Stalling out over the holidays

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2009
Stalling out over the holidays
14
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 10:52pm

Does anyone else feel like they are stalling out over the holiday season? I have been on this journey for a few years now and I feel like putting everything on hold and using the extra cash this month for nice presents for the kids and parents. I have not been able to for several years, so I feel like this would be a nice thing to do. They all help out so much (especially now that I am in Master's classes every night) and I want to express my appreciation. I know, I know they don't NEED these gifts but I would love to show my gratitude with gifts that they need/want but won't purchase themselves. I have researched some perfect gifts for them and I would not be using credit to purchase them...Anyone else with holiday debt repayment fatigue?

JenAaron.jpg picture by jen2075


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Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 11-16-2012 - 2:52pm

Hi Happy,

I hear ya' on that one.  My SO thinks all holidays are a conspiracy.  Money Mouth

I have tried to change the dance a bit with my family, but no luck thus far.  My mom doesn't even enjoy shopping any more, but my sister still enjoys it, so here I sit, with like a $10-15 budget for each family member, excluding my DD12.  I don't know.  Part of gift giving is still kind of fun.  I do enjoy the holiday hustle and bustle.  The whole gift card and gift bag generation has taken some of the excitement away though.

Let's face it, money does play a part of it.  Not that having money would change my phiolosphy, but it does make Christmas a little easier to navigate with it.  

Serenity
Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Sun, 11-18-2012 - 3:38pm

So you are buying (expensive) Christmas presents out of guilt and obligation?

Christmas comes the same day every year. It's not a surprise. 

Gifts do not have to be something you buy in a store. How about the gift of time? Make "coupons" to give for things like raking the leaves, shoveling snow, baby sitting, a ride to a doctor's appointment, a trip to the ice cream shop in the summer, etc. Things you make are also more meaningful. A plateful of homemade chocolate chip cookies, and the time you spend with your kids making them, is a more lasting gift than anything you buy in the store.

And don't forget: you don't have wait until november to buy presents. If you aren't saving for Christmas starting Jan. 1 every year and buying bargains (garage sales, ebay, craig's list) throughout the year, then you're just caught up in the marketing hype that infects everyone this time of year.

Stay away from Black Friday and out of the mall this year. I delight in driving by the full parking lots and frenzied shoppers EVERY year because I've kept my list small and sensible and I "shopped" secondhand, etc. in July. Trust me, no one will notice you're not standing in line at 4 a.m. for the not-such-a-bargain electronic thingie. 

Good luck. Breaking the gotta-buy-something-expensive-for-Christmas habit is as hard to quit as heroin. 

Merry Christmas from the "other side" of the credit card bill. :-0

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-25-2008
Mon, 11-19-2012 - 7:37pm

I have felt that way too.  But a while back I started shopping way in advance so I wouldn't feel tight, stressed, or frustrated with gifts.  I bought my 1st christmas gift last January.  I pay attention to what the  kids show interest in and what deals I find.  So I buy stuff all through  the year and I wrap as I go so I am not overwhelmed with wrapping all at once.  I have a tub full of gifts ready to go.  I only have a bit more to get.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2009
Wed, 11-21-2012 - 11:09am

I do not wish to buy expensive Christmas presents out of guilt or obligation. I really want to show my appreciation for the help that they have provided me thus far. Time is not a luxury that I have at this point; I work full time and am in Master's classes every week night, so making handmade items and the like are not feasible. The whole point of my post was that I want to show my appreciation to the people I love. The gifts I am considering are not too expensive (total cost for all gifts is in the $600 range with NOTHING going on credit cards...) and they are items that will be well used and very practical for the people who receive them. Like I said in the OP, I have not done this for years and would love to show them that I am thankful for all of their hard work helping me.

Also, I always shop throughout the year for Christmas/Birthday gifts and have a closet full of fabulous deals that I have come across, but it is mostly clothing and small items.

JenAaron.jpg picture by jen2075


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