Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tis The Season....

...to feel depressed about how broke you are! It's not the gifts for "my" family that is killing me, it's all those "extra" gift exchanges! You know what I mean, every family has them! For my side of the family, our Christmas Party is Saturday. We do two different exchanges, one for the kids and one for the adults. For the kids, we draw names with all the cousins, so, depending on the number of kids you have, you have those extra gifts. In my case, two extra, which makes me glad I'm not my cousin that has seven kids. Then, you are to bring a gift for "a man" and one for "a woman". That is, if you and your husband are both attending. Over the years, this has been a really fun thing, and you usually go home with two pretty good gifts. The trouble is, when you're broke, you'd really rather spend that extra money on your own kids. I'm thinking of not bringing the man and woman's gifts this year and just sitting out on the exchange. My only fear is standing out like a sore thumb and causing lots of talk after we leave.

For Cheez's family, we also do a gift exchange. All the cousins draw names, that's 3 for us, and then all the couples draw names. So, what this comes down to is 8 gifts, costing an average of $15 - $20 dollars each. Now, before you say, SCROOGE!, I want to go on the record as saying I love, LOVE to give presents! If I had tons of money, I would send a gift to you, dear reader! I love picking out just the right thing for people. I just don't have that kind of money right now.

Do you do gift exchanges?? Any bright ideas??

8 comments:

SalGal said...

Dude, I have some GREAT ideas! Make a journal jar. This is a mason jar (or some other pretty jar) tied with raffia and decorated with stickers or a marker and you put a bunch of slips in there with prompts for journal entries. If you decide to do this, let me know and I will email the entry prompts to you, I already have like 400 of them. You can also do a "journey jar" which is almost the same thing as a journal jar except you put in places to go near where you live that you get get to, enjoy, and return home the same day. So we would put something on there like "go to the beach" or "go to a Stockton Ports" game (baseball) something local or something an hour or two away that's fun. I dont' want to take up your space here, but I have more ideas if you're interested!

Joker said...

Cool idea Salgal! Hope you are able to solve the gift problems soon. *HUGS*

Carol said...

My family draws names, too -- but my family is so large, it helps to keep gift-buying to a minimum. It still gets crazy, though. Good luck with your shopping.

J's Girlfriend said...

Gift exchange is one of these things which is clever in theory, but in practise just makes people feel just as uncomfortable as regular gift giving.

I would just sit it out, or maybe bring two batches of home baked cookies for man / woman. If anyone complains they've really missed the point of Christmas.

S said...

My family we use to draw names & everyone purchase for the kids. Now that everyone is pretty much grown up except my crew. We do the "man" "woman" gift exchange. We # the packages & play bingo. The past few years they've started doing "white elephant" gifts & that's when we started just sitting out. I'm not about to waste $20 on a gag gift! It doesn't bother me at all to sit out.

Hubby's family; we all exchange gifts only this year I just don't have it. We've told all but the Grandparents & Great Grandparents to not exchange this year. One thing that makes all this easy for us to do is; we're not visiting anyone this year! :-)

peebugg said...

I only have an Idea for the "woman" and couple gifts. You could give them gift certificates, that you make, for you scrapbooking stuff and add in help from you on the cert. Like a "Creative Hour Supplies Included" type thing. That way you are not out any money right now and then you can also stir up some business. If it's a couple thing, the guy has to like it cause his wife does.

As far as kids...depending on the kid a tin of multi colored homemade play dough is always cool and they can eat it too!!!!

Good luck...

Chicka said...

If you want, I have a pdf file of jar gifts (soup in a jar, cookie mix in a jar, etc) and some homemeade stuffs that isn't expensive to make at all.

We're in a perpetual state of PPB (Piss Poor Broke), so trust me, I know!

I'll email you the file if you'd like.

Gem said...

Oh, I so know where you are! The rule for my in-laws' get-together is gifts for the kids only. Except MIL and FIL, they always get us something. Every year we reiterate "Gifts for the kids only, right?!", and every year they get us something anyway. I used to feel guilty, but since we make it clear every year I've learned to just smile and say thank you. This year is going to be rough, hubby's hours are way down and we will barely have a Christmas for our kids, much less the cousins. But you have to keep up appearances! No one wants to be the poor relation!