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So, we had the 'talk' and it went over like a fart in church.

We gift exchange every year with his side only. We dont want to overextend ourselves so declined on the gift exchange. Now feelings are hurt and people are angry. (they offered to keep it to $25 per person, but we would still be spending hundreds altogether at that)

Who else has changed their gift giving policy this year and how do you make people understand?
 

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Fisherman
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We actually did the gift exchange thing this year for the adults in the family. Draw names. Since nobody has any $$$ We thought it would be cheaper to just get 1 gift for someone than get one for everyone. It was $ 35. I think this was a good idea. Everybody usually gets fishing licences.:thumb:
 

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Bleach blonde on fire :p
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:D:I don't do the present thing, it is a present enough for me to show up at the get togethers:D:

We do buy 1 present for each of the kids (2 boys - $5.00 each).
 

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So, we had the 'talk' and it went over like a fart in church.

We gift exchange every year with his side only. We dont want to overextend ourselves so declined on the gift exchange. Now feelings are hurt and people are angry. (they offered to keep it to $25 per person, but we would still be spending hundreds altogether at that)

Who else has changed their gift giving policy this year and how do you make people understand?
Ugh. I hear you. Dh's side is like this, and we've had several years of snubs because we told them we simply couldn't afford it. We get together at my in-laws every year and just smile and ignore the bad attitudes. Dh's parents make dinner and give presents to all of the kids.

This year I'm making different kinds of homemade cookies and bread and will give some to each family on dh's side. The grown ups will probably thumb their noses, but I figure all the kids will enjoy the goodies. On my side, we just draw names and have a $25 limit.

Don't let them ruin your Christmas with their guilt trips. People who believe love equals MONEY spent on them are shallow people. There are lots of ways to show love without putting yourself in financial debt. If they can't see that, it's their loss.
 

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I used to like giving gifts and having Christmas with family until it was unilaterally decided on both sides that Christmas would just be 'for the kids' from now on. DF and I are the only ones without kids. I kinda feel used and irritated about that. I wouldn't really mind so much if I enjoyed having Christmas in Sweden but it just feels unnatural to have Christmas when it's cold outside, and Christmas dinner consists of six types of meat with some mushy veg on the side. Good thing they serve lots of vodka.

I wish I could stay home with a bottle of glögg, a plate of peppakakor and a good book.

Bah humbug.

Anyway, as for your situation I would just give baked goods. I can't believe there is a person in the world who wouldn't like a plate of biscuits or a cake, and if they're rude enough to complain then next time just give 'em a lump of coal.
 

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Psalm 34:4
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I think you should give them all a small New Testament, and when they look at you funny explain to them since they were so upset with drawing names and limiting spending you thought it would be good to give them a each a gift that would remind them of the real reason for the season.
 

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My husband and I have a policy similar to Grimelda's, we only "buy" gifts for the kids. For the adults, I make a homemade gift for them. For instance, this year I spent a couple weeks making everyone a beautiful 3D origami creature (swans, cats, etc.) and made really lovely, and delicious, jars of layered soup mix for everyone. I also made homemade cards that said: "Sometimes it's the little things that make something special. Wishing you a Happy Holiday and New Year filled with only the best of things...large and small." Then next to the first line I glued a small folded paper triangle. (It takes hundreds of these to create each 3D origami design.) I felt that card tied the gift to a reminder of what makes Christmas (and everyday) special...the little things. Our cost was probably only $2 a person, and that includes gift wraps supplies.

My feeling is this, for us to buy every adult something really nice, actually useful, or meaningful, we'd go bankrupt. I don't see the point in spending loads of money for cheap items the recipient could probably care less about just so they receive a "gift." However, I do like giving everyone something for the holiday, so I choose to do it with love, rather than my entire savings account. I will admit I was very nervous about the "homemade" gift idea when we first started, but I try to do something special or unique each year. This year, a couple of people in my family already opened their gifts early, and they were thrilled. I think the 3D origami pieces may be the most talked about gift this year.

I wouldn't feel bad about declining the gift exchange. Maybe when the economy continues to tank next year, they'll all have a more open mind about alternative ideas for the next holiday season.
 

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We're only giving amongst the 4 of us this year. My solution for the rest of the family.... TALK FAST !!

Right before hanging up mention... "Oh, by the way, we're not doing the gift thing this year, but, we'll get together and I'll bring desert. Talk to you soon..." click:D:
 

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bah humbug. I don't like the whole commercialization of Christmas.

My siblings and hubby's siblings have all decided years ago that we will only buy for the nieces/nephews- we grownups didn't need anything but to see the joy on the childrens' faces.

Usually I try to buy for our parents also (mine and hubby's) but money is so tight this year it won't be possible. In fact, my parents told me not to get them anything when they saw how we were struggling to pay the bills; but most likely my inlaws will be miffed we didn't get them anything. :rolleyes:

My own kids better figure out the whole quantity vs expense thing and soon!! there will not be a big pile under the tree for them this year, as they've asked for expensive gifts. :eek:
 

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Anybody who complains about you opting out of a gift exchange is being materialistic and not very charitable [charity coming from the Latin caritas, or love].

We try to keep it under $30 when we can, but there are some people we like to spoil as they've spoiled us before, so sometimes we go a bit over that.

If all else fails, I make darn tasty date-nut and banana tea breads and am the best cookie baker in the bunch, and if they turn down free food, their mama ain't raised 'em right.
 

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In a State of Disbelief
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I'm thinking petrolium jelly-soaked cotton balls for everyone! Maybe even throw in the film canister if they were extra nice this year. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was in the checkout lane today and the woman in front of me was going thru the same thing but with her co-workers!

She said that last year she told eveyone she wasnt giving gifts and did it and the same thing happened to her this year. She complained of feeling pressured by her friends, and reluctantly gave in, saying she wouldnt do it next year.
 

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I will never buy a gift just to have a gift for someone. I hate that. If I see something and it makes me think of you, I'll buy a gift, but otherwise, no gifts. That goes for giving me gifts too.
 

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yeah, a little late for this Christmas. We always end up needing a gift for someone. Throughout the course of the year, there are always clearances and sales. Especially this time of year. Buy them steeply discounted and put them with your preps. For some reason pocket planners that were regularly $8.00 went on clearance for 75 cents. I bought 8, pulled the outdated calendar and added a small tablet, the phone and address sections were fine.

Everyone I know can use something as benign and useful as this. If not, I certainly won't lose any sleep over it. :rolleyes: We tend to be pretty frugal and don't get caught up in the tit for tat gift thing. Look for bargains now and in the fashion of the site, be prepared for an event you know will be happening December 25,2009, God willing.
 

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I know this is late to post, but boy can I relate with you. My DH's side of the family is horrible when it comes to gift exchanges. We have his six aunts, two grandmas and name exchanges on both of his parents side of the family. I have started to get their gifts after Christmas as that is when I get the best deals and I can get them things from Department Stores. They actually ask me where there presents come from. Can you believe it!!!

We also have his mother, brother and then there is my family. My mom, dad and four siblings. I usually get really sick before Christmas now each year, I wonder why. Could it be the stress? There is no negotiating with them either, they think if you don't exchange gifts the world will end. I had four different Christmas obligations this year. I would love to bycott next year. Sorry so long, had to get that off my chest. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
 
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