for our own little family. At this point I have to upset my inlaws and say, no we can't come to your home first thing on Christmas morning. My own children are going to be getting gifts from Santa now, and they don't want to have to get up crazy early to get stuffed into a car after rushing through their gifts here-NOR DO I. I cannot, nor do I want to, continue to compete with parents, grandparents, santa and the like when getting presents. So yeah. People now get one simple gift for their birthdays, and they get a basket for their family around the holidays.
Honestly, if people don't buy me or mine gifts I'm not offended at all. I haven't outright told people NO GIFTS, but I have said they are unnecessary and not to feel guilty if they choose to/cannot get our family gifts. We're together to be together, not to get a present. It would have to be an obvious snub for me to care if my children didn't get a gift,etc.
We do a no gift policy unless you are under the age of 15 or over the age of seventy and in the somewhat immediate family. It cuts our list down big time. For everyone else we meet for potlucks or dinner out. We also adopt a family. Most have been very positive about it. I never sent a letter, but told everyone. The first year we received presents from some who did not think we were serious, but never had that problem after the first year.
we dont even celebrate xmas lol bah humbug!
Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012) Married to awesome SAH DH.
I'm a huge fan of the no-gift Christmas!! It is so relaxed. My family did this for years until we had my son, and then they went crazy with gifts for the GRANDCHILD. Ugh. I wish we could go back to no gifts. I really just like having dinner and chilling together.