Christmas Giving

I’ve probably posted on this subject every year for the past ten years. I feel like the Grinch! I really don’t like to shop, and rarely know what to give my family, yet I need to make the effort.

My oldest sister gave me a book I can’t wait to read. My younger sister, who knows that we love to watch our backyard birds, gave us a suet holder and suet, and birdseed bells. Both of these are perfect gifts, something I really enjoy. Now, why couldn’t I remember that they love these things, too?

I told someone recently that I thought we should either have a specific limit as to how much we could spend on a gift, or, perhaps we should try having a year where we only gave things we made. I’ve been operating along a mix of those two ideas for a while, and both of them have pros and cons. It takes a lot of time to make things for my entire family, and not everyone wants something I can make. There are times when the perfect gift falls outside the cash limit that has been set. I need more ideas. I want to give more than a card, but not be bankrupt at the end of the holidays.

And, time is always an issue. I may have to start working on Christmas in September to accomplish everything. It takes a LOT longer these days to get it all done.

I feel very Grinch-y right now. It’s a good thing Christmas is past.

4 thoughts on “Christmas Giving

  1. My Ex had a rather large family that included older nephews and nieces (as a close family), that was something like 20 people. Many of them didn’t make much money so it was agreed that we would draw names and there was a dollar limit. That worked great as no one felt bad because they couldn’t give gifts, nor did anyone go broke trying.

    Some years, if there was to be a large family gathering, we would have a Yankee swap (no names on presents, people go in an order to pick a present, others can “steal” etc). Those were a hit because we didn’t really have to know what someone wanted/needed. There would be candles, movies/music, puzzles, small tools, screw organizers – a eclectic assortment of stuff.

    • Bogie, we seem to have had similar experiences. My side of the family is overwhelmingly large. It simply isn’t possible to get a gift for everyone. We used to pull names when we all gathered in one place for Thanksgiving. For the past ten or more years we’ve been doing what you call a “Yankee swap.” There have been some inspired gifts. One year my husband gave a marshmallow shooter that the adult “kids” and one of my sisters kept stealing from each other. I need to start thinking about simple gifts in the middle of summer, if we continue to gift, or this is going to drive me crazy!

  2. Ah… hello again!

    Our lives have been so much easier since we agreed with (almost) everyone we know that we wouldn’t ‘do’ presents any more.

    In these times, most people either have everything they want or have the means to buy it themselves.

    We still buy for Mr BW’s Mum, but it’s daft – she asks us what we want and we ask her, then we each wrap it up, we transport ours to her, and we all pretend we’re surprised. She never waits until the right day to open her parcel from us anyway.

    It would be so much better for us to just agree to buy a present knowing it’s from each other, but, she doesn’t want to, so this crazy charade continues.

    Happy New Year!

    • How nice to hear from you, BW! It seems your family has made it to the sensible stage sooner than mine has. If we can’t forego gifts, then those my sisters gave to me were lovely: a book, and birdseed. But we really need to get to the point where we can give those up, too. What I really crave at this point in my life is time spent with loved ones. As for Mr. BW’s Mum, I suspect the you’re just going to have to let her play things out her way. You can do that gritted-teeth smile as you swap gifts! lol

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