? for all involved in the "what to get XXX for Christmas" posts
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 12/5/2012 by cori in wa in NSBR Board
 

cori in wa
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:35:18 PM
(Disclaimer: I am NOT against Christmas gifts in any way, shape or form. I'm not against buying them, making them, wrapping them or giving them. I figure someone will read this and think "Ack! She's a cheap-skate-scrooge-grinch". Just want to say, up front and clearly, I LIKE GIVING CHRISTMAS GIFTS!)

Is there anyone out in pea-land who is as sick and tired as I am of giving gifts simply for the sake of giving gifts?

The annual stress of what to buy for so-and-so?

The headache of finding something, ANYTHING, that the in-laws don't already own and might actually want?

The brain-pain that comes from trying to equal out numbers or cost of stocking gifts for the kids or spouse?

The angst of trying to afford soon-to-be-upgraded technology gifts?

The confusion of what the heck to put in the stockings?

Over the years it has caused me more stress than I can express. And the guilt of not buying enough or not buying the right thing...

ARGHHHHHHHH! (Insert Charlie Brown)

This year I'm doing something TOTALLY different and so far I LOVE IT! (But ask me again after Christmas day... I might change my mind)

My husband and I are getting each immediate family member ONE gift. Just one. From their list of the top five things they want/need/are interested in.

Granted, my kids aren't little any more (23 to 17), but all four of them are fine with it! So are my folks and sister.

I always give/make things for my close friends, but they've never been a source of the buying/giving headache so that isn't really any different.

So, no more buying JUST for the sake of buying!

Anyone else ever done this? Tips? Suggestions?

janet r
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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:41:47 PM
We're just getting our kids three or four gifts each. And that's it. No one else. No one else gets us stuff so it's good.

Also I just usually get candy for the stockings.

I do think it is good to simplify if it stresses you out. Some people love the hustle and bustle and all of it and that's fine too, but for some it's not fun.

Darkangel090260
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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:42:56 PM
If we see you on christmas then you get a gift. But we will not buy for everyone and there brother. This year it the kids mil dh myself and 3 friends that will be here for dinner and that is all that is getting gift the rest get cards.


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SDeven
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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:46:59 PM
This is why my family went to a name draw.






Luvnlifelady
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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:58:37 PM
I agree that it gets crazy. I was a SAHM for years, so the shopping wasn't too bad (DH doesn't help much in that department). Now, I am working daily and have yet to start much shopping. I keep asking 12 yo DS for a list. I have their main gift figured out, it's the rest that will take some doing.

15 yo DD is easy and I'm sure it'll come together.

In DH's large family, we used to draw names for the adults and kids. Then, it became just the kids, then just a family game...now it's nothing. I admit it's a bit of a let down in some ways since it seems like a repeat of Thanksgiving that we just had. (same people)

There are still young kids, so I think we should still exchange names among them.




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Posted: 12/6/2012 12:00:08 AM

Anyone else ever done this? Tips? Suggestions?


Yes! We only give gifts to my in-laws and my mother. None to aunts, uncles, nieces, or nephews. We come from very BIG families.

In my family, rather than a gift exchange, we save up our change and put money aside and give that to a family. We decided everyone has too much crap. We much prefer to just spend time eating and playing games. No gifts; no stress!

My 4 year old ds is getting a ball, board books, and a couple of stuffed animals (recommended for kids with autism).

My other ds is getting 3 things. I know what he likes and what he will actually use. The rest will just be clutter.

My dd is getting a few more things, because her tastes are not as expensive.


asr70
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Posted: 12/6/2012 12:50:35 AM
We have been wanting to cut back for awhile. We were watching Rick Steves' European Christmas the other night and the families all had very few gifts under the tree. It just seemed so nice to me. This year we are doing stockings only and next year we will do a combo of one or two gifts and a smaller stocking




care1
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Posted: 12/6/2012 1:04:14 AM
I think I am the minority of all of you all peas. Xmas Eve - the kids get to open one (1) present, which is PAJAMAS, always has, always been pajamas. That is the only present the kids get from us. We have 3 kids.

SANTA gift is ONE gift under $100. Even when the kids were teeny tiyny, they understood that Santa had to deliver more expensive gifts to kids that needed it.

My family is large and we do a $50 gift draw.

I don't understand why things get so stressful about gifts? I do try to go around for aunts, uncles - this year I am making homemade bbq rubs, BBQ rubbers, and cedar planks, wrapped up.

TinCin
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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:29:39 AM
I have been cutting back this year on the gifts I am buying and I am planning to cut back even more next year. I don't stress about buying gifts though, I like that part of it. I like thinking about what would make each person smile or what they would enjoy or need.


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ScrapnMom2Four
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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:36:01 AM
One of my friends is cutting way back this year. Santa will be bringing her kids "something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read". I do like the idea, but I thought about doing it, and there are too many things that I want to get for my kids at Christmas. We don't have a lot of money to purchase stuff year round for our kids (other than what they need), so usually it is "maybe you should ask Santa for that" when they see something they want. They really do appreciate it since they don't get everything under the sun during the year (like most of their friends).


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ksuheather
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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:47:43 AM
We decided from the beginning to do the 3 gift thing for our kids. Mommy and Daddy give them 3 gifts and Santa brings a gift and fills the stockings.



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dalayney
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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:56:00 AM
No. No stress at all here. We love buying christmas presents. I would much rather fret over what to give someone, than be broke and not be able to get them anything. It is a pure joy for me, to buy presents. I think being broke growing up, and the lean years starting out have made me really feel thankful and find joy in the whole gift giving process. Yes, we have some difficult people to buy for, but I consider it a challenge. If they don't like it, that's their problem, not mine.

That and I see so many people struggling and sick w/worry because they are out of jobs, don't know if their kids will get anything.

Here's an idea, and please take it with no disrespect... Go find some angel trees, or go buy some toys for toys for tots. It really really makes you feel good about the whole gift giving process. Let alone the people that are on the recieving end of your genorosity, are going to be very thankful. We do this, and it sets the tone for the rest of our christmas shopping. ( and if you already do this, that's great!)

e_doe
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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:56:35 AM
I am with you, Cori. But I also think it's silly for adults to buy other adults gifts (unless you see something they would absolutely love).

I did get my family to go to the name exchange for a couple of years. It's too stressful trying to buy gifts for a bunch of adults when you only see them once a year. I always feel like, instead of me spending $50 on something you don't want or need, and you spending $50 on something I don't want or need, let's just do a $10 stocking stuffer for everyone and enjoy the fact that we have each other. That decision was later overturned.

I actually am a Grinch, though. I mean, I like the lights and music and oh! The food. I do love the food. But all the gift giving and getting is over the top, IMHO.
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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:57:35 AM
I have not done the whole overboard with gifting thing for years, and it's very relaxing. We concentrate more on traditions and activities. My kids usually get about $100-$150 each in gifts, and I don't buy stuff for them year round either. (They get what they need, and anything they want as far as reading material is fine.) I spend about $50 or so on each parent. That's it. Anything else is handmade or baked goods.


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GrinningCat
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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:00:36 AM
No. I don't feel the way the OP feels. I am all about finding and giving gifts for people, the more the merrier. I don't like this mindset I keep hearing about here that gifts are such a burder and all of that. It's really bah humbug for me. Gifting the people I care for is extremely important to me. So, no. I'm not feeling scroogy (and yes, OP, I know you said you're not feeling scroogy, but that's the overall impression I get from all of these anti-gifting posts). If anything, I love this time of year and the chance to gift those I care about in a different way than I do through the rest of the year.

ETA: I'll be honest, I'd be really pissed off and hurt if my family or friends pulled the "Let's not exchange gifts anymore" card. I'd consider it a copout.

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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:02:27 AM

Is there anyone out in pea-land who is as sick and tired as I am of giving gifts simply for the sake of giving gifts?

Yes. And that is exactly what I wrote in my email to the IL's when MIL asked us again for our Christmas lists. (Disclaimer - I am not at all opposed to lists. I love them! If I'm going to buy a gift for someone, I'd rather get them something they really want/need).

On my dad's side of the family, we draw names for adults and get all the kids gifts. On my mom's side of the family, only the kids get gifts. On DH's side, everyone gets gifts, including the adults. We are at a stage in our lives (and so are MIL, BIL, SIL) that if we want something, we buy it ourselves. I get so sick & tired of coming up with random ideas of stuff I may or may not use, simply so someone can wrap up a gift for me. It's a waste of money. I responded to MIL's txt with a response similar to what I just wrote, suggesting that we still buy for kids but instead of buying for adults, maybe we sponsor a needy family. DH followed with a response text that suggested maybe we all put money aside for a family vacation together. His brother/SIL agreed (and we have agreed to NOT exchange gifts with them). MIL ignored the texts and a week later we got another request from her for our lists. Finally DH just told her to make a donation to the shelter where we got our dog.

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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:03:54 AM
We have done the one gift per child for years. All of my children are grown and I now have grandchildren. They get one gift, too. We don't buy for extended family and haven't for years. this was decided among the families years ago. I have 4 siblings and my husband has 8. I won't even go into how many children and grandchildren these siblings have.

I do stockings, but they are just fun cheap things and not many of them.




Rhonda

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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:09:13 AM
I love doing stockings, and I really don't have anyone to do them for anymore. Therefore I am very happy to offer suggestions for fillers. I also pick up odds 'n ends all year long for friends to add to their family stockings.

FLCindy
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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:12:29 AM
-My Sister and her family decided not to exchange gifts. Okay with me.
-My Mom decided not to exchange gifts. Okay with me.
-We are giving my MIL two gifts. She is coming for a week starting 12/26.
We play "tourist" since our weather is gorgeous. Our memories (and photos) are my gifts from MIL. She also takes us out to dinner to cover our birthdays which she missed in Aug, Oct and Nov. Then, we'll take her out for her birthday in Jan. during the week she visits.
-We exchange gifts with my Dad and his wife. They give us gift cards. We give them gift cards. Except this year, I am giving him a set of 4 framed antique postcards of the area where his campground is located in upstate NY. That gift will be special to him.
-DH decided to not give gifts to his employees after people complained about their gifts. He was generous but not anymore.
-We don't exchange gifts with DB and his wife.



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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:15:13 AM
I agree!

We decided last year that no adults were getting each other gifts on my side of the family (on DHs side they decided no gifts at all!). It's easier to shop for the kids. Plus we do birthdays big on my side, so there is more of a financial spread of gifting.

For our kids we did the need, want, read, wear list and they are getting a couple of things off that list (Santa will do one and so will we).

I love stockings, but they don't stress me - a movie, a candy, a snack, some personal care products.

I have way too much stuff going on in December (anniversary, DHs bday and DDs bday) to stress over gifts. I'm TRYING to enjoy my family rather than deal with gifts and then taking care of all of the stuff!!
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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:19:00 PM
We don't really stress about it. We have slimmed our list down to mainly the kids of both of our families and our parents/grandparents. We try to buy stuff people are asking for, but if we can't find it or they aren't asking for something, we just get them giftcards. That's about all we have left to get.








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elaine226
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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:46:35 PM
I want to do the one gift thing for my grown kids and husband. I will still give multiple gifts to grand kids though.
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Posted: 12/6/2012 9:00:20 PM
I only give gifts to my immediate family, my husband, my nephew and my MIL. That is only 6 people. It really cuts down on the stress of the holiday season.

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Posted: 12/6/2012 9:04:12 PM

Is there anyone out in pea-land who is as sick and tired as I am of giving gifts simply for the sake of giving gifts?

The annual stress of what to buy for so-and-so?

The headache of finding something, ANYTHING, that the in-laws don't already own and might actually want?

The brain-pain that comes from trying to equal out numbers or cost of stocking gifts for the kids or spouse?

The angst of trying to afford soon-to-be-upgraded technology gifts?

The confusion of what the heck to put in the stockings?

Over the years it has caused me more stress than I can express. And the guilt of not buying enough or not buying the right thing...


YES YE YES YES YES I so hear you. I get so stressed out about what to get because I know there are those who only see "what you spent" on something rather than the thought, time and effort behind it all. And everyone seems to have everything they need or want anyway. How do you top that? But then on the other hand "I" always like those little gifts, you know the candle or christmas plate I wouldn't buy myself etc. So then I feel bad about that.. .. Yes ITA with AUGHHHHHHHHHHHHH

angievp
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Posted: 12/6/2012 9:06:05 PM

No. I don't feel the way the OP feels. I am all about finding and giving gifts for people, the more the merrier. I don't like this mindset I keep hearing about here that gifts are such a burder and all of that. It's really bah humbug for me. Gifting the people I care for is extremely important to me. So, no. I'm not feeling scroogy (and yes, OP, I know you said you're not feeling scroogy, but that's the overall impression I get from all of these anti-gifting posts). If anything, I love this time of year and the chance to gift those I care about in a different way than I do through the rest of the year.

ETA: I'll be honest, I'd be really pissed off and hurt if my family or friends pulled the "Let's not exchange gifts anymore" card. I'd consider it a copout.



ITA. I obssess about gifts not because I hate giving gifts, but because I want to give the perfect gift. Believe me, it is all self-imposed/directed anxiety. The people on my gift list would react the same way to a 5.00 gift versus a 400 dollar gift. (which is probably the reason they are on my gift list to begin with). I do NOT give "just for the sake of giving."

I love my friends and I show that I love them in many ways throughout the year, but Christmas is my SUPER DUPER ULTRA FANCY I LOVE YOU!

Sunshine36616
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Posted: 12/6/2012 9:21:02 PM
Gift giving, holidays, family, or anything else can only make you as crazy as you let it. Do what it takes to keep your sanity.


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