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Christmas Presents

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
What do you do for your family and friends when you can't afford Christmas presents??
post #2 of 22
I make them things

Example: I take pictures that we already have and make albums for people
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Mew
I make them things

Example: I take pictures that we already have and make albums for people
Do you buy the albums?
post #4 of 22
Not afford x-mas gifts??... ha ha ha We all put the gifts on Credit Cards if we dont have the funds available. Even worse, huh?

Actually I recall my mom giving away presents that she had previously recieved and didnt like, so she never opened them, so she gave them as new presents to someone else. Or you could do something homemade.

I saw the cutest idea. Last x-mas a girlfriend got a whole bunch of mason jars and layered all the ingredients for homemade cookies in them(except the egg of course). Closed them up, put a festive ribbon and small card around it and gave those as gifts. They were sooo cute!
post #5 of 22
I like making stuff too. Say pillows-watch for sales at craft stores for supplies. I bet the internet has sites on how to make bath salts and stuff like that. How about ho-made candy or the chocolate chip cookie mix that you put in quart jars? I think for one of my SIL's this christmas I am going to by the blank metal labels and print our plant labels on my Brother Ptouch labeler for her-she jus never has the time.
Be inventive for wrapping paper too!! I like going to Tuesday morning for wrapping paper and stuff like that-its pretty cheap!!
post #6 of 22
We just tell everybody up front "We can't afford presents this year. Please don't give us anything." We did that several years when we were newly married. Another thing we've done is JUST immediate family. The only problem we ever ran up against is a sister-in-law of Sunny's that just about has a come-apart if you don't exchange gifts. At her insistance we drew names one year. I don't even remember who I got, or what I got them.
post #7 of 22
I know families that do holiday gift exchanges and each person gets to give one person a gift therefore cutting down tremendously on expenses. But I would use a credit card and just not spend much but still get everyone that was getting me something.
post #8 of 22
I'm pretty crafty, so I'll make things. Maybe 10 years ago, I got a set that makes like 100 felt angel christmas ornaments. I've made a few in the past couple years (they take lots of time to make, but each one is unique) and given those to my immediate family and my future in-laws. Last year, I gave my mother an avacado plant that I grew from a pit. While that sounds lame, it actually does have signifigance between us.

I always try to mix something rather cheap, a book, a CD, whatever, with something that I spent time and effort on. Like the avacado. It came in a nice pot. The angel ornaments were in addition to books, something from Bath & Body Shop, whatever. I had to tell them that the angels were a GirlieQ creation, though, because they thought that I bought those, too... I thought it would be obvious, since I was up until 4 AM Christmas Eve finishing the last one (yes, I'm a procrastinator), but my mother asked me where I found them.

And I always go for something that shows I put thought into the gift. My mother loves the scent of vanilla, but it can't be too sweet, so if I buy her something scented, I try to find a good vanilla scent. My kiddo brother plays guitar, and is very musical, so I'll try to find him a CD from a band that he'll like but hasn't ever heard of, and last year I got him a book of basic rythms and guitar maintanence.

I try to save money all year long, so I'll have $10-$15 per person.
post #9 of 22
If you have a little cash, you can buy cheap picture frames at the dollar store, and arrange photos with matting and stickers, almost like a page in a scrapbook. Put it in a dollar store bag with some home made cookies or treats, and give it out. Or maybe give out coupons-printed up really cute on the 'puter for free cat-sitting service, or other ways you can be helpful.

I would warn family & friends ahead of time that money is extremely tight this year, and you won't be able to purchase gifts.

It is very hard not to have the money to splurge on Christmas, but it does bring you back to the basics of sharing love and your time, rather than just spending $.
post #10 of 22
I'm not very crafty, so if I was low on funds they would probably just have to settle for a card!
post #11 of 22
I make fancy cards ( card and gift in one) the materials cost about 10 bucks total for up to 20 cards
post #12 of 22
Plus think about what presents you got last yr-do you remember them??
That is why I like Christmas lists-choose from the list and then you'll have something you really wanted instead of some ugly chistmas plate that you will end up giving to goodwill!!
Idea: Magazine subscriptions especially when there is a special 2 yrs for price of one!
Most times those are reasonable.
post #13 of 22
Well... every year we have three christmases... usually my grandma and my uncle do it at thanksgiving... (she did my mom's and my birthday on mothers day though we both are in june)

the second is with Scott's (the moms boyfriend) Fathers family... (the two great grandparents, his parents, his dads siblings, their wives, their kids.) Where gifts are exchanged... usually more expensive things for the kids (theres four of scott's uncles that are under 15, and a 4 year old and a new baby) and then more practical stuff for everyone else. (Gloria always buys me dressy/dress up/dress clothes because she is evil and cant fathom that I dont like to dress up/wear dressy clothes/dresses)

and then the last one is with his mom's family.. which consists of (in my perspective) one great grandma, his parents, and her siblings and their husbands and their kids. :P

Last year, anyways... we didnt know what to do.. usually at the third christmas we just draw random presents out of a bag. so my mom was like.."oh I know! I'll buy discounted plain ball ornaments and make you work as a slave and decorate them all!"

and so it was...

so last year we gave everyone homemade christmas ornaments. My grandma and the great grandmas got pertyful andgel ones with a bow and a bell... all of their children got ones with their names on it... and everyone else just picked whatever in the crap they wanted.
post #14 of 22
Last year, I made what one poster talked about...the food in a jar idea...It went over really well!
Google "recipes in a jar". I had the site but no longer have it.

What I did was starting about now, asked everyone for their empty jars with lids.
IT depends what you are making but you have cookie mixes, soup mixes (layered they look really nice with several different kinds of peas, legumes, dry stock etc...).
I also made homemade mint sauce (which is really cheap..just mint, vinegar and sugar).
Tie some bows around the lids (you can even cover the lids with material or paper if you like) and add little recipe cards attached to the bows...
Its heartfelt and goes over well.
post #15 of 22
Here since End of August!! they offer in most all Supermarkets Christmascookies and such things. UARGH, terrible, it is still summer.
post #16 of 22
One year when I was absolutely flat broke, I gave people coupons.

Redeemable for one meal cooked and the kitchen cleaned. One evening of babysitting. One week of cutting the lawn.

Depending on the people, and the circumstances, you can give people the gift of your time. I dressed them up by drawing out the designs (something you can easily do on the computer), and making nice envelopes for them.

People were very pleased and touched; or at least pretended to be.
post #17 of 22
My husband has a large family so when we get together at Thanksgiving (October here in Canada) we draw names so we buy one present. We like it better since we can usually spend a bit more on one person than having to buy for 24 people. Some of his siblings do not participate in the draw and give to a charity instead. We are all OK with that.
post #18 of 22
I make things. or last year we gave everyone a card with the invitation to come to our home and have a wonderfull home cooked meal of their choseing all they had to do was cal and set it up they got food and we got to spend none holiday time together
post #19 of 22
Take a trip to Las Vegas as it's much cheaper. LOL. Now that I'm with my new hubby, I can't cancel Christmas as I have in the past.
post #20 of 22
This is a great idea!!! I would appreciate receiving something like this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammie5
One year when I was absolutely flat broke, I gave people coupons.

Redeemable for one meal cooked and the kitchen cleaned. One evening of babysitting. One week of cutting the lawn.

Depending on the people, and the circumstances, you can give people the gift of your time. I dressed them up by drawing out the designs (something you can easily do on the computer), and making nice envelopes for them.

People were very pleased and touched; or at least pretended to be.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Such great ideas... Thank you everyone!!
post #22 of 22
We just normally tell them in advance that we wont be buying christmas presents. And that we dont expect any in return
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