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Christmas is just around the corner! Everyone is either enjoying this time because they have completed their shopping, or they are stressing out because they have so much more to do. Wherever you are in this process, remember try not to go overboard.  It's important to set a budget and stick with it. This is something you will thank yourself for later, after the holidays are over and the bills come in!


Christmas is just around the corner! Everyone is either enjoying this time because they have completed their shopping, or they are stressing out because they have so much more to do. Wherever you are in this process, remember try not to go overboard.  It's important to set a budget and stick with it. This is something you will thank yourself for later, after the holidays are over and the bills come in!
My husband, Chris, and I have three children, large families of our own, and one income. It is very important for us to plan a budget and stick to it. It is so easy to just keep buying for our kids, especially our daughter, for some reason.  I can go into Shaw's and find something I want to buy for her!  That is when a budget comes into play. It forces me to think about what she would really want. I have to sort through her interests and decide on gifts based on what she would truly love and play with most, rather than just buying everything I see. This also helps simplify Christmas and make it more special. It isn't about how many gifts are under the tree, but the thought and meaning behind each gift.
The first step we took in planning our budget was cutting back on the number of people we buy for. Every year our list was getting longer, but the income remains the same.  We decided to talk to our siblings about not buying for each other and just buying for the children. After all, don't all parents focus on their children at Christmas time?  Everyone loved the idea and felt the same way. Don't misunderstand; I would love to buy my sister a gift.  She is so easy to buy for, I can think of a million things she would love. We agreed that it makes more sense to buy for the kids.

 Another way we cut back is giving to friends. What is the most important thing? Time, so we make time to do something special with my husband's buddy, rather than buying him and his wife a present. The older the kids get, the less time it seems you have for others, so this forces us to make time for our loved ones without spending a fortune.
It is really hard to bring up the topic of not exchanging gifts with a sibling or friend.  I didn't want my siblings to think I didn't want to buy for them, or Chris' friend to think we didn't want to buy for him and his wife.  But once we did, it felt good and it turned out that they felt the same way!

Everyone has a budget, some larger and some smaller, but we all need to stick to it. Simplify in any way possible. In the end, being together, seeing the smiles on your kids' faces, and feeling a little less pressure due to unwanted debt makes it all worth it!
Did you make any changes in your shopping list this year?


by on Dec. 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (61-66):
cara124
by Bronze Member on Dec. 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM

My mom did a great job of shopping for them when they were little but know that they are teenagers and into all the electronic stuff ( as she calls it LOL ) ... She gets confussed over which things go with what and what the kids have over what they don't have LOL .

Quoting SweetLuci:

 Aww. It's fun to buy for kids, but sometimes it's best to give money to parents who really know more about what the kids really want.

Quoting cara124:

yes she was very excited to see the kids excited with gifts she "bought" LOL ... I didn't tell the kids I picked them out I just let Grandparents have all the credit LOL.

Quoting SweetLuci:

 Bet your mom was pleased that it turned out so well, I know I would be.

Quoting cara124:

my parents did this this year .. My mom said she was always confused on what to buy grown/married children each year so she handed each of us and envelope at thanksgiving and said buy what WE wanted and thought the kids NEEDED .... I used it to purchase MY kids something fun that I would never have bought them other wise and had her & my dad over for dinner just last week to see the kids open them ... Everyone was so excited ( even my mom ) . Oh & my parents have so many siblings each that they all just exchange cards every year .

Quoting SweetLuci:

 We talked to our siblings about not exchanging gifts. We've been simplifying everything. Who needs another thing? We gave our grown kids money, so they can use it on their families.

 

 

 

 


SweetLuci
by Luci on Dec. 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM

 Oh, I know that feeling. The wish list of the 12 yr old: Gift card for Claire's, gift card for Hollister, gift card for Aeropostle, gift card for Game Stop. lol We sent gift cards to Game Stop for our grandsons who don't live near us. We asked the mom what kind of gift cards they would like. Then we have a little 2 year old, who also lives far away. Parents gave us a few ideas,  and we sent a few things they recommended, but many things I looked at and thought he might like has the 3 yr. old warnings on them, and everything else was too infantile, so we sent them money and let them make the decisions on safety, etc.

Quoting cara124:

My mom did a great job of shopping for them when they were little but know that they are teenagers and into all the electronic stuff ( as she calls it LOL ) ... She gets confussed over which things go with what and what the kids have over what they don't have LOL .

Quoting SweetLuci:

 Aww. It's fun to buy for kids, but sometimes it's best to give money to parents who really know more about what the kids really want.

Quoting cara124:

yes she was very excited to see the kids excited with gifts she "bought" LOL ... I didn't tell the kids I picked them out I just let Grandparents have all the credit LOL.

Quoting SweetLuci:

 Bet your mom was pleased that it turned out so well, I know I would be.

Quoting cara124:

my parents did this this year .. My mom said she was always confused on what to buy grown/married children each year so she handed each of us and envelope at thanksgiving and said buy what WE wanted and thought the kids NEEDED .... I used it to purchase MY kids something fun that I would never have bought them other wise and had her & my dad over for dinner just last week to see the kids open them ... Everyone was so excited ( even my mom ) . Oh & my parents have so many siblings each that they all just exchange cards every year .

Quoting SweetLuci:

 We talked to our siblings about not exchanging gifts. We've been simplifying everything. Who needs another thing? We gave our grown kids money, so they can use it on their families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bmat
by Gold Member on Dec. 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

It probably would be a good idea to skip buying for friends and siblings, but what keeps coming to mind is the background of gifts as representing the gifts of the Magi, and the idea that having to think about what the person would like is a way to keep that person active in one's heart.

jessicasmom1
by Bronze Member on Dec. 24, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I agree Christmas is for the kids .... now I doubt I will stop buying for my DD anytime she is my only child and whatever works lets do it.

lasombrs
by Sara on Dec. 25, 2012 at 7:32 PM

yeah we got mostly dollar store stuff for the kids because we were in a tuff spot but they were happy

momofsixangels
by Colleen on Dec. 26, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Being in foreclosure it sucked this year

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