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How do I handle Christmas giving when I am broke ?

I am one of the less fortunate that has been hit by our bad economy.Due to lay offs,and now employment that is paying half of what my family had been living on,we are close to losing every thing.And now comes Christmas,that wonderful time of the year for giving!only I have nothing to give. How do I give to others when my family doesn't get to have anything?Have you ever told people sorry? I can only imagine the attitude & criticsm. What is a tactful way?

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Msmom2go

Asked by Msmom2go at 12:32 PM on Nov. 19, 2010 in Holidays

Level 2 (8 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • Let the people who you normally exchange Christmas gifts with that it's not in your budget this year. Any one who cares about you is going to understand, and not think anything about it. Times are hard, you have nothing to be worried or ashamed about. Hugs to you.
    Scuba

    Answer by Scuba at 12:34 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • I am just straight up with family. Hey i barely have enough for the kids so i wont be able to get you anything.. Im sorry but hopefully i will be able to make it up next year. Or in other ways. Babysit for a friend as a gift. Help your parents clean the garage...White elephant gifts work most times too. Im sorry about your hard times. Good luck I will pray for you!
    chanelsparkels

    Answer by chanelsparkels at 12:36 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • i feel your pain. we too are making half per month what we did when hubby was in the army last year. due to unfortunate events, he's no longer in the army but yet we still have our 3 kids to feed and make somewhat of a nice Christmas for. it's hard trying to budget and survive on HALF the income per month.. it's a lot less.

    for the kids, i did layaway. 2 of them are under 2 and wont' care what's under the tree for them, so they're only getting a few little things. my 4 year old is getting a little bit more, but i didn't pick anything for any of them that was over $20. i went with inexpensive little things. layaway is nice because you can make small payments over a period of time and pick up your things before the big day.

    the only other people worth buying for is my parents, grandma & aunt, and his mom & grandparents. they're all getting homemade crafts from the kids. might not be extravagant, but it's the thought.
    tnm786

    Answer by tnm786 at 12:36 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • Be honest. I already told my family we are only shopping for the kids this year. They all understand and agree.
    Orionsgirl

    Answer by Orionsgirl at 12:38 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • Pick your budget and go with it. Whether it's $50 (so everyone's getting a hand-written letter about what you appreciate about them, and a half-dozen homemade cookies) or $500 (everyone gets a pair of silly socks and those closest to you get a personal tree ornament), it is possible to give meaningfully without breaking the bank.

    It's one of the things I find the most amazing about commercials at this time: what they hope people will think is 'normal' to include in a stocking is 1/2 of our whole Christmas budget, tree and food included ($1000, all in). That means we routinely give people gifts that are worth less than $10... but since it's not 'anything that's under $10' but something personal and thoughtful (or silly and fun), it doesn't look or feel pure cheap.

    The most humiliating gifts I have had the misfortune to receive were the ones that were not about or for ME, not the ones that were inexpensive or even free.
    LindaClement

    Answer by LindaClement at 12:41 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • People will understand.. just tell them the truth.
    SuperrMommyy

    Answer by SuperrMommyy at 12:42 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • Anyone who gives you attitude or criticism over not participating in gifting when you can't afford it is not really your friend. I would tell people now that you won't be able to participate. Anyone that really knows you will know your situation. Some will be in the same boat and will be relieved. Perhaps someone who is doing better might even offer to help you out with shopping for your kids.
    TweenAndTwinMom

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 12:46 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • We're in the same postition. If they really love and care about you then they won't care. I know it's hard to not be able to give, I really like to give also. You can give love, friendship, a hug, encouragement, a letter, etc. :) You can also give by volunteering at a soup kitchen, etc. Not everything needs to be monetary :)
    kittieashy

    Answer by kittieashy at 12:51 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • "Pick your budget and go with it. Whether it's $50 (so everyone's getting a hand-written letter about what you appreciate about them, and a half-dozen homemade cookies) or $500 (everyone gets a pair of silly socks and those closest to you get a personal tree ornament), it is possible to give meaningfully without breaking the bank."

    I think this is a great idea. Something thoughtful is definitely better than absolutely nothing. Nothing seems like a cop-out. What about something like this. "you've always admired this broach, so I'm giving it to you."
    onethentwins

    Answer by onethentwins at 12:53 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • Be honest...people understand and may be going through the same thing..Remember the true meaning of the holiday...maybe a nice hand written letter explaining how much the person means to you world be a great idea! People dont tell each other how much they care IMO. For adult members maybe offer to do something for them...ie baby sitting, cooking a meal cleaning spending time with them...I would LOVE that if someone offered!
    rebeccadac

    Answer by rebeccadac at 12:55 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

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