Monday, November 15, 2010

'Tis the Season

Christmas is on my mind. Possibly because my mom has already finished her Christmas shopping although this year her wrapping won't be done until after Thanksgiving. My scheduled return to work date is before Christmas so I am trying to get a leg up on purchases before then (although I may be requesting to postpone my return until the Monday after Christmas).

How does your family work to save money during the holidays? In our family we are now just doing stocking presents for the children and we do a cousin swap so each cousin buys for another and no gifts are given by me to my siblings. I find Christmas gift giving frustrating because my kids don't need anything and I often find people don't look for savings when they find the (in their mind) perfect gift.

The other question I have is about your children giving gifts to each other. We don't really have a "mine" concept in our house right now. Ned and Penny play with each other's toys without labeling them. But we do label Josephine's toys as hers since the twins are always messing with them. So should I have Ned give Penny something? Will that create a "mine" complex?

And since I haven't posted in so long - here is a little peak into Ned and Penny enjoying Fall.


Carrie said...

N&P look like such big kids now! So cute!

We don't have anything in our house that is one kid's or the other's except lovies. Our house is so overfilled with toys, I cannot imagine buying even one toy for Christmas for them. I am thinking an "experience" like a trip to build-a-bear or something like that. I just have to figure out how they can open that on Christmas morning!

LauraC said...

I agree, they look so big!

The Verhoffs don't do gifts at the holidays. Too big of a family (33 first cousins). We do an exchange.

The Cases do gifts only for the grandkids (Nate, Alex and two others).

Before age 4, my boys didn't have much that was theirs. Everything was joint. Now they understand ownership a lot more, so this year we are doing separate gifts.

That said, my best tip for saving money is BUY LESS. I think people go overboard at Christmas. Generally Santa brings the boys a book, a couple of toys, and one big gift. The boys take their time and play with each gift as they open it. When they were 2, it took four hours to open 5 gifts.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I havent been able to sell the picking names idea on presents to my husbands family. So our gift list is really like 30 people once you count in the obligatory work gift, Toys for Tots donation, and a gift exchange for my moms group. So for the family it gets hard to find meaningful gifts that don't break the budget. I like to give photo books or calendars to different family members that are somewhat personalized for them. It takes a little longer, but they love to get them, and its more meaningful than another shirt or scarf. Plus they are really inexpensive. We get the kids their own gifts, but they'll play with each others anyways. And we clear out the toys we have to save for our next consignment sale, or to give away before xmas, because otherwise there will be no room.

Stacey said...

We didn't exchange gifts with each other until college, I think. So don't worry about that for Ned and Penny.

ABS said...

On my side of the family, we just buy gifts for the grandparents and the grandkids (there are 9 grandkids on my side, counting our two kiddos).

On my husband's side, everybody buys for everybody else. It's not a big family, but it is still a PITA. They want Christmas lists from everyone, and if you're not specific enough, they ask a million questions. I have tons of ideas for the girls, but my list is another story. If I'm going to spend that much time coming up with exact items that I want, I'd rather just buy them myself!! Moving on...

We will be buying very little for our girls for Christmas. We live in a small place, and they are bound to get tons of stuff from the rest of the family. (Plus, we buy them new stuff all the time!)

Anonymous said...

Gosh they have gotten so big since they last time I saw them!!!

Santa brings my kids one gift apiece- usually whatever it is they asked for when we go meet Santa. And then the rest of their gifts are from mom and dad- I typically buy them one other toy, one book, and one outfit each, with a couple other little stocking stuffers. They definitely don't give Christmas gifts to each other yet. Buying fewer presents saves money and I think it is just more practical, since they get so many gifts from their grandparents and from my sister. And it doesn't set up the kids with huge expectations of a major Santa extravaganza on Christmas morning or the need to top last year's pile o' gifts. Plus, they get "gift fatigue" from opening too many presents anyway.

ABS said...

p.s. The new pictures are adorable! I especially like the Halloween photo.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I'm so glad you posted this, K.

I wasn't going to buy anything but you know how I'm a "strict mom" and wondered if it was just "my thing" but now reading all these comments, I feel fine about it.

They will get something from the grandparents and other family and I'm not about to add more stuff to the house. Maybe a book or two though? :)

Ned and Penny are SO big and I can't believe you're only a month away from going to work!