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$$$ Holiday Spending on Gifts? $$$

View Poll Results: How much is your holiday gift-giving budget?
Under $100 5 11.90%
$100 to $300 10 23.81%
$300 to $500 4 9.52%
$500 to $700 6 14.29%
$700 to $900 6 14.29%
$900 to $1,100 4 9.52%
$1,100 to $1,300 1 2.38%
$1,300 to $1,500 3 7.14%
$1,500 to $1,700 2 4.76%
$1,700 and up 1 2.38%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-01-2007, 07:46 PM   #1
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Question $$$ Holiday Spending on Gifts? $$$

Hello all!

As I gear up to do my Christmas shopping, pretty much all online this year, I got to wondering what you all are planning to spend yourselves for your own holiday season. I thought it'd be interesting to have a poll and see what the average holiday money flinging will entail

* Poll is optional of course! I'm also interested in your own thoughts on this topic!

I just transferred $400 from my savings account to my checking account in preparation for many online purchases tomorrow. I am aiming for that $400 to cover my family and friends: Total of 9 single adults, 2 couples (I'm planning on one gift for both of the couples) and 2 young babies, so about $31 per person, but some will be less $, some more $.

Some of these are friends who may end up with very simple and small gifts because we recognize we both like to keep it low-key. And the two 6-month old babies are definitely small bumps in my budget this year. As they grow though, those babies, my niece and nephew, are sure to get modern versions of the toys I loved as a child!

I tend to overspend, at least compared to my salary, so this year I'm going to rein myself in more than usual. I also love the idea of 1 gift per person, and that includes from others to me, if at all! I'd like to keep my own giving and receiving heartfelt, simple and light. Like a good book, a hug, and maybe a plate of peppermint brownies & milk, heh!

But then, I've spent what was for me large amounts of money on gifts and loved every second of it I really enjoy finding gifts that the person will love... and yes, I have gone into debt on gifts before, though I try not to!

The reason I ask about specific dollar amounts is that I wonder how commercial this season really is. I get from the commercials on TV that the advertisers would love for our homes to be filled with diamond jewelry, big screen TVs, Wii game systems, or a whole bunch of big ticket items. Is this reality though? I'm not saying if it is that this is a sorry state of affairs I'm just curious how representative of real life this luxurious spending really is of people today.

Please feel free to follow up with a post if you'd like, about what tiny or special or big gifts you are planning on getting... or holidays planned with thriftiness or homemade gifts in mind.... or how you feel about Secret Santa giving at your workplaces.

I'd also love to hear what some make for homemade gifts or plan for unusual gifts!
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:23 PM   #2
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Hmmm...there is a good question. I have four children and tend to overspend with them (as they get older the gifts are smaller but MUCH more expensive!).

I tend to struggle with gifts for those that I work with and need to get a little something .... I was thinking of decorating jars (or buying them) and putting pistachios in them...relatively healthy compared to everything else they will receive!

Something that makes a great gift for those that have little ones is to make an ornament and put the little ones pic in the ornament. I know they are selling these now but I have a bunch from when my kids were little (before they were selling them) and I treasure them more than anything else. My dh is a teacher and every year at christmas time he paints small puzzle pieces a green color, takes a picture of the students (in action), has the students glue the puzzle pieces around a wreath templete, has the students add some 'holly,' glues the pic in the center, add yarn to hang and they have a beautiful ornament to share with their family. He gets lots of complements...and, of course, we got the idea from a teacher of my daughters years ago.

I would love to hear other ideas!
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:35 PM   #3
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My husband and I have had small to almost non-existant Christmas budgets the last few of years. Last year was very tight, so we asked family members for a "no gift" Christmas. Most didn't listen, but at least toned down the giving. I guess we technically didn't abide by the terms either, as we made handcrafted gifts. Everyone loved the gifts we made (my husband cross-stitched, and I crocheted afghans), and my sisters even mentioned (hinted) when we visited in September that their afghans were getting a little worn out from constant wear, and they would certainly appreciate new ones for Christmas. I had some of my needlework with me, and my nephews (6 and 2) were pointing out projects in my books that they wanted me to make them for Christmas (they picked out enough to last the next 10 Christmases). I have a few surprises for them, but I did let them trace their feet and choose colors for slippers they picked out from one of my books. They're crocheted in three colors and resemble classic converse high-top tennis shoes. The six year old, chose blue, red, and orange. And the two year old, was just learning his colors, but picked the three he knows and likes the best: green, blue, and white.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:57 PM   #4
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My family has spent the past few years NOT giving anything for x-mas as we just couldn't afford it. This year we are going to, but on a small scale. Here are some of my ideas....

1. Do an amazon wish list....I do this with a few best pals, and believe me, it really helps! All I have to do is order one or two things on their wish list (and it can be expensive or not), and it'll be sent straight to them!

2. Bake some cookies, or cakes, or as someone else suggested earlier, put some nuts in a jar and dress it up very pretty. Can give this out to co-workers, pals, etc. Not everything has to be material objects....

3. And finally, gift cards. I was astonished earlier when my local news stated that more than half of the gift cards given out last year went unused. It's FREE MONEY! I personally would LOVE to get a gift card, especially from a favorite store. Some folks say it's impersonal for a gift, but I think it makes more sense as the person can get what they really want, instead of you guessing for them.
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:29 PM   #5
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Although we really try to focus on CHRISTmas around here and the free BEST gift Ev-ERR that was given to us beginning with the birth of Jesus....we do enjoy the spirit and magic of SANTA.

We usually spend $150 on each kid...so with a daughter in law and son in law (rocks for him) added this year that will come to $900...plus our extended family exchange of $25 gifts for the name drawn...mailwoman, newspaper, neighbor kids, church toys for needy, toys for tots...etc....I guess we are around $1,500. Gosh I shoud have voted after I added it up...I voted 900-1,100...oh well..gosh
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:16 AM   #6
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Our budget is low this year. I normally spend under $500. But this time needed to stay under $300. Altogether, I've probably spent about $250. Most of that is gifts for my son, and one gift exchange with my nephew. For the rest, I'm making gift baskets.

I found some wicker baskets on sale at Wally World for $2 each, bought a couple cans of green spray paint for .96 each and painted the baskets green. Bought 2 rolls of red and white checkered holiday wired ribbon with silver edging and am making bows and lining the edges of the baskets. Bought 4 packs of red and green tissue paper for .97 each. Bought a large bag of Lindor truffles (I think around $4), a bag of walnuts (probably 2 bucks), 4 bottles of apple cider ($1.97 each), a box of mixed Celestial Seasoning fruit teas (maybe 2 something), and a box of candy canes ($1.97). I'm going to pick up a bag of apples and oranges and some pears the week of Christmas and put the baskets together with walnuts and fruit, a bottle of cider, a pack of the flavored tea, some candy canes, a handful of the truffles, etc. It's cheaper than ordering something. Each one probably costs less than $15 and has more than one I could get from say Hickory Farms for $50.
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:13 PM   #7
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Just finished up the Christmas online shopping: $648. Not quite my goal of $400! I'm selling some stuff on eBay though for $247, so it comes out to be pretty much $400 overall spent in the budget Phew!!!

Next year I'm thinking I will make everyone personalized wall calendars. I'm a graphic designer, so I got the skills and printing presses and the folding and stapling machines at the office I could put in photos I know each person would like, and family birthdays and anniversaries. I've had this idea before but never got it all together in time to create them (my job can be insane and I'd be designing it there after-hours, until I get a Mac at home.)

If I start now, I think I can pull it off for next year hehehe!

What do you all think? Personalized calendar = chintzy or a cute idea?
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:45 PM   #8
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I'm a grad student, and it's practically impossible enough for me to actually live on what I'm making, so it'll be a **** of a time seeing how I can actually afford to buy anyone *anything.*

I'm trying to keep it under $300, but I don't know how to do that without being just.. downright cheap. Oh well, it's gonna have to do!

I really like the personalized calendar idea.
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:48 PM   #9
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A few things I've done in the past for friends and coworker gifts:

~A bucket of unpopped popcorn from Blockbuster with a $5 gift card and 2 boxes of candy inside. This was a huge hit!
~I bought plain jars and filled them with homemade candies (truffles, buckeyes, almond bark, peppermint bark)Another big hit!
~Cellophane bags filled with homemade cookies *This is what I'm doing this year*
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Old 12-02-2007, 07:04 PM   #10
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I love the idea of personalized calendars...you can take pic's all year and they will love it!
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Old 12-02-2007, 07:12 PM   #11
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I'm a single Mom so I only buy for my son. He still believes in Santa so it is more expensive at this point - but I'm glad he still believes. If I'm doing my job as a parent he'll always believe in the magic. I make cookies, fudge and such for neighbors and friends. Most people understand.
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Old 12-02-2007, 07:47 PM   #12
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We have a total of 6 kids and 4 grandkids. So, Christmas hits our budget pretty hard every year. I usually spend about $200.00 on each of the kids and can still get away with cheaper toys for the grandkids that are all age 3 and under. I always buy a more expensive gift for my MIL. This yr. I bought her 3 large mantel type shelves to hold the high school graduation pic's of all the grandkids. These were not cheap, but I know she has been wanting them and DH will have time to install them for her.

We always make sure that all kids and grandkids are bought for. If there is money left, then DH and I will buy gifts for each other. I have always told our kids that if there is anything especially expensive that they want to ask for it at their birthday when there is only 1 person to buy for instead of 15.

My favorite inexpensive gift I have received is a large jar of home-made sugar-free hot cocoa powder from my sister last yr. at Christmas. We ended up using all of it over the cold winter while playing cards in front of the fireplace. I did think of her, each time I made a cup.
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:19 PM   #13
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BTW, here's a pic of what I have so far. I also found those cinamon scented candles on sale for $1 each. I still have to fill it with the fruit surrounding the cider in the center, then add the tea, candle, candies and candy canes to the top.
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:28 PM   #14
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Almostheaven,

That looks AWESOME! Nice spray paint work! Those are gonna be really beautiful all filled up!
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:34 PM   #15
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I think the calendars are a great idea. That might be because I have made them for going on 7 years now. I use picture it to make a fun collage of pictures for each month and then I use Calendar Creator to create the months. People really do love and cherish them. I also put the birthdays and anniversary's on the calendar! Here are a couple from this year...





My budget is in the $1,600 range. I save for it all year. I just have so many people on my list.
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