How do you all handle Christmas/winter holidays??

Submitted by marcusandila on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 21:38

I'm curious as to how you all handle your holiday expenses. All the gifts? Do you NOT celebrate the holidays? Do you allocate a certain amount per person? Do you shop clearance sales/yardsales/thrift stores?? Do you make your own gifts? Give food gifts? Layaway? Cash or credit cards?

I have always had the idea to save all year for christmas expenses, but that never happens. Then november/december rolls around & we struggle for all the gifts. I have a HUGE family, so I shop year round for clearance items, goodwill/thrift store finds, & I make the majority of my gifts. With the exception of my bf who gets like 50% handmade & 50% storebought. Christmas is HUGE in my family, so its a big expense for us.

Of course, we also have 2 boys to buy for [from santa lol]; which they get 100% storebought; as that is what they are used to. Unfortunately, the boys christmas gifts are always more expensive. We get their gift list like 1-2 weeks before christmas & we get all of the sold out toys to buy/really expensive gifts. Pretty much everything has to be bought from ebay with overnight shipping charges added on. A toy that would be like $20 in store to buy, we have to pay like $60 for. If their mom gave a list earlier, the boys would get more stuff.

THIS YEAR though, I started early in January 2009 for Christmas 2009. lol I now have almost all of my family gifts finished off. All handmade & things they will love. I still have a few things to do. & I will buy the kiddos in my family a toy to go along with their gift from like biglots or some discount store. I'm really happy about this; especially with going from 2 incomes to 1 income.

Hi marcusandila,

It' hard to believe Christmas is right around the corner again. Wow where does time go. But I'm like you with saving all year for it just doesn't happen with me either. And I usually wait until the beginning of November to start shopping though and by December 1 I'm finished. Don't like to have to fight the crowed so I do all my shopping online. Christmas Eve is spent at my house where the whole family shows up. I mean from aunts,uncles all the way down to cousins. This is a tradition my Grandmother started and since her passing I have kept up. But we each provide snacks and everyone plays music and signs and we just have a great time. But my son is like yours he gets the best of everything thank goodness his dad pays good child support. We use to all exchange gifts but now we just buy for the little one's.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 00:31 Permalink

Debra, it seems like we keep chatting with each other on different topics lol. I wonder if we will ever stick to the plan and save up for christmas! It sure would make things easier when the holidays roll around. I really, really, really hate holiday crowds too. I don't even leave the house the day after thanksgiving. Too mAny people are out and about shopping. The majority act like crazy people over the sales. On christmas though we gather at my grandmas house and we open presents and eat. My great uncle has a tradition where all the men in the family take shots in my aunts kitchen...right down the street from my grams house... Seems like the younger generation of women have helped ourselves into the kitchen shots tradition lol.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 02:23 Permalink

My daughter wanted a Mrs. Goodbie dollhouse last year, I could not find the thing to save my life, eventually went online and found it. I find that a lot of the stores offer free shipping and good black friday offers online if you know where to look.

I seen on tv where the stores in our area are starting black friday sales now. I won't even go out on black friday. Frightening to me.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 10:45 Permalink

lol Last year on black friday, my mom was telling me about a pregnant lady who was sue-ing walmart when she was trampled by a crazy mob of shoppers for the black friday sales. I don't know if she lost the baby or not, but I think she got hurt pretty bad. I don't even know where that was at. Alot of people are lawsuit happy, I wonder if she won!? My opinion, I feel it was her own fault because everyone knows how the black friday sales are. She should have stayed home. My boyfriend thinks she is right because she has the right to shop whenever she wants & shouldnt have to be afraid to shop on black friday or be trampled.

Perfect example of why I stay home. :)

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 18:57 Permalink

I make a list of all of the people that I want to buy for and then I make sure I write down everything that I want to get for each person. I budget $20 or less per person and each person will get at least 1 item from me. If there is money left over, I will get the people that I am the closest to an additional item or 2.

To make sure that I have the money for Christmas shopping, I save up throughout the year. Out of each paycheck I take out a little bit of money and put it up for christmas expenses. I only have 1 bill to pay though, my phone bill.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 21:27 Permalink

Yes you hear a lot about that happening on Black Friday. It's not safe for anyone much less someone pregnant. It's not worth it to me they can have it. I don't even like going to Walmart on a ordinary day because of they people. I think most go there to socialize and that's fine but they block the ales doing it. Now that I don't like. I am there to get what I want and get out. But I spend more time dodging people than I do getting what I need. Not saying if I don't know someone I don't stop and talk but I do move out of peoples way.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 21:32 Permalink

oh I know, and then there are the ones that drive those electric carts around, they should need a license for them. I know some people need them but I think it would benefit the other half to walk around the store. I think if you put something out there people will use it.

I had a lady at work tell me that there is actually a website that has walmart video posted on it. Just thought of it, I am going to google it later and see what I come up with.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 23:05 Permalink

OMG, found it, it is peopleofwalmart(dot)com got to go check it out, what a bunch of wackos.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 00:30 Permalink

I remember growing up and being jealous because my best friend always got so much for christmas. One summer we were up in her attic digging around and she showed me all her "next year" presents. Her mother alos shopped year round.
NOw this has become something I do STARTING..yep..the day after christmas. I use to work in retail and know the best time to shop after Christmas is mid January, this is when you can still get a lot of cool stuff not just leftovers no one wants. Aero hoodies (for peole with teens) usually go for $7 when they are normally $30. They look identical every year so I always load up on those.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 00:57 Permalink

Hi goodnatured,

You were right when you said what a bunch of wackos. I had never heard of this site before now. If you need a good laugh that is the place to go. I will have to tell my friends about it they are always sending me crazy stuff. I bet they can't beat this.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 10:20 Permalink

I used to give out gifts to everyone, like literally everyone I know. It was not only bad for my budget but I realized that no one really wanted mass token gifts that are a dollar a dozen anyways. I now just give gifts to my immediate family. Oh, and I stick to giving little food items so I know that they won't go to waste.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 16:06 Permalink

You know if you are really broke you can always give some one an IOU for child care or a house cleaning or a car wash, etc, what ever is needed by them the most. Sometimes good gifts don't have to cost a lot of money, your time may be more appreciated.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 21:37 Permalink

That really is an awesome idea. Sometimes this is worth more than an actual gift. People has to admit this..How many if us have received gifts that we just do not need? I usually regift these but how much nicer would it have to be able to call in that IOU on babysitting when the sitter is sick and you are out of vacation days? That alone is so much better and actually could save a job. House cleaning..that sounds even as nice. Good handing out IOU's this year?

Mon, 11/02/2009 - 01:08 Permalink

Just counted, only 54 more days to the big day is here, kid made me count, ouch, where did this year go?

No, I am hoping to get some IOU's, you feel like giving a few fireyone????

Mon, 11/02/2009 - 01:53 Permalink

I don't have to hand out IOU's. Everyone automatically turns here for baby sitting regardless. LOL. I already had the countdown down. I was figuring out how many pays were left. It will not be as hard this year because we also had the kids draw names. That alone saves well over $200. A lot of my family has really felt the economy and I brought up this idea of just doing names. Gladly everyone jumped in right away. I would suggest this for anyone else who has a number of children in there family. It really eases the bill a bit. Not only that it takes a lot of stress off.

Mon, 11/02/2009 - 19:32 Permalink

So, did you end up with someone that you like to shop for? We used to do that a long time ago, but have even gotten away from family get togethers when it comes to holidays, crazy family friction, always someone not getting along with someone. Really stinks around christmas to have family so spread out.

Tue, 11/03/2009 - 01:53 Permalink

Okay, so I've had a pretty busy weekend & I'm catching up on creditmagic posts. My sister texted me the walmart people link she's on here too. so she must have seen it on here. There is one on there called "HOLY TOLEDO" & it was taken in my area lol.

Back on christmas topic: I can't believe that christmas is right around the corner already. I've already thought about future Christmases. Once I get my finances under control, I plan to use creditmagic points & my points all year to pay for christmas. :)

The IOUs are a great idea, I'd take laundry service IOUs any holiday. lol

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