Christmas is coming...

mcpegOctober 30, 2012

Hi Everyone,

Been reading some of the posts. The one that goes into the age old debate of new vs thrifted gifts gets me everytime.

"It's not the present that counts but the way in which it is received that matters most."

Seriously in our economic times I give what I can afford. And I do follow the status quo to some degree. Family that likes new gifts I give gift cards to unless they specify what they want. If I cannot afford it then I give them the cash towards that purchase or gift card for the store.

Personally I don't care about the getting of gifts and I shop thrift stores all the time for myself. Sure I'd love to get new clothes once in awhile but finding those pieces almost or sometimes still with tags on them to me is like winning the lottery.

I do use the thrift shops for getting bulk holiday bags to put gifts in (the whole family reuses them - we've cut down on wrapping gifts a lot now). I love the Dollar store holiday decorated cardboard boxes to put stuff in. And I'm not shy on making some little stocking stuffers. I've done the home made gifts to accompany purchase gifts but I've now stopped since they are honestly not appreciated nor used by my in-law family. That's their problem not mine. We pinch our pennies and the family knows it as well as other family members. People are the way they are. I do my best to give what I can within a comfortable means of what I can afford. I also start shopping in the summer for xmas when sales are on and we always pay cash for xmas stuff so there are no bills waiting in January.

I respect people's choices of what they prefer. I am never offended at all if they want new. The funny thing is over the years they keep wanting to buy me new clothing for xmas and always the wrong size (small). God bless them for thinking I'm small when I purchase medium to large. I have finally convinced them to stop wasting their money on clothing for me because it's always the wrong size and they don't keep the receipts. My new gifts are passed on often to the charity shops. I'm a garden fanatic so now they get me gift cards for gardening stuff or garden things.

I do bake for the holidays.

As for the age old argument I just go with the flow. But for stocking stuffers I do have some fun with them.

Honestly I wish we could dispense with the gifting and just enjoy a great family meal and time together.

I'm going to do the de-icer stuff I posted on since everyone drives into a stocking bag along with some home baking, new toothbrushes and toothpast, lip balms. This year I'm making moisturizing lemon hand scrub for the gals to go in pretty containers. Oh for the guys I sometimes include a package of batteries for the tv remotes. Can never have enough batteries.

Again I get these things when the sales are on. I don't buy clothes for anyone after getting years of getting clothes that don't fit and are not to my taste. If I want new clothes I go to the charity shops in January - by mid-Jan the new clothes from xmas have now been processed and are hanging on the racks. Not to mention a lot of the toiletry/candle packs. If ya wanna know what not to get folk check the charity shops in January. Save your money next year.

Another gift we give and we do ask first is a donation to a charity in the name of the person. When we were flush with money years ago I had hubby donate my b-day money to a desperate pet rescue center - we also included the xmas cash we got.

You never know when you could be in the receiving end of charity and there are many people who do not have the luxury to enter the debate of new vs used gifts. Let's think of them this holiday season. If you live in a cold area, the homeless always need socks, hats, mitts, underwear. And they do appreciate your old winter coats.

Let's get beyond any pettiness this year and remember those in need. Especially now after that horrid storm has just passed inland.

May God bless them and help them through this terrible time.

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Giving batteries is a great idea for guys. Just don't try to pinch pennies and buy batteries at dollar/99 cent stores. I have bought batteries there, took them home and they were dead. Asked for my money back, all the store would do was exchange for more (also dead) batteries. But I like the idea of stocking stuffers and a big family dinner rather than exchanging store-bought gifts. I had problems with in-laws who don't like "handmade" gifts. I just love receiving anything someone spent time on.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 8:56AM
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I would never buy a second hand gift for any occasion, especially if you can afford something better. I would buy a new cheaper gift if I could not afford a nicer one.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:16PM
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One year I was really cheap. I gathered up unused gifts from passed years that I didn't like, wrapped nicely and "regifted" them. Everyone got something technically new yet unable to exchange. That backfired on me when my MIL handed back her gift "I never wear purple". I had to "eat" that gift. I gave her some cash. I made some excuse that I'd lost the receipt.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 8:12AM
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By the way, that year MIL had been cheap also. Her gifts to us were things from the dollar store. I got a small cutting board.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 8:13AM
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I don't have any problem with regifting as long as the gift is New--never used; so long as the original giver will never find out it was regifted, and as long as it's a perfect gift for the new recipient. After all, sometimes you do get something you can never use, but that you know someone else might love.

Thrift stores or garage sales? I'd have a problem with that. With the horrible, current infestation of bedbugs in this country, it's very dangerous to buy even new things from thrift stores, because they could be infested. I'd have a fit if someone gave me something and it came with little, dangerous passengers on it (I won't even buy mattresses from discount places, because some remanufacture/recover used mattresses)

I do enjoy giving homemade gifts--quilted checkerboards or backgammon games, baked goods, homemade jellies. Sometimes I put together a basket of gourmet goodies for a special dinner.

This year, one of the things I want to try making are those birdseed ornaments where the seed is 'glued' together with unflavored gelatine. They'll make cute package ties that will give pleasure to our feathered friends.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 12:00AM
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I wouldn't mind someone giving me a gift from the dollar store especially if they had a hard time making ends meet. If they did it just to be mean, I would accept the gift with a smile so they wouldn't get the satisfaction of getting a reaction from me. LOL

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Gift giving has seemingly gone to new heights, and in some cases, new lows - it depends on expectations and perspective. Lots of influence from advertising, guilt, keeping up with whomever... On the other side of the coin, an ex-brother-in-law was heard to say on Christmas morning, "I hate Christmas...every year!" and we all split a gut laughing and called him Scrooge.

We gave our children something to read, something to play with, and something to wear, and a new game for the entire family to enjoy together. When they got older, one year we numbered the gifts instead of putting a name on it, just to make it interesting. What a hoot that was!

Another year the kids asked if we could get a VCR player (back in the 80's), which was a big ticket item for us. After a family pow-wow we decided we could buy the VCR, but we would need to off-set the expense by keeping our gifts to $5 each (each person had $15 to spend on the other 3 family members). It was one of the best gift-giving experiences ever! We can still remember the $5 gifts, and some are still used today, but the all-important VCR is nothing but a memory.

We now have a $10 limit in our immediate family - our two adult children, one son-in-law, and teenage granddaughter. More often than not, the gifts are homemade. It takes the stress and pressure out of gift giving to set limits as well as expectations. It makes us a little more thoughtful about the gifts, as well. We blow more money for birthdays.

Hubby and I exchange one item from the Dollar Store. Our friends found out how much fun we were having with the $1 gifts, they started it in their family. My sister and I always go for something used - it's a sign of weakness to purchase new (LOL).

With a total of 10-siblings and about a "million" nieces/nephews, grand-nieces/nephews, a pile of in-laws and "steps" that have come and gone, we no longer exchange gifts.

Our son was engaged to a cute-as-a-button gal for a short while. When it came to Christmas it was high-end all the way. Her family spent thousands of dollars on gifts and elaborate, expensive, gift wrap. Meanwhile, we're having a ball exchanging $10 gifts wrapped in recycled packing paper (wrinkles and all) with a bit of jute or twine instead of ribbon, recycled paper bags or shopping bags (with a bit of Christmas paper glued on it to cover the advertisement or store name), end-of-the-roll newsprint from the newspaper office (wrinkle-free).... Some of our gift bags we made ourselves and have reused for years. Half the fun is the creative gift wrap.

Different strokes for different folks. ;-)


    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 6:01PM
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You know, I can't ignore how much stress the holiday gift-giving season has for people. And stress is implicated in a myriad of disorders and disease.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE to give presents. But the second it becomes an anxiety filled task because so and so didn't like the color, or rather cash than a gift...etc., etc., etc., they are OFF my list.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 4:23PM
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We quit buying for my sisters and their families when no one seem to need anything. I guess we had everything we wanted/needed. When I married for the second time it was down right ridiculous. He had 3 kids, I had two, we each had 3 siblings and their kids. We decided to have a drawing, a different drawing than most have heard about. My husband and I bought enough gifts for the people we expected for our Christmas gathering. They ranged in price from $3 to $20., very few of the $20 price. Most were gag gifts and the most fun the first time was some frogs, we bought at the flea market, on a band stand that played music and they sang. Every Christmas there after the kids, adults and kids would ask, "are we going to have the drawing this year". It was more fun than regular Christmas gifts of the past.

We had everyone put their name in the hat and the first name drawn got their pick of the gifts.

We quit birthdays after they turned 18. We gave graduates $100.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Amen! I can't get over how many things I see at thrift stores that still have bits of wrapping paper on them. I tell my family NO GIFTS for me. To me, this is just smart.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:39PM
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I've even seen items in thrift stores with original price tags still attached. Shows how well-liked those gifts were!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:35AM
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We're another no-gift family except for children. My 8 yr old grandson will get presents, but my son and his wife get a nice check. That's IT, we don't even do presents for each other.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Cookies, that's what I give adults. Today I was at the thrift store and found a bunch of tins to put them in for .25 each. Also found brand new rolls of wrapping paper and bows.

I also make some kind of ornament each year with a picture of our family. Always use re-purposed items, and the only expense is having copies of the picture made, and usually some hot glue sticks, maybe some ribbon or shiny cording.

We don't plan to buy anything new as gifts this year except toys for the kiddos.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:37PM
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I personally have always been a believer in the thought that counts. That being said, I think either creating a gift with your hands(if you are creative) or just take the time to find the local coupons for your area and support your local businesses. They are everywhere especially this time of year. I even found a gift shop that gave a $5.00 gift card and a Jewelry store that gave a $50.00 gift card(very expensive place by the way. Fact is the deals are in your own neighborhood if you look. That is how we help ourselves and build our economy! Shop local in my humble opinion

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 2:37AM
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We give the grandchildren checks (11, 10 and 7 yrs old) Our granddaughter likes to get that "piece of paper" that lets her get whatever she decides. No more wrong item, size, color or duplication of another gift.
Thanks to people who think a homemade gift is viewed as special I have gotten many nice handmade items for myself at garage sales. Unfortunately someone took the time and effort to make that decoration or craft that is really not appreciated and sold to me for cheap.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 5:45PM
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"I personally have always been a believer in the thought that counts."

The giver should put some thought into the gifts they give....

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

"I personally have always been a believer in the thought that counts."

The giver should put some thought into the gifts they give....

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 1:45PM
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