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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI- the holidays are fast approaching. Every year we have a 'holiday thread'.. rant , rave, complain, share, we are here to support each other. We have just under 5 months to prepare for christmas- or whatever you celebrate.

Be nice, have fun, ideas anyone?
 

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HI- the holidays are fast approaching. Every year we have a 'holiday thread'.. rant , rave, complain, share, we are here to support each other. We have just under 5 months to prepare for christmas- or whatever you celebrate.

Be nice, have fun, ideas anyone?
I am already thinking....Lol....last winter when everything was on clearance and I had some income tax money I got all 10 of my nieces and nephews out of the way...I got them each fun winter pajamas for 2$ a piece :) :)

I am pretty proud of that frugal purchase....Lol...It will save me so much this year...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good Job miley. I loved when kiddo was younger and i could preshop for the next year on clearance. :)

Right now I have DS birthday in about a month. I've been shopping all summer (amazon, sales, etc for dvd's and video games). He wants a lego set $200 but i think grandma is sending money to cover.

Christmas is so far away. I have 2 more birthdays before then and I will probably send some crocheted items and maybe a gift card for a dinner somewhere.

I have my sisters kids for xmas and ds. plus i will probably send everyone crocheted scarves and/or blankets. (Crochet is part of therapy for me and helps me stay calm) I've been collecting baby and toddler stuff during the year. I've found our grocery store has great toys clearance- eps on 'little people' etc.
 

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I have my L's 8th birthday coming up also the beginning of September...Just now starting to think about what I am going to do...She had a fabulous pre-celebration with friends last weekend so she is still on a high from that surprise :)

I dont know what I am going to get her and she sure isnt giving me any hints...lol
 

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I'm kind of stressing out about Christmas (or managing finances in general). I am having a baby in Oct, DS's 10th birthday in Nov., then Christmas. I have an approximate budget planned at this point for each event.

Honestly I think what is stressing me out is my kids keep talking about what they want for Christmas, I mean daily! Everything is so freaking expensive, it's nice because I have time to look for sales and such but I feel like they are overly concerned about what toys they want!! It's probably my fault but still I wish they would forget about Christmas for a few months!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Green can you focus on whats coming up with the kids
Labor day- end of summer, end of swimming etc
Halloween- how awesome is that?
Thanksgiving- more awesome
Then instead of presents all the activties in december. (lights, ligths and more lights)
Plus the new baby.

there should be plenty to override present talk for a bit.
 

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Oh, I am just not ready for the run of holidays yet. Between the start of school and next January, we have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and 5 birthdays. It is like a free fall.

We have set a budget and I am sticking to it. We simply do not have more money to spend. Birthdays will be sleepovers, home made pizza and cake affairs.

Presents will be smaller this year and honestly I am going to lean on the grandparents to cover the big gifts. Both sets of grandparents are out of state and have been very hands-off over the years. They like to send a check, but I have to remind them.

My kids are easy on me about presents. They don't ask for a lot. We use Christmas as an opportunity to replace socks, art supplies, warm clothes. My son wants a new rug for his bedroom. My daughter will need suits for swimteam. My younger boys are easy to buy for -- Legos and building toys.

Dh and I would like to get a new comforter for our bed.

It doesn't seem excessive and yet, I will spend about $500-600 on presents even with shopping sales and being careful. It makes me wonder how my parents did it. We always had a pile of presents for Christmas and I know my folks were skirting bankruptcy more than once.
 
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No ideas here yet. Last year I said I'd start sewing gifts for dd right away - well that didn't happen. I might scrape together a handful of doll things yet - we'll see. Maybe I can find something while out thrift shopping. I am also going to try to put back some gift cards to Walmart earned from shopkick & the Walmart savings catcher - maybe that will let me buy a couple new things.


I know this year I am going to sign her up for the Angel Tree program locally. I think signups are in late September or early October. She finally is old enough for me to leave home alone long enough for me to go sign up since they don't allow kids on site. Last year we signed up for Toys for Tots and yet again the pickup was in a location not accessible by bus. It's the 3rd time in 4 years that has happened, so it just isn't a realistic option for me to count on.


DD has already made her draft list and a couple of the things are not going to happen unless it's through Angel Tree or the like. She really wants {and needs} a tablet with webcame for fun, skyping with her friends & school things. But unless I can pick up a used one off ebay it isn't happening.


I need gifts for dd's 2 bff's as well. NO clue what to give them. Last year I did boxes of makeup that I got free / cheap with coupons. Might do that again or maybe something else. The younger one likes Doctor Who, so maybe I can find a DIY sewing thing that is Doctor Who that I can make with things I have on hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I took a look at my finished crochet items and I'm going back to my original plan that all distant family members (5 groups) are getting blankets, my baby niece and nephew are getting blanekts. Some people will get a bonus item-scarf/shawl. ONLY because I've been into yarn like mad this year to help with anti anxiety and controlling panic. The bdays are also getting yarn type items.

My kiddo bday is around labor day. He is getting a HUGE blanket, some dvd's from amazon, a couple video games and a lego set $$. I needs some smaller clothes again and ive been stalking the clearance racks for things. He has class 4 days a week so he needs 'good' clothes., things that are not falling off and look 2 sizes too big.
 

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I'm planning on crafting a lot of xmas. I was able to go back to my hometown (I live 3000 miles away) earlier in the summer and brought my nieces and nephews handmade pillowcases with fabric I got from black Friday sale at JoAnns fabric store. I have several premade ones still done and I'm setting those aside for any Xmas gift exchanges the kids end up going too.

DH has been wanting a pair of hand knitted socks so I've been working on those. He will likely get a pair made up for hunting season and another pair for xmas. I've got one sock of one pair done.
Last Christmas we went to my inlaws and stayed for a week. We had a lot of extra people we purchased gifts for that we don't normally exchange gifts with. This year we are doing Xmas at our house and my mom is flying in. It will be a much lower key xmas. I can 'get away with' more hand crafted gifts and the kids love books and aren't total techno junkies. Though the older kid usually has a $100+ lego set on her list she is very modest in her other requests.

I've got one kiddo who's birthday is mid Fall to get through too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
YEAH! I think I'm done w. DS birthday. I know i need to order the lego set but I have the $$ put aside.
Working on scouting out sales for xmas stuff for him and doing more hand made to send off. I still have 2 family birthdays to send stuff out for in November but I'm thinking handmade all the way.
Kiddo will want to go out for dinner on his b'day- or probably the entire weekend, which is fine, I've been using coupons and have an Entertainment book for the city.
I know he is going to want some WII games for xmas along with some DVD's and he will need new sneakers by then too. Another round of Lego and probably some art supplies. Lots of activities between now and the holidays too.
 

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I really need to get a jumpstart on Christmas planning also. I have my sister and SIL's bdays coming up plus a new nephew arriving any day now but other than that am gift free until Christmas. The only problem is ... I have to do Christmas at Thanksgiving! Since I moved out of state we are doing Christmas at home and will not be going to see family. We are going down to visit at Thanksgiving and will do Christmas with dh's family then and mine as well unless they make a trip up here in Dec. Even if they make a trip here it will be the 1st or 2nd weekend in Dec so still early.

I have picked up a few items for gifts at sales and such. I'm constantly on the look out now for more items. I will hopefully be crafting tons of items too but need to get started on that! I just need to sort out a better gift list to know what to do.
 

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Great thread!

I have not started with Christmas full on but given that our daughter got pretty expensive and nice gifts for her birthday I am going to get her more inexpensive Christmas gifts. I want to craft something for her and I am thinking it should be something bag-related since she has a strong love for handbags and bags in general and I think that I could really make something nice for her if I do that. I would either re-clad a children's suitcase, the type that is made of a carton-like material with picture of things she like or make a cloth bag with some gaudy decorations that would totally be her taste. Also, I think I will get her things like play doh, pens, new clothes and so on so she gets plenty of things to open but perhaps without breaking the bank.

My husband got a subscription to a magazine last year. I am going to hear if he wants that this year as well and then only get him some underwear and socks. Very boring I know but that is what he wants.

As for food and things like that, I think we are going to stay with relatives so that will not be an issue this year.
 

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Following. I need to worry about halloween costumes for two, birthdays, thanksgiving dinner and of course Christmas. We aee signing up to a new bank that offers a 200 dollar bonus after two months. That will cover most of kids birthdays and christmas for everyone. I hope.
 

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I think i may have a few gifts out of the way.

Sister one- mini crockpot i got on clearance
Sister two- dress i wasnt able to return but us bwt and bbw soaps i got on sale
Neighbors/coworkers-cranberry butter and homemade biscuits

I was able to take some baskets from kids room to reuse for holidays.

Also theres a high chance were getting photos done free. If so, i will print those out abd nicely frame.
 

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Honestly I think what is stressing me out is my kids keep talking about what they want for Christmas, I mean daily! Everything is so freaking expensive, it's nice because I have time to look for sales and such but I feel like they are overly concerned about what toys they want!! It's probably my fault but still I wish they would forget about Christmas for a few months!!
I do this, too, sometimes. But stay strong.
I have a set limit ($25-50 per kid depending on the overall budget) and I try to get one big thing only with a few little things. I really focus on getting the one thing as something that they will love for a long time, not just a fad item. Grandparents love spending tons of money on the kids, so I don't worry about them getting too few gifts.

Strangely, one of the huge hits last year was the mints - three packs each of different flavors labelled "raindeer poop", "snowman poop" and "elf poop". :eek: OMG, they loved it soooo much and I found them for like $5/set. I also got them some bendy straws, a travel cup and a toothbrush holder (the suction cup ones). Then a big-ish gift (puzzles, books, games, etc are all super popular in my house). One year, I found my preschool DD a trio of beanie babies of her fav Dora characters (Swiper, Boots & Baby Jaguar) online. She still loves them.

I always feel so bad when my parents spend a couple hundred dollars and my kids play with the little things that I got (but put a lot of thought into). >:D

My hard gifts are the grandparents and teachers. I got my in-laws a book from Shutterfly last year with pics of the kids. I got the smallest book (and I can use newer pics for this year or next) for around $30. They loved it - Score! :nerd:

I'm thinking of getting the teachers gift certificates to the local coffee shop and a coffee mug. It'll be a bit more expensive than usual, but our budget for this year is pretty decent, plus it helps out my friend who owns the coffee shop. :wink:

I check out LTD and the like for throws and stuff for friends. You can't go wrong with a nerdy blanket or the like, and the stuff on those sites are pretty inexpensive.

My total budget this year is $500 for all friends, family, teachers, etc. which is about $150 more than last year. Most of that goes to DH, who gets a lot of the hard-to-find clothing accessories that he loves/needs (X long suspenders, wool socks, etc). We don't get a lot of clothing during the rest of the year, so that's when we splurge on him.

I never budget for gifts for me. I'm picky and stingy about spending on me, so I don't get gifts, though I'm thinking about giving the kids & DH a very small budget for me, just so they can get mama something.
 

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Getting a gew more ideas. I split costs with older sister for parents so that helps. Any tips for getting great deals on legos?
 

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Knocked out part of one gift for dd's bffs - I have been earning credits to the patpat app by referring folks {they have a lot of great deals / near freebies after the $5 referral credit}. I got 2 smartphone clips for $2 shipped - they clip onto anything, then have a long bendy arm with a clip on the end for the phone itself so they don't have to hold it up all the time while we Skype. The 2nd one will be installed in my ebay office for taking photos to eliminate my shaky photos. I have another $5 credit but I'm holding onto it for now in hopes I can get a bit more credits to grab a larger item for my dd.


I'm also making it a point to earn all the points possible through Shopkick {another app that gives points for walking into stores / scanning items}. So far I have about $10 in points, and I'm hoping to get at least $25 worth before Black Friday. I can cash them in for gift cards to Walmart / Target, so that will help with buying gifts.


Signups are next week for Angel Tree here. DD bought herself a used tablet {she sold some of her things, by her choice} so she is working on her updated "Santa" list this week.


And FYI for anyone who was hoping to get into the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project to help cover meal costs - it has been discontinued :(
 
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